Twitter, first launched in March 2006, may have a good four years on Pinterest (launched in March 2010), but the visual discovery tool has finally leapfrogged its older brother in popularity by 3%, bringing the total percentage of online adults who use Pinterest up to 21% (PewResearch).
Facebook, of course, remains the unrivaled giant of the social media world, with a total of 1.19 billion users worldwide, which equates to a whopping 71% of online adults using the site.
LinkedIn just about claims the number 2 spot, attracting 22% of internet users, and Instagram comes in at 5th with 17%. (Pew Research, it should be noted, do not include Google+ in their study.)
However, when you scrutinise the level of engagement amongst users with their preferred social network sites, the numbers become a little skewed, and indeed Twitter surpasses Pinterest in terms of frequency of use.
Facebook, as you might expect, remains number 1 in the daily usage rankings, with 63% of users logging in to the site on a daily basis. Interestingly, Instagram, which came out 5th in the top 5, is in second place, recording a 57% daily usage.
Twitter may overall have fewer people signed up, but those who do use it are more engaged with the platform. 46% of tweeters are active on the site every day, compared to only 23% of the Pinterest folk.
LinkedIn when it comes to usage lags way far behind at the back of the pack. Only 13% of its users visit the site daily – though this may of course be due to the very nature of the network. It is after all a social network for professionals, and based upon job advertising and recruitment. So, perhaps its users are largely now too professionally occupied to be wasting their time on social media every day.
So who’s using these sites? Facebook, again, continues to triumph being consistently popular across several demographic groups. The other 4, however, seem to attract more specific user groups.
- Women are still more likely to use Pinterest than men
- Twitter is slightly more popular amongst males (15% against 22%)
- 74% of women use social media, whilst just 62% of men do
But what does the e-tail world make of social network? Well, quite a lot, as you probably won’t be surprised. But what may be a revelation to you is that Pinterest has now managed to overtake Facebook in UK referral revenue.
Indeed, in the last quarter of 2013, Pinterest achieved a whopping quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue per visit (RPV) of 50%. Facebook still managed to break its year-over-year records, according to Econsultancy, in all areas, with Facebook ad click volume up 125%, and Facebook ad impressions volume up 10%.
Facebook also fared well when looking at the brand engagement numbers:
- Social engagement with brand posts up 180%
- Shares and comments up 40%
- Brand post impressions up 150%
The figure that is interesting to note, however, and the one that goes a long way into understanding how Pinterest’s RPV has improved so dramatically; on Facebook, posts with images produce a 650% higher engagement rate than regular text posts.
Pinterest is all about the pictures on the boards. Indeed, the newsfeed is nothing but images directing the user to clickable links, and users, it seems, like these a lot lot more.
So what are the RPV figures?
Finally being fought off the top spot, Facebook comes in third for revenue per visit generated. Although an increase, it is only up 72% year-on-year, compared to Twitter’s increase of 131%, and Pinterest’s 244%.
Yet again, Pinterest trumps Twitter, this time significantly.
Facebook for the moment still refers the most traffic to retail sites, though this is creeping down year-on-year. But if we’re talking percentages then this time it’s Twitter that comes out on top.
Twitter referrals are up 125% year-on-year, surpassing Pinterest which is up 89%. Facebook, however, despite making the highest number of referrals, is actually down 15% year-on-year.
Both Twitter and Pinterest are making great headway in referring traffic to retail sites. And indeed, anyone who is still on the fence about including Pinterest in their social marketing strategy should climb down immediately, for Pinterest surpasses both Facebook and Twitter in terms of the average revenue generated by a referral – Facebook and Twitter shoppers spend an average of $60-$80 (£36-£48) per order, whereas Pinterest shoppers spend a lot more – between $140 and $180 (£84-£109).
For those of you that look regularly at analytics, the news is probably not that surprising. I’ve always found Twitter to be the best traffic driver overall but that’s more likely to be down to sheer volume of followers. I’ve noted that recently, G+ seems to be catching up and Pinterest has always been an excellent driver even when it’s not being used as often as the other social sites.
What does this mean for your marketing strategy? Some quick tips:
- You don’t have to be a retailer to use Pinterest, you can post images that are attached to your blog posts in order to drive traffic.
- Infographics are an excellent way of gaining repins on Pinterest and are highly popular – you can also post on your site with an embed code to attract backlinks – make your own easily with resources such as infogr.am.
- Pinterest now has its own more in-depth analytics (business accounts only) which can help you to really hone in on your target demographic.
Pinterest overtakes Twitter in popularity, and indeed even overtakes Facebook for RPV. It seems that all the social media sites are on the increase except, that is, for Facebook, whose popularity is slowly but surely on the decline. However, it is still so far ahead as to remain the unrivalled leader of the pack, but over time one of these networks may eventually surpass it, and, for now at least, Pinterest, though still a way off is nonetheless the closer of the two in doing so.
Do you find Pinterest to be a useful part of your social campaign or do you find other sites more successful? Let us know in the comments below and look out for my article on Pinterest Analytics next week.