A March 2012 study by BlogHer, “Women and Social Media in 2012,” looks at emerging social media platforms and measures the purpose, trust and influence levels for blogs and other social media channels. The results indicate that Pinterest has become a trusted and relevant social network – holding up against giants like Facebook and Twitter – in a very short time.
The study was fielded across BlogHer’s network of 37+ million unique visitors and 3,000 blogs, and – for comparison – the survey was also fielded to a panel representing the U.S. online general population. A total of 2,071 women were included in the combined BlogHer and U.S. samples.
Respondents were first asked “Do you trust the information and advice that you get from the following sources?” Nearly all of the BlogHer population (98%) trusts blogs, while Facebook (86%), Twitter (85%), and Pinterest (85%) are also considered fairly trustworthy.
Out of the general U.S. population sample (who already use these social media services), Pinterest and blogs were most trusted, at 81% each, followed by Twitter (73%) and then Facebook (67%).
When asked if they’d ever made a purchase based on a recommendation from one of these platforms, 87% of BlogHer respondents said had done so from a blog, about half had done so from Facebook (54%) and Pinterest (53%), and only 30% had made purchases based on Twitter recommendations.
The general U.S. population showed a slightly different pattern, with 87% making a purchase from a blog recommendation, but 47% doing so from Pinterest – significantly higher than the 33% for Facebook and 31% for Twitter (again, out of those who are already using these sites).
The study then compared preferred uses for blogs and Facebook for the general U.S. population sample. Blogs were strongly preferred over Facebook for making purchase decisions and getting product information, but Facebook was by far the winner for having fun (77%), staying up to date with friends and family (87%), and for entertainment (69%).
In a similar comparison of Twitter and Pinterest for the general U.S. population, respondents expressed a strong preference for Pinterest in regards to getting product information, finding out about new products, and having fun. In each of the other categories, the two platforms were fairly equal, with the exception of keeping up with friends and family, where Twitter was the clear leader with 39%. Based on these results, AdWeek says that Pinterest “already rivals (if not exceeds) the social media giant when it comes to relevance.”
However, these statistics must be viewed in perspective. While Pinterest was rated well in the study, only 19% of the general U.S. population surveyed actually use the platform at least once per week. And while a significant portion of respondents look to Pinterest and other social media sites for product information and to find new products, 41% of the general population say they do not go online or on social media to make a shopping decision.