What Is Pinterest?
Seconds and Cents, Episode 23. Today is August 17. Today we're gonna talk about Pinterest. So I see when a lot of people ask me about my business, one of the things that kind of doesn't compute in their mind is why we invest so heavily into Pinterest. Why? It seems like the market isn't really that engaged in Pinterest, but we're continuing to double and triple down on Pinterest. And so today we're going to talk about kind of what we see is the business case for Pinterest, and why we think that it's a really engaging platform for the next 10 1520 plus years. So starting out, kind of why did we find Pinterest? How did we find it? Why did we even like, get involved in it? Well, we were marketing a mobile app with a client and we were having some success on Facebook on Instagram. We were growing our following our phone was growing like five or 10% per week. It was craziness. But we weren't driving downloads from it. So we were getting engagement we were getting following. I remember putting together a PowerPoint presentation where it was like kind of are following it was like growing a little bit a little bit a little bit every month. And then I had hired a contractor to help with it. And it's just everything skyrocketed on Facebook and on Instagram. We're having just so much success with growing the following, but they weren't converting into downloads. They weren't converting into the website traffic that we needed. So our flow is going to be well, you're going to have we're going to get them engaged, and they're going to go to the website, or they're going to download the app from the website. And we weren't getting them to go to the website. So we thought, well, maybe Pinterest is going to be the key. Maybe Pinterest is the missing link here, where it's kind of built for you to go to websites you can like click on the photo, right and then if you click on the photo, it'll take you to the website, then maybe that'll be where we find some success and 60 days later, we had hired a freelancer to help us with Pinterest because neither of us knew anything about it. We had over 2 million brand impressions. We've gotten more downloads from Pinterest. Then we had gotten the rest The like app combined and rest of the apps life combined. We thought, well, this is a really engaging thing. And one of the things that installs for us was not the fact that they were doing that they were downloading the app, right? It was not the fact that we were getting impressions. It was that we were getting action to be taken. It was the actual act of downloading the app, not just the app of like, getting it in front of a lot of people it was that we were getting them to go through a flow, right. We were it was not just the download of the end or not just the impression of the beginning, but it was the fact that they were going from impression to click to website view to app download, and then they were using the app loyally, right. They were using the app all the time. So we were kind of fascinated by this idea that maybe Pinterest was getting the right fit user, the right fit customer for our mobile app. Maybe Pinterest was the solution to some of our problems and that Pinterest was just kind of weeding out. All of the minutia and was just getting to people who wanted to make a change in their life. Our app was about mindfulness. It was about creating a calmer, more peaceful, more mindful life. And maybe Pinterest was doing a lot of the pre qualifying work for us. We weren't getting bad downloads. We weren't getting people who are just going to download it, and then delete it after one use. Well, what we had discovered was that Pinterest was not a social network. What we had discovered was that Pinterest was a search engine. And so Pinterest wasn't really competing with Facebook and Instagram. I mean, like, in a way it is because, you know, they make money off of ads, just like Facebook and Instagram doing and they compete for attention. Right. But Pinterest had very different competitive characteristics to Facebook and Instagram. And the things that make Pinterest unique are very, very different than the pink things that make Facebook and Instagram unique. I would consider Snapchat For example, to compete far more with Facebook and Instagram, then Snapchat would Pinterest. Right, I would almost consider Pinterest to compete more With Google than it does with Facebook on it and with Instagram. And we'll make that case here in a second. But what we realized was that Pinterest was just taking people who wanted to be inspired. And it was matching them with people who want to inspire. Pinterest was taking people who were looking to make a change in their life, whether that was in their personal life, or it was in the personal life of a loved one, or they wanted to enhance their financial life or their health or their fashion or they're moving into a new home or they just wanted to have a new mindset. They wanted to find tools that were going to help them with their mindset. At the end of the day, somebody goes to Pinterest because they want to make their life better in some way or another right and then Pinterest matches them with the people who want to help make their lives better. The helpers with the help ease the inspires with the Inspire ease, that's what it is. And I asked this question all the time when I'm on the phone with with prospects or with clients. I asked, hey, do you ever get on Pinterest
for five minutes, where you're just looking to pass a little bit of time, and a half hour later, you look up. And you just don't even know where the time line and people say, Oh my gosh, that happens to me all the time with Pinterest. And that was a really interesting characteristic, because it separates itself allows Pinterest to separate itself from Google a little bit, and allows Pinterest to operate a bit more like Facebook and Instagram. And the really compelling ways that Facebook and Instagram are a bit like Google, and the really compelling ways that make Google Google.
let's talk about well what is it that makes
that makes Pinterest Pinterest not? What is it that makes that makes Pinterest a social network? But what is it that makes Pinterest Pinterest? We're going to talk about this for a little bit here. But first we have to define what a social network is. So before we talk about Pinterest, we have to talk about what people think Pinterest is this is not what it is, but it's what people think it is, which is a social network. So defining a social network. As social network as a,
as a platform
where the value of the platform is dependent on the number of people in your network on the platform, what does that mean? Well, that means that if all of my friends and all of my family are on the platform, then that platform is very valuable to me because I want to check in with my friends and with my family, right? So because of the way that Facebook and Instagram are positioned, I have to follow somebody or I have to be their friend or I have to like their page in order for me to see their content. Right, the more page likes that I have, the more friends that I have, the more people that I follow, the more engaging the content on Facebook or on Instagram will be.
if nobody was on Facebook or on Instagram, and everybody was on MySpace, for example, MySpace would be extraordinarily valuable and Facebook and Instagram would not be that valuable. Why? Because I would go to Facebook, I would go to Instagram, I have nobody to follow. I have nobody to pay attention to Facebook and it's grammar builds off of showing you the content of the people that you follow. Now, if Facebook or Instagram was MySpace, right, then MySpace would be really valuable. myspace also builds on showing people the kind of type of content or showing people content based off of who you follow, right? And then MySpace would be really valuable Facebook and Instagram would not in the real world, Facebook, Instagram is supremely valuable valued at over $700 billion, right? My Space valued at
effectively zero. Now,
what is Google? What is a search engine? A search engine is something that matches somebody with a need with somebody who can fill the need is an indexing platform, meaning it's going to go to all sorts of different sources, right? It doesn't matter if you know who built the website, right? Doesn't matter if you know who built the pin breaking that's going to come from later, but it just matches some Who has a need with somebody with a need? We're not talking about people in your network we're not talking about and knowing anybody, we're not talking about the value of the platform being who is on the platform. What we're talking about right now is the value of the platform being the content that is on the platform. Let me give you an example. What's the value of Google? If no websites exist? Zero, right. What's the value of Google? If every single website tells Google, you're not allowed to scrape my website anymore? Zero. What's the value of Google if all the entire global economy turns into mobile applications? And nobody has a website? Because websites are unimportant? It's zero, right? We're talking about Google search here, not Google as a business. Well, Google is a search engine that matches people who look for information information seekers with the information sources, right. So I went to Google a couple of nights ago, and after watching Half of Hamilton and I was looking for like things about colonial America. like where's George Washington buried and why is Angelica Schuyler? buried right next, Alexander Hamilton is Elizabeth Skylar Berry. Right? I said Alexander Hamilton, right. So I was just looking up all this stuff. The first thing I did was type into Google. I needed information. Google knew which websites had the information. Right. So the value of that search engine is in websites having the answers to the questions that I have. The more answers Google can answer more questions Google can answer, the more valuable Google search is. So let's apply that to Pinterest for a second. The more content that Pinterest has that's inspirational, the more valuable Pinterest is, the more sources of inspiration Pinterest has, the more valuable Pinterest is there was a time where Pinterest was only makeup, home decor beauty tips. Do it yourself crafts, right Pinterest was valuable. To a very small subset of the population. Now they're very valuable to that subset. But let's say for example, Pinterest, all of a sudden starts getting a bunch of content about health and fitness. Well, now you've gotten an entirely new subset of individuals who aren't going to go to Pinterest for makeup tips or for DIY crafts, but are going to go for the health tips. Maybe now Pinterest is really into mindfulness and meditation and yoga, right and kind of having that mindset. And so now the sudden you have a different group of people who might not necessarily be interested in health and fitness, inspiration, or in DIY crafts, or in fashion or home decor, or and makeup, but they are very interested in mindset. Now all of a sudden, Pinterest adds in a lot of content related to entrepreneurship and to business and to finance. Well, now you're getting more and more different types of people who have maybe one interest group right, that aren't as interested in the other aspects of Pinterest. Just like if Google can find more websites that have to do with colonial American history, right, like they can show me more results about colonial American history, Pinterest, if it can find more sources of inspiration, more topics to inspire, can inspire more people who are just looking for that one specific topic. This is where we think that Pinterest is so compelling, because Google, it does not matter to you. If your friends or if your family uses Google search, or Bing or DuckDuckGo, or ganzen, or any of the other search engines, right, you don't really care what search engine your roommate uses or what search engine your competitors use. It doesn't matter to you. You do care that your friends and your family use Facebook and Instagram so that you can follow their lives. Right
now you don't that example. works with Pinterest. You don't care
if your friends and your family are pinning stuff on Pinterest. Why? Because whether or not you, your friends or your family have a Pinterest account, you can see people's content. Now, if your friends and your family don't have a Facebook or an Instagram account, you're not going to see people's content, right? Because you have to follow people. But on Pinterest, you don't have to follow people just like on Google, you don't need to follow a website or a blog. In order to see that blog content. You don't have to subscribe to the blog in order to see that blog content. on Pinterest. You don't have to follow an account in order to see that accounts content. You just have to tell Pinterest what you're interested in. Just like when you go to Google and you tell Google what you're interested in. I'm interested in learning about colonial America. Google says great. Here are the best websites for colonial America. If you go to Pinterest, you say I'm interested in a keto diet. Pinterest will say great here are all the inspiration sources that you need in order to make your keto diet transformational. Now all of a sudden, we've got a platform that I just think is ridiculously compelling. And it's a platform that doesn't get old because the content is fresh. Let's move on. Why is the content fresh? The content is fresh because inspiration sources. So remember Pinterest matches the people who want to be inspired with the inspiration sources. The content is fresh because inspiration sources like my clients, like me, can publish an RSS feed directly into Pinterest. What's that mean? That means that every time we update content
on our website or on our clients websites, Pinterest gets that content. It's already pinned,
boom, done, automatic. I didn't have to do a single thing. Now Facebook and Instagram can't do that. You have to actually post that content. Why would Facebook and Instagram not allow that? Why would Pinterest allow that Facebook and Instagram don't allow that because the intention of your posts really matters because there's only so much real estate To show your followers, so I have, I don't know, 500 600 followers.
there are only so much, there's only so much real estate on that cell phone to show those followers, there are only five or 600 people that are going to see my content. And so Facebook Instagram has to filter out what's the content that we really want to show edit, or what's the content that we really want to show Evans followers. Now on Pinterest, it's totally different. Because on Pinterest, they're going to show people all of the content that gets pinned, but then the best performing content is going to rise to the top. Here's the key. The best performing content on Pinterest rises to the top over a long period of time, three weeks, six weeks, 12 weeks, that content floats to the top and gets seen by a lot of people on Instagram, your 24 hour time clock. So Pinterest is going to take all of this content directly from people's websites, because the more content that's on Pinterest, the more valuable Pinterest is where The more content or the more people that are on Facebook on Instagram, the more valuable Pinterest is. See the difference here. The difference is, the more content on Pinterest. The more content on Google, the more content the more valuable those two platforms are. That is totally, totally different than Facebook, on Instagram, on Facebook, on Instagram, the more valuable is the more people. If everybody left Facebook and Instagram and went somewhere else, it doesn't matter. What else is there? Only my like only MySpace or only wherever they the other people went is going to be what's valuable Facebook and Instagram goes to zero. Now, if your followers if your network left Pinterest, it doesn't matter as long as their inspiration sources like my business in order to show you the right content that you want in order to be inspired. I just I I mean, I just think this is so exciting. I mean, it's a business of inspiration. It's a business of showing people what, what inspires you. I think the business case is just as strong. So let's go down and dirty. What are the numbers? What is the business case here? Well as of q2 2020, this just came out like two or three weeks ago, Pinterest announced they had 414 million monthly active users. So that pales in comparison to Facebook and Instagram who combined have like 3 billion monthly active users. I don't know what the overlap is, right? So it's probably like 2 billion, but Facebook and Instagram have just an enormous lead and the number of people that are using the platform,
but this is where they differ.
98% of people on Pinterest say that they have done something that they found on Pinterest. So remember, I was telling you about this, this mobile app that we're marketing, and we were marketing this thing on Facebook on Instagram, we weren't really getting We're getting followers, but we weren't getting action to be taken, right. And then all of a sudden we open it up to Pinterest, we start to have action be taken. Well, that's a real thing. 98% of people on Pinterest have tried something that they found on Pinterest. On top of that they spend 39% more than somebody who's not on Pinterest. What's that mean? Basically,
The people there are first of all ready to take action. And they're willing to spend more than they are on other social platforms. So not only is your business going to be the source of inspiration for somebody to transform their life and whatever way your business transforms lives, but you are talking to an audience that's willing to take action. They're not only willing to write a check for your service or your product, but they're willing to spend a little extra for it. That's what's so compelling about it is you have this really like kind of targeted, narrow niche set up People that are using Pinterest. So here's the question. Does it matter that Facebook and Instagram has 3 billion people on their platform or 2 billion people on their platform every month when you could be fishing in this very small pond, so it's like fishing in the ocean versus fishing in a small pond. You can fish in the ocean, you can take a helicopter with a big old like kind of shipping container and you just pick up a bunch of water and you hope that there are some fish in there. Right? tons more fish in the ocean than in a small pond. But you don't know if what you just picked up is all this water or if you just picked up like the biggest great What a great whale blue whale that you could or would you rather fish in a small pond that's absolutely stocked with fish where you know, every time you set a hook, you're going to get a bite. Because that's the difference in our opinion between Facebook and Instagram and between Pinterest Facebook and Instagram. It's like fishing in the ocean. Sure, there are a ton of fish in the ocean that you could catch. But you got to really work to find them. Right. And even when you find some they might not be the right ones. Versus on Pinterest, you have this really concentrated group of people that's willing to take action that's willing to spend more money by and you know that every time you set a hook, you're going to get a bite. The only difference is it's only in a small pond.
So what would you rather do?
That's what we think about Pinterest. We're going to continue to talk about Pinterest. Pinterest is an enormous part of my life. I am super long on Pinterest. I think it's going to crush it. And in the next 10 2030 years. I hope everybody has a great day. I'm excited.
The above is an AI transcription of Evan’s Seconds and Cents podcast.