How to Use Pinterest for Market Research and Trend Forecasting
Ever since Pinterest launched in 2010, it’s received worldwide attention and praise for being one of the most innovative and unique platforms to emerge in social media. What many people don’t realize is that Pinterest is not just a popular outpost for enthusiastic DIY-ers, style mavens and aspiring chefs; it’s also a great tool to use for conducting market research, as it can give you incredible insight into the mind of your potential customer. Here’s how to use Pinterest for market research and trend forecasting.
1. Find Out What Pinterest Users Are Pinning From Your Site
Underneath each image on Pinterest, you’ll usually see a few key pieces of information such as likes, comments, the board that contains the pin, as well as what site the pin originated from.
One interesting experiment to perform is to find out how many images from your website have been pinned by Pinterest users. You can do this by copying the following URL into your browser’s address bar: http://www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsitehere.com/. Change “yourwebsitehere.com” to your website’s URL. This basically sends a command to Pinterest’s servers to display any and all images from your website that have been pinned by Pinterest users. This point alone is incredibly insightful, as it can give you a clearer understanding of which products are the most popular among your customers, as well as how your brand displays in the marketplace.
When you’re done with that, go ahead and do the same thing for your competitors’ sites. This can provide equally valuable insight as to what products generally resonate with the type of audience that both you and your competition seek to target.
2. Take a Close Look at the Boards that Users Have Created for Your Images
Regardless of any “branding” you may do, your brand is simply the sum total of what your customers think and say about it. In one sense, Pinterest can show you the difference between how you think you’re presenting your brand versus how your customers and fans perceive your brand.
Take time to check out the names of the boards in which your images appear. Pay close attention to how users title their boards, as this will give you a clue as to what type of associations they may draw between your products and their likes, preferences and even dreams. Many Pinterest boards are considered to be aspirational, meaning they’re things that people would one day like to buy, own or experience. Take note of boards that have certain aspirational themes, such as “My Dream House” or “The Ultimate Vacation.” The assemblage of images that the average Pinterest user puts together will do more to help you understand the core psyche of your audience than a dozen surveys or focus groups. Performing this type of research will help you to sharpen and refine your product offerings to better match the needs and preferences of your ideal customer.
3. Forecast Trends Using Influencer Data
All of us understand the mesmerizing power of influence. For example, practically every book in Oprah’s Book Club has become a bestseller. Gisele Brady wore a plaid shirt to the 2015 Super Bowl, and practically every fashion-forward woman in the country rushed online to buy one. This same principle applies to the world of Pinterest; there are certain highly influential and extensively prolific pinners (sometimes referred to as “Pinfluencers”) who have amassed thousands and thousands of followers, and whose Pinterest activity often creates a ripple effect in terms of trendsetting and consumer sentiment.
The digital agency known as Hello Society showcases the most followed people on Pinterest, whose loyal fans range anywhere between 10,000 to well over 1 million followers. This elite group of tastemakers is often on the cutting edge of new trends in all types of verticals, so it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the Hello Society Pinfluencers that make sense for your business.
4. Discover Trends Using Pinterest Analytics
Another excellent tool you can use is Pinterest Analytics, which allows you to obtain and analyze important data about your audience. Using Pinterest Analytics, you’ll be able to collect data regarding the various impressions, clicks, likes, repins and comments for your own pins, as well as important insights and metrics about the people who engage with your brand (interests, demographics, etc.). Pinterest Analytics also provides helpful graphs that enable you to see what type of content is trending, as well as any important seasonal patterns that tend to map to the activity on your Pinterest profile. You can also export your data into CSV format for further in-depth trend analysis.
Pinterest has carved out a solid niche within the social media community, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Using the points above, the information and insight you can gain from conducting market research and trend forecasting can help you increase your market share and boost the performance of your business.