If you are female and are reading this blog post, that means that you are somewhat linked in on the internet. If you are somewhat linked in on the internet, then more likely than not, you have a Pinterest account. Think about why have a Pinterest account for a moment: to get new ideas from people whose opinions’ you trust, whether it be DIY, fashion, recipes, interior design, inspirational quotes, fun products you’d like to purchase, etc. When do you go on Pinterest? Most likely, it is when you are bored, procrastinating, or have nothing else to do. Don’t get me wrong. Pinterest is great, but its usability is pretty self-explanatory: to find a bunch of great things on the internet and put them all in one easy place. Guys love finding stuff on the internet, too, right? So why is it that most of the people that follow you on Pinterest female? I have a couple of opinions on the issue.
The original ‘pinboard’ was something attributed to women, not men.
Before the creation of Pinterest, it was very commonplace for women to have pinboards in their room or their desk areas in their homes where they would collect magazine clips, paint chips, photos, recipes, postcards, and other trinkets that either served as inspiration for their daily lives, things they were hoping to eventually getting around to completing, and just fun and creative pieces of art. Not only did women have pinboards, they had (and many still have) idea books and journals which serve a similar purpose as a pinboard. Additionally, women have long been known to tab pages in magazines that had interesting content that they wanted to come back to, so much so that some magazines began to include ready-made stickers in their publication for readers to use to tab pages throughout the magazine. Yes, there are magazines for men, but let’s be honest here, men weren’t cutting pages out of their magazines and posting them up on a board to look back at later. Men don’t typically have get-togethers where they exchange their favorite recipes or craft projects; that is something that tends to be left to the women.
Men are scared of Pinterest.
Since the inception of the social media site, it has been predominantly marketed to women. This Forbes article points out that even Pinterest’s ‘About’ page uses language and descriptions that are definitely more likely to attract women than men:
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
The article also points out a couple more intriguing insights as to why the site is used by more women than men. Pinterest’s logo uses a more feminine typeface, and the site itself is very simplistic and basic, as opposed to text-heavy or content-heavy. In addition, women tend to engage in “predominantly female circles,” so when women see how many other women are on the site, they want to be involved as well. At Pinterest’s basic level, its users re-pin things that their ‘followers’ (most likely their Facebook friends) have pinned, as opposed to perusing the internet and pinning things that they come across from various sites. The basic usability of the site is what has propelled the site to remain so female-dominated; because women keep re-pinning things from other women, there leaves little room for men to feel comfortable entering that sort of arena where they will be surrounded by pins of wedding dresses, sangria recipes, and DIY face masks.
Male-oriented companies know that men aren’t on Pinterest.
While female-oriented companies and brands recognize that Pinterest is a female-dominated social network, companies with a dominantly male audience also recognize that men don’t typically use the site. This being said, it is the female companies that utilize Pinterest to engage with their customers. These companies have created profiles and multiple pin-boards to create further engagement with their customers because they know they are on the site. Many have used Pinterest for more than just posting products; contests, giveaways, and actual engagement with its users are popular marketing techniques that Pinterest has created for brands using the site. companies with predominantly male customers know not to try these marketing techniques, or even create Pinterest accounts at all, because statistics have shown that large numbers of men just aren’t using the site. The fact that these companies are not using the site to engage with their customers even furthers the lack of male users because there isn’t that additional incentive for men to create profiles and connect with their favorite brands because they just aren’t present there.
The internet has created its own demographics for social media sites.
Just like Pinterest is generally known to be more female-dominated, there are plenty of other social media sites that are used more by men than by women, and the reason for this is the general type of content that is posted on these sites. According to the infographic above, it is clear to see that there is a divide among genders for certain websites. For example, sites like reddit and digg are used predominantly by men, and that is based on the type of content found on these sites. Where Pinterest generally has interior design and wedding ideas, reddit generally has content that varies from video game jokes to photos of hot girls. Before you attack me for making internet stereotypes, know that I am an avid fan and user of imgur and theCHIVE, both websites that most people would say are typically used by men. I’m just saying that while there are exceptions (myself included), these demographics for social media sites are pretty typical. I am the only female I know that uses imgur and theCHIVE, and that’s because of that very reason: there isn’t a large amount of women on these sites, so women won’t typically be attracted to the sites.
All of this being said, guys, Pinterest is NOT scary. I do know a couple of men that use Pinterest. Not nearly as aggressively as my female followers, but every once in a while, I’ll see a new pin pop up on my homepage. However, in terms of generating data and marketing to a male crowd, Pinterest is just not the place to do it. So, ladies, keep pinning those dream wedding dresses and kitchen spaces, because, most likely, your dream man won’t be seeing it.