Whether you use it or not, it’s hard to ignore the power of Pinterest, and the influence the platform has in guiding users towards purchase. According to research, some 93% of active Pinners use the platform to plan for or make purchases, while 52% have seen something on Pinterest and made a purchase online.
And while Pinterest’s 200 million monthly active users are comparatively fewer than the amount of people on other social platforms, it’s clear that those who do use Pinterest do so with high purchase intent, and in a product discovery mindset. Which is why the platform’s latest Christmas promotion is interesting.
This year, Pinterest is introducing a new ‘Secret Santa’ program.
As explained by Pinterest:
“Here’s how it works: Pinterest Secret Santa allows people to find friends or family on Pinterest. It then uses the Pinterest API to create custom gift idea boards based on what those friends or family members have been saving.”
Essentially, the system will utilize Pinterest’s graph to provide you with a personalized gift listing, based on each users’ interests. And considering that 72% of Pinners use the platform to find new ideas for their everyday life or hobbies, it’s a good bet that Pinterest data will provide some solid recommendations.
And even if your loved ones aren’t on Pinterest, the Secret Santa system can help:
“Pinners can select a gift persona that resembles the person they want to give to, from world travelers to pet parents.”
That’s obviously less customized than listings based on their actual registered interests, but it may still provide some interesting recommendations, based on broader trends (Pinterest does facilitate more than 2 billion searches per month).
Interestingly, Pinterest is also using their Secret Santa promotion as a cross-integration deal with several major brands.
“Pinterest Secret Santa is also getting help from some heavy-hitting elves. Five major brands will offer up gift ideas. Amazon will provide toys and game ideas, plus their Echo division will offer tech suggestions. Bed Bath & Beyond is supplying ideas for the home. Coca-Cola will serve up a custom message for thoughtful gift givers. CVS Pharmacy will showcase the gifting supplies - wrap, tags, boxes, cards - available in their stores. And Universal Pictures will tease the release of “Despicable Me 3” for the holidays.”
That makes the process something of a testing ground for these partner brands, and could pave the way for future opportunities, if successful. It also gives these companies an advantage in reaching interested buyers, which could help provide both them and Pinterest with more data on usage trends, and a measure of the effectiveness of Pinterest’s data matching processes.
Given the effectiveness of Pinterest in driving purchase behavior, it’s worth considering whether your business should be tapping into the platform, especially over the holiday period. As noted, Pinterest has become a key platform for product discovery, especially gifts.
It won’t give you as much reach as Facebook, but it just might help you drive better results from your ad spend.