Is Pinterest better than Facebook for ecommerce?

By October 23, 2012 May 29th, 2015 Social Media

Pinterest has no doubt caught the eyes of most online marketers. It’s fast growth and huge potential for driving traffic has made it a game changer in social media marketing. But how does it stack up against the leading social media powerhouse, Facebook?

In a recent study, Bizrate asked 1,248 Pinterest users and 4,738 Facebook users how they use their respective social networks. Here is how they compared.

Best social network for inspiring ecommerce purchases

And the winner is PINTEREST.

The study found that 70% of Pinterest users use the platform “to get inspiration on what to buy” and another 67% use it “to help keep track of or collect the things that [they] like.” For Facebook users, on the other hand, only 17% said they use the social network for inspiration and 21% to keep track of things they like.

By it’s very nature, Pinterest seems to be geared better toward driving sales. While Facebook is centered around keeping up with friends and acquaintances, Pinterest is centered around sharing and discovering products. Both platforms are social, but Facebook is more relationally based while Pinterest is more product based.

It makes sense, then, that 69% of online consumers who use Pinterest have found an item that they either purchased or wanted to purchase compared to only 40% of online consumers who use Facebook.

It would seem Pinterest is the clear winner when it comes to inspiring ecommerce purchases.

Best social network for brand engagement

And the winner is It’s unclear.

The data reported by Bizrate doesn’t show a clear winner when it comes to overall brand engagement. What it does show, however, is that people interact with brands differently on each social platform. Facebook users are more likely to be “participators,” that is, “interacting with promotional activities developed by retailers and brands,” while Pinterest users are more likely to be “creators,” that is, “adding and sharing retailer/brand related content.” Basically, this means that people are more likely to engage with content created by a brand on Facebook, but they are more likely to create content about a brand on Pinterest.

Depending on what you are looking to do, each of these is good. Facebook is great for offering specials, getting fans interested in a promotion or event, or crowd sourcing new ideas. Pinterest, on the other hand, is great for enabling brand ambassadors – getting people to talk about you with their friends via social network.

Best social network for reach

And the winner is FACEBOOK

Pinterest is continuing to grow in users and overall awareness, but it is no match for Facebook’s 1 billion users. As of September 2012, 63% of online consumers have a Facebook account while only 15% of online consumers have a Pinterest account.  Although Facebook users might not be as likely to buy as Pinterest users, it does give you a bigger pool of people to market to. So, if you were looking to grow brand awareness, you would have a much larger reach with Facebook than you would with Pinterest.

Is Pinterest Better than Facebook for ecommerce?

This brings us to the original question. Which is better for ecommerce? Although Pinterest users are more likely to buy, there are fewer of them. Also, Pinterest, like any marketing platform, requires a skilled, well thought out plan of execution.

More than anything, it requires a visually appealing product and an investment in acquiring highly attractive and sharable photos. If done correctly, Pinterest can have a huge return for marketers.

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