What are the most popular Pins on Pinterest? And more importantly, what can brands learn from them?
We’ll cover all that and more in this article.
What You’ll Learn:
- The Pinterest demographic breakdown
- Why Pinterest matters to marketers
- What makes a Pin popular
- How to find trending topics
- The most popular Pins by industry
Pinterest is an interesting platform. It’s a social media site that doesn’t quite feel as social as Facebook or Twitter.
It’s a photo-centric platform like Instagram, but without the sense that you’re competing for likes and followers and little pressure to showcase an idealized version of yourself.
In fact, users report that the platform helps them learn new things and find new products. What’s more, Pinners are twice as likely to say that their time on the platform was time well-spent.
While there’s often a lack of understanding when it comes to crafting a Pinterest strategy, it’s a more powerful marketing tool than you might imagine.
On the social side, people can “re-pin” (i.e., share) posts that they like. Meaning, certain pins can essentially go viral.
Let’s examine the most popular pins on Pinterest as of right now and consider why they’re so popular.
For our purposes, we’ll avoid looking at promoted pins, or paid advertisements, even though they often get more re-pins than their organic counterparts due to their increased visibility on the platform.
Instead, I’ll look at some of the platform’s more popular pins and why they were so successful.
Though Pinterest might be considered an outlier compared to other social channels, a lot is happening on the platform.
However, that’s not necessarily the best way to think about the platform. It’s the fourth most popular channel, outranking LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Women have made up the lion’s share of the user base since the platform came on the scene back in 2012. However, men are starting to sign up for accounts as well. In fact, about half of all new sign-ups come from men.
In 2019, Pinterest’s Audience Insights revealed that 70% of users are women, and most users are on the younger end of the spectrum—28% between 18-24 and 26% between 25-34.
Additionally, most users access the platform on iPhone and Android, each making up 33% of traffic, while another 22% uses the mobile web to check-in.
Demographic breakdowns will vary based on category, so you’ll want to do some research yourself to determine how much of your audience is on Pinterest.
Why Pinterest Matters to Marketers
Marketers should think of Pinterest as a visual search engine.
With 250 million monthly active users and over 175 billion items pinned, it’s a great place for users to kick off their shopping process and research products they might be interested in buying.
What’s more, marketers stand to see some powerful results. A reported 61% of pinners have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest.
What’s interesting about the platform is that people land on the site with a shopping mentality and don’t mind seeing ads.
While 97% of the searches conducted on the platform are unbranded, many users still have buying intent. They’re open to finding something they love—regardless of brand.
Brands don’t compete for attention against posts from friends and family, videos, and news articles. Instead, Pinterest works much like a personalized catalog – the equivalent of leisurely window shopping – compared to more blatant CTAs you’ll find elsewhere on channels like Google Shopping or Facebook.
People look for items they’ve learned about on their favorite blogs or from friends on Instagram. And while yes, Pinterest is the perfect place to increase your reach, as a brand, there’s more going on than collecting impressions and clicks. The items people look at on Pinterest are things that people are interested in buying or trying themselves.
Beyond the whole window-shopping experience, it’s essential to understand that Pinterest’s audiences are often ready to take action.
Readers click through to shopping sites and blogs more than other social platforms: 33% more than Facebook, 71% more than Snapchat, and 200% more than Twitter.
What Makes a Pin Popular?
So, what makes some pins more popular than others? That answer is surprisingly complicated.
Some of the most popular pins on Pinterest don’t necessarily seem like “trending” content—many are recipes that likely get re-pinned because people add them to their boards.
Other factors include things like having a high number of followers or publishing a post that taps into a broader trend like cactuses or the pegan diet (get it: paleo + vegan).
One way to do this is to check out the platform’s popular posts category.
Click through, and you’ll immediately notice that just about every top post is food-related—including everything from Quick Keto Dinners to a recipe for microwavable caramel fudge. The first post you’ll see on this list is an easy “cheesesteak sloppy joe recipe.”
How to Find (Relevant) Trending Posts
You’ll need a business account to get started.
In case you’re wondering, the sign-up process is quite easy: you need a business name and an email. Once you have an account set up, you can look at audience insights, which breaks down your followers, as well as Pinterest users in general.
What’s nice about this is that you can check out what’s trending at any given moment and click on the categories that apply to your brand.
Meaning, you’re not left searching for a way you can start working recipes into your content strategy.
Most Popular Pins: Travel
According to Pinterest’s 2019 forecast report, Pinners took to the platform to learn more about traveling by bus, small-town getaways, and zero-waste travel.
Regardless of whether the focus is on sustainability or unique getaways, it’s all about inspiring your audience with compelling visuals that get visitors thinking about their next adventure.
For example, this post, 10 Unique Places to Visit in Mexico, captures Pinners’ attention by featuring a shot of the hot pools of Grutas Tolantango—a “rarely visited” resort about five hours north of Mexico City.
Pinned 49k times, this post capitalizes on those blue-green pools and the promise of more information about lesser-known destinations.
Health and Wellness
Health and wellness is always a big winner for Pinterest users.
If you’re in the food/beverage/fitness/wellness business, social media can be a pretty crowded space. You’ll need to make sure that your posts are visually appealing and that they’re useful to your audience.
We particularly liked this example from Feel Good Foodie.
Instead of linking to a page with written instructions, she’s created a five-minute tutorial for this three-ingredient chia pudding.
It’s easy to follow and she lists the ingredients in the description so users with the right supplies can follow along without having to leave the platform.
Hobbies and Interests
Hobbies like crafting, painting, gardening, and so on have been the cornerstone of Pinterest since the platform launched in 2012.
Recent trends include things like side hustles—ranging from posts that teach users how to “make thousands” on Amazon or “how to find apps that pay you for using your phone.”
Unfortunately, a lot of that content is just the latest version of those “my mom quit her job” after finding x way to make money without doing any work. That said, the popularity of this category could be an opportunity to provide legitimate advice to people searching for new ways to earn a living, like this post from Happy to Hustle.
Most of the other trending hobbies and interests focus on crafts and life hacks—this DIY beeswax food wrap tutorial was re-pinned 2k times and taps into the sustainable living and zero waste living interests.
As you might have gathered from the “popular posts” section above, food remains one of the top categories on Pinterest.
While trends come and go—think back to the bacon craze from a few years back or this year’s elderberry obsession—many of the platform’s popular food posts happen to be recipes people just, well, like.
It’s this simple: If you want to gain followers on Pinterest, post a mouth-watering recipe that nobody has posted yet. Often, these food posts aren’t particularly trendy—many are perennial faves like a killer cake recipe or slow cooker recipes that do the heavy lifting while you’re at work.
Add a great visual (remember: sell the sizzle, not the steak), and you’re likely to make some friends.
Of course, not every brand can post recipes. If your brand doesn’t have any connection to food, you’ll either need to find a creative way to make that connection or focus on posting content that better aligns with your brand.
In 2018, 83% of home-related searches on Pinterest fell into the DIY category.
People turn to Pinterest for both inspiration and easy DIY hacks that can help them transform their home, one small adjustment at a time.
If your business model touches anything related to the home improvement or décor space, Pinterest is a smart move for your marketing team.
As of now, the top home improvement category on the platform is Home Décor Accessories, and you’ll notice that many of these posts are these kinds of round-up style posts, like this example from Chris Loves Julia.
Stenciled Floors made an appearance in Pinterest’s 2019 trend forecast, and they’re the perfect example of an affordable home makeover project. This post from Royal Design Studio has been pinned 14k times—in part because the account has a 153.2k follower base.
Fashion and Beauty
According to Pinterest, people look toward the platform to find information about beauty products, clothes, and shoes—mainly to see how the items they’re considering look on actual people.
Pinterest reports that brands that feature products in “real-life scenarios” perform better than those that feature products against a plain background. We’re talking 30% higher click rates and 170% higher checkout rates.
In short, Pinterest is a real boon to fashion and beauty brands, as well as the bloggers/influencers that show the rest of us how trends work in the real world.
Popular interests include the “how to wear” category, where you’ll find posts like this one, How to Wear Leggings, which gives users several outfit ideas that feature, you guessed it, leggings.
Or, this one that makes a case for having a personal uniform.
Motivational Quotes & Tips
Motivational quotes are a big piece of the Pinterest pie, and while they might not be a core part of your business model, they’re a great way to showcase text-based content on a visual platform.
Let’s say you’ve written a blog post that covers negotiation tips for millennials. In this case, you might pull some quotes from your article and design them using a tool like Adobe Spark or Canva. Top it off with a caption that leads into your post to attract more traffic to the main event.
Motivational quotes and tips are also a good way for businesses that wouldn’t traditionally shine on Pinterest to get a piece of the action.
Take B2B’s, for example. They may not have flashy or trendy products to show off, but they can put together how-to infographics or quotes and build a Pinterest channel solely on word-driven Pins, rather than images.
If you look at Pinterest’s December 2018 report, you’ll notice that a lot of the top trends include things like healthy eating (with buzzy superfoods like elderberry and mushrooms trending upward) and home makeovers that signal a fresh start.
Then, if you look at a more recent report released during the summer of 2019, you’ll see things like strappy sandals and frozen cocktails on the rise.
As it stands, Education—a category that didn’t make the New Year’s report—is the second most popular category in the audience insights dashboard.
None of this should come as a surprise. Christmas crafts are a yearly fave when the holiday season draws near, and the men’s and women’s fashion category tends to follow along with whatever celebrities are wearing these days.
The point is, brands that want to compete on Pinterest should make sure they’re keeping up with the latest seasons and trends in their space.
That said, a good portion of the platform’s shareable content is evergreen. In scrolling through some of the more popular posts, Pinterest is unique in that content keeps getting re-pinned if people still find it relevant.
Pinterest is about more than recipes, crafts, and quotes.
Sure, those categories make up a significant portion of the platform, but there’s a lot more happening beneath the surface.
The thing is, Pinterest almost feels like one of those ‘best-kept secrets’ both on the user side and from a marketer’s point of view.
If you’re thinking of launching a Pinterest strategy, these are the kinds of Pins you should look to for inspiration.