“Engagement data [like pin clicks and saves] show much higher intent and are more valuable than simply liking a page or following a brand’s account. . .”

Frank Fumarola, Product Manager at Pinterest


When it comes to sales, Pinterest might be one of the most powerful social media platforms available to businesses. While Facebook has been offering businesses a larger array of tools to push goals forward, Pinterest is generally much more powerful in the eCommerce space. Earlier this year, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers published her Internet Trends 2016 report which detailed that 55 percent of people believe that Pinterest is a place to go shopping.

More than that, one Millward Brown study uncovered that out of the 2,000 people surveyed, 93 percent had used Pinterest to plan out their purchases and 87 percent had already made a purchase because of Pinterest.

The facts are undeniable; Pinterest is the most purchase-driven social network, making it the perfect place to target customers new and old.

Continuing to focus on brand conversions, Pinterest upped its game back in June of this year when it announced that businesses would be able to integrate their customer data with the platform to make targeted ads more effective and prosperous. In the short time since that has been implemented, promoters have seen click-through rates to their websites increase by an astonishing 80 percent.

The company is now taking things a step further — Pinterest introduced updates to its targeting features that will help brands push conversions to new heights.

Leveraging engagement data from the platform, such as clicks and saves on brand-related pins, will now allow advertisers to promote products to users who have interacted with a pin. According to the social network, individuals who engage with a pin are 2.2 times more likely to make a purchase within the first 30 days of clicking or saving. And since roughly 75 percent of the pins residing on Pinterest are brand-related, this poses incredible benefits for companies that use the site to help push conversions.

To help determine if a pin is brand-related, Pinterest will analyze the pin to identify if it was posted by a brand or links to a business’ website. If neither of these elements can be determined, the pinning site will employ its text and image analyzation technology to establish if the pin incorporates a brand or is closely related to other pins known to be from a certain brand. In most cases, Pinterest will be able to determine this information based off the site linked in a pin, but in order for this to work, businesses must tell Pinterest the domain it should reference. Brands will only be allowed to list one domain per account.

But Pinterest isn’t quite done yet; it has developed its own site tag, similar to Facebook’s Pixel or the Twitter universal website tag. With the Pinterest tag, brands will be able to retarget consumers who have interacted with their websites in various ways through Pinterest ads. After adding the new tag, brands simply tell the social shopping site what URL to retarget against to help create unique and highly relevant ads.

When this feature initially rolled out in June, only four actions were available to track and businesses would have to add separate lines of code for each activity. Pinterest has now added five more events into the mix, for a grand total of nine, and rolled them all into one simple line of code that can be applied across a site to help formulate retargeting ads. Those include user actions such as:

  • Adding a product to the shopping cart;
  • Using the company’s app;
  • Using the search function;
  • Viewing a category page;
  • Watching a video;
  • Signing up, subscribing, requesting a demo, or similar action;
  • And other events.

All of the actions that Pinterest includes will allow for the creation of highly effective ads because businesses will know exactly how to engage a consumer for the best chance of making a sale.

In addition to all the upgrades to the retargeting process, Pinterest made a small change to its lookalike audience modality by aptly renaming it “actalike audiences” because, “the audiences you target on Pinterest don’t just look similar, they act similar too.”

While all of the new retargeting features may not help smaller businesses that are struggling to gain traction on Pinterest, leveraging act-a-like audiences in conjunction with the new retargeting elements can have a massive impact.

By implementing Pinterest’s tag on your website, you can effectively target those who have been on your webpage and, armed with that information, establish act-a-like audiences to help generate new leads to boost conversion rates.

With all of the new features that Pinterest is implementing, the company predicts that it will climb to $3 billion in revenue by 2018. This is an incredibly bold statement coming from a social network that only pulled in $100 million in revenue in 2015.

Pinterest is the ultimate social network for helping a businesses to drive sales. With existing features like buyable pins, price drop notifications for users and an arsenal of other sales-centric elements, the platform was already the place to be for brands to sell. With its enhancements to integrate engagement and brand website data into its retargeting efforts, Pinterest is poised to become a conversion machine for businesses online.

If your company has a product to sell and isn’t already on Pinterest, now is the time to set up shop. The site is not overly crowded like Facebook and Twitter, but still has loads of potential for boosting revenue.