NEW YORK: Pinterest is a more effective tool for brands than Facebook on several core metrics, a study covering the two social media platforms has revealed.

Bizrate, the insights group, drew on data from 7,431 US shoppers who made online purchases in August 2012, and found 69% of Pinterest users had found a product via this platform that they went on to buy.

This total hit 40% for the Facebook members polled. It also showed that while this site had a much higher reach, at 63% of the panel versus 15% for Pinterest, taking a targeted approach is vital for brands.

"Pinterest provides a better experience for shopping discovery, purchase consideration, and deeper engagement with retailer content," said Hayley Silver, vice president of Bizrate Insights.

"But this is not to say that all social attention should be diverted to Pinterest. Facebook and Pinterest each serve their online shopping communities with their preferred shopping activities, which vary by platform."

Some 70% of the Pinterest audience thus used it "to get inspiration on what to buy", falling to 17% for Facebook. These ratings stood at 67% and 22% respectively for tracking the latest trends.

Similarly, a 43% share of respondents that had signed up to Pinterest utilised this site to "associate" with their favourite brands and retailers, coming in at 24% for their Facebook counterparts.

In keeping with these findings, 39% of consumers active on Pinterest viewed it as a useful source of special offers from brands and retailers, measured against a score of 26% for Facebook.

When considering the broad range of ways in which people can engage with marketers, BizRate stated that 55% of the Pinterest population did so in some form, as did 48% of Facebook users.

Pinterest also held an advantage in terms of the amount of members who had seen brand-related posts, on 72%, compared with 67% for Facebook.

In contrast, a 55% majority of Facebook's audience followed a brand or retailer, sliding to 26% for Pinterest. These totals came in at 30% and 23% in turn with regard to searching for products or firms.

Equally, 44% of Facebook's visitors had browsed pages created by retailers and brands and 30% had either looked at or reclaimed coupons, totals standing at 36% and just 9% respectively for Pinterest.

Data sourced from Bizrate; additional content by Warc staff