Idea Engine: Power of Pinterest in 2017

Colleen Vaughan

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You don’t hear about Pinterest quite as often as its flashier counterparts like Facebook and Instagram, but the social platform has proven its staying power with over 150 million monthly active users. Pinterest has established itself as a visual search engine – a place for consumers to discover, curate, and ultimately, buy products. In fact, 93 percent of active “Pinners”, or Pinterest users, use the platform to plan purchases and 72 percent use it to decide what to buy offline.

It’s not where consumers go to share pieces of their lives as they may on platforms like Facebook. It’s where they go to improve their everyday lives and solve problems, whether that’s with a new smoothie recipe or a family dinner spread tutorial. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann recently said in a podcast interview, “The hope is that you’ll get ideas for your real life, and you’ll close the app, get off your phone and try those ideas.” Here’s why grocers should be utilizing Pinterest to incite shopper action.

Pinterest is where food ideas come to life.

There are currently over 15 billion food pins on Pinterest, making it the #1 pin category on the platform. Each pin serves as an idea for consumers to serve at their next mealtime. Today’s consumers are more experimental and fickle with their food choices, meaning there is a whole spectrum of food styles they are looking for to see what fits their needs and interest. Make sure your brand is serving up relevant meal content that users will want to click on when searching. Pinners spend an average of 14 minutes looking at content on the platform. Enlisting social influencers to create content on your behalf helps both consumers that are merely browsing and consumers that are searching for something specific. Users are eating with their eyes: factors like recipe title and mouthwatering photography are what will drive users to click on pins featuring your products.

Pinterest is where tastemakers find their inspiration.

Pinterest is a huge platform for social media influencers and tastemakers. Collective Bias surveyed 600 of their lifestyle influencers regarding where they look for inspiration when writing about food and a staggering 86 percent find it on Pinterest. (Instagram was a distant second place with 28 percent.)

See what the top regional food trends are.

Pinterest recently published two infographics that highlight what people in each state of the U.S. are searching for, as well as the top 16 international food favorites. These findings can help you ensure you’re targeting the right regions with your food content. Looking to boost pasta sales at your store locations? Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi over-index for searches on pasta dishes like shrimp pasta, noodle casserole, and chicken spaghetti. The rising popularity of Hispanic cuisine is also evident from this data with Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma over-indexing for searches on Hispanic-influenced dishes and ingredients. Check out the infographics for more insights that could inform your Pinterest strategies by region.

As Pinterest’s Head of Business Development Gene Alston said, the platform wants users “to take action on their passion.” Your Pinterest strategy should focus on showcasing influencer and brand content that highlights a spectrum of food types and regional cuisines with relevant recipe titles and beautiful photography. If you invest the time, your brand may be the passion of Pinterest users everywhere.

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