Making your brand Pinteresting to youth: Examining youth usage and adoption rates of Pinterest

Caitlin Krulikowski, Jennifer Romano Bergstrom and Megan Fischer
Fors Marsh Group, USA

Introduction

People are social beings and strive to communicate the most effective messages in the quickest way possible. The visual web allows us to do so and has emerged as a hot topic in digital marketing. In social media, blogging has evolved from short posts, to status updates, to 140 character tweets, and more recently, to image posts. Further, research suggests that we understand and react to images faster than text (Smith and Magee, 1980). Although the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" has been around for quite some time, it is only recently that we have leveraged a medium capable of this accomplishment—the visual web.

This visual emphasis has led to the rapid rise of sites like Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest, each which gained over 10 million users in 2012 (see figure 1). By following consumers' lead, many brands are finding success on these visual-based platforms. Among the three, Pinterest has induced the greatest excitement among marketers due to its explosive growth and success stories across many industries.