Pinfluence: From Pins to Purchase


With the visual web becoming increasingly attractive to brands, understanding how consumers are using and valuing each platform is key to increasing bottom line performance. In a mere three years, Pinterest has emerged as one of the category leaders. With its unique pinning technology and link to purchase, brands are beginning to dedicate resources to develop a Pinterest presence, but is it really worthwhile?

Pinterest and Your Consumer

A brand’s ability to connect with consumers through Pinterest comes down to understanding the impetus behind pinning and the value derived. Our primary research arm, Annalect Cogent Group, fielded a study (including national online survey and Biometrics) to uncover how and why consumers were using Pinterest. The study begins to uncover the things brands should be looking for as they develop a Pinterest presence.

Occasion based

Pinterest remains a rapidly growing site which is used to share and source users’ occasion-based needs, so it’s important to tailor your content to meet those needs. Whether it’s an action like planning a birthday party or seasonality, focus on a specific use. Additionally, this can help you augment your other social channels. Understand the interplay with Facebook, where users visit and connect on a habitual basis. As well as Twitter, the “in the now” source of news and updates.

Pins to purchase

In comparison to other social platforms, Pinterest is the go-to site to discover new brands leading to a purchase. Pins serve as a virtual catalog of a user’s future purchases. And since Pinterest is a large referrer of organic traffic, the more pins that you start generating for your brand the more likely your brand will move up in the natural search hierarchy.

Device usage

The device used impacts the degree of emotional engagement (*noted in our Biometric portion of the study). Mobile garners a stronger emotional connection, while interaction on a computer creates the highest engagement within the first two minutes. This is mostly a “nice to know” as you are monitoring your site activity.

Is Pinning Winning?

Maybe it is or maybe it isn’t. Pinterest could mean absolutely nothing to your brand or it could be a key part of your social strategy responsible for increasing awareness and sales. Going back to our findings, you should think about how usage occasions, visual cataloging, and consumer connections with devices tie back to YOUR brand.

This should be your biggest takeaway. Pinterest is extremely brand specific. We found that consumers value the site for brand discovery and for deepening their engagement with brands, but certain types of brands are going to inherently work better than others. So if your brand has distinct usage occasions, specific seasonality or capitalizes on strong visual images, then Pinterest start seeding your Pinterest boards.

Throughout the full 60 page study we provide Pinterest best practices, more insight into the specific usage occasions, time spent with Pinterest categories and motivational cues for other social platforms.


We used advanced biometric monitoring techniques to explore the unconscious emotional response of consumers’ social media experiences. Participants wore the Innerscope Biometric Monitoring SystemTM which monitored changes in biometric indicators including sweat gland activity, heart rate, respiration, and motion. As they were exploring each site, we were able to record spikes and dips in each of the biometric indicators.

About Annalect Cogent Group

We provide the science behind what your consumers want and are thinking. Part of our offering is a series of custom research studies that help our clients navigate through the ever challenging marketing environment.

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