Until recently, the male Pinterest user was an elusive creature, rarely sighted in the endless landscape of hair styling tutorials. A small number of men were pinning, but their presence was faint, and attracting them with targeted content was a low priority for most users.
Over the last few years, Pinterest has become an indispensable marketing and e-commerce tool – but females have remained the main audience. Though many brands who cater to both men and women use Pinterest as a large part of their online marketing strategy, the content is largely geared exclusively towards women. For example, here’s Nike’s Pinterest profile.
This is all changing fast. In the last few years, the population of male Pinterest users has skyrocketed. Two thirds of all men on Pinterest signed up within the last two years, and came to represent a whopping 18% of all users in 2015. Research has also shown that men’s daily usage of Pinterest is growing at a faster rate than women’s usage – 59% of men increased their use in 2015, compared to 39% of women. So there’s a long way to go before Pinterest loses its reputation as a women’s crafting circle, but we’re getting there. Read on for advice on how to prepare for the new male demographic.
There’s a myth that men are much more pragmatic shoppers than women. It’s long been held that men will usually remain illogically brand-loyal, and return again and again to the last place they made a purchase rather than seek out something new. In other words, not your ideal Pinterest user. However, this myth has been debunked. A study from The Future of Commerce showed that 82% of both men and women use online ratings to shop, and that men are actually more likely to do detailed research online before they buy something.
We also now know that men are more likely to shop using their smartphones, a process that Pinterest has effectively streamlined. Pinterest’s new Rich Pins feature, which allows users to include price tags, product availability status and direct purchasing links, has made the site exceedingly friendly towards e-commerce in a way that no other social media site has accomplished. This functionality is critical to Pinterest’s development as an e-commerce platform – and its growing popularity with men.
So why has Pinterest been ignored by men for so long? There are varying theories, but for whatever reason, it caught on with women first in the United States. In fact, the site was so strongly dominated by females in its early days that a few “man cave” spin-offs like Manteresting started popping up. The idea was to provide a male-friendly alternative, but these sites quickly faded out or morphed into social curations of soft porn, and they’ve mostly been abandoned by now.
It turns out that Pinterest was there for the men all along. More and more men are signing up and finding it a fun and helpful shopping tool that turns out to be fairly gender-neutral. New male users barely register the idea that the site is for girls: in Pinterest’s emerging markets in Europe and Asia, men actually account for nearly 50% of all sign-ups! If you haven’t started already, it’s time to consider adjusting your Pinterest marketing strategy to welcome The Men. They’re coming.
8 Ways to Prepare for the New Men of Pinterest
1. Be organized. Most male users are new to the site and like any new user, male or female, they’ll have a limited patience for a page that’s difficult to navigate. Make sure your boards are clearly labeled and well organized so that men can easily find what they’re looking for.
2. Make your items easily searchable. Male users are more likely than women to spend a lot of time researching a purchase, but they also usually have a specific item in mind. While most females will happily browse Pinterest until something catches their eye, men are more likely to search for something in particular. Make sure you use appropriate and relevant hashtags so they can find your products easily.
3. Research your keywords. When a male user and a female user search the same keyword on Pinterest, different related keywords will pop up in their search results. If you’re trying to target men, try a test search of your relevant keywords and see what’s coming up for male users. This will help you select popular keywords and attract more men to your products.
4. Be competitive. If you’re trying to market to men on Pinterest, your niche is still relatively small. Take advantage of this experimental time by checking out your competition. Try to gauge what male users are reacting to in terms of aesthetic, keywords, and item description, and run some tests to see what works best for you!
5. Be mobile-ready. While Pinterest has long been used as a platform for casually browsing products or DIY tips to be acted on later, men are using the site to research, compare, and buy. Make it easy for them! If you’re selling a product, use Pinterest’s Rich Pins feature, which includes the price and availability of an item, and a direct link for purchase.
6. Adjust your image. If you’re already on Pinterest and your page looks like the inside of Cosmo magazine, it’s time to make some changes. Add some boards that are gender-neutral or designed specifically for men to make it clear that your company is not just for the ladies.
7. Look abroad. In Pinterest’s emerging markets in Europe and Asia, men account for half of all users. Check out how international users are engaging on Pinterest for some hints on where we’re headed.
8. Be sneaky. At the moment, a lot of companies are creating boards that market men’s products to women on boards with names like “Things I Wish My Boyfriend Would Wear”. Because women still dominate Pinterest at this point, this is an easy way to begin marketing products for men. You can also flip the scenario and create boards that help men find gifts for their partners – reportedly, this is one of the main reasons they’re on the site in the first place! Be creative.