Hi there. I’m Brad, one of Curalate’s own. And I have to come clean about something. For those who know me closely, this may not come as a surprise – I’ve always been a little different. Nonetheless, I’ve kept this secret for some time now. I recently told my girlfriend, and she was very supportive. Now, I’m telling the world. I am a male Pinterest user. And guess what? I’m proud of it.
If you’re a marketer, you might have seen this coming. The data says it all. One-third of all signups on Pinterest today are men. In emerging markets, the gender divide is evenly split.
But whereas traditionally female-oriented content has dominated the platform until recently, I’m here to tell you, dear marketer, why you should acknowledge me – and all men, for that matter, who are bold enough to proudly use Pinterest.
Experimenting with Something New
It all started back in college – spring of 2010. I was a young, budding marketer experimenting with equally green social channels. I wanted to understand how they could effectively be used for advertising. Because that’s what cool college kids were doing.
At any rate, I remember hearing about a new social network called Pinterest. From what I read, its infinite scrolling “pins” and “boards” were going to change the world. Not long after, I signed up. But then, reality set in.
The Cold Truth
Within a few weeks of joining, I started to receive automatic notifications from Pinterest; my Facebook friends were joining too. First, it was my sister. Then, my aunt, my high school girlfriend, and my mother.
Wait a second, my mother?! Maybe it was time to re-assess my decision.
As I looked around the site, I began to realize that Pinterest had effectively become my worst nightmare. It felt like I was trapped in a department store. Behind every door, I found women’s clothing, tummy toner workouts, and an endless supply of crafty ideas. Was this really for me?
Trying to Quit
Finding little value in the platform, I decided it might be time to call it quits. But not before finding a replacement. Hoping to fill the void—after all, I liked the concept!—I took to sites like Gentlemint, Manteresting, and others that proclaimed to be “Pinterest for Men.” The problem? Their audiences were undeveloped and their features unimpressive. So, while I abandoned Pinterest for the moment, I didn’t quit cold turkey. I left my account open but stagnant: a stake in the ground to come back to and build something, someday.
For me, Pinterest never died. It wasn’t spam or ads or functionality that drove me away. It was the perception that it wasn’t for me. As women continued to join and use the channel, DIY crafts and nail art photos became dominant. It made it increasingly harder for me to find content that was interesting or relevant to me.
Now, that’s changing.
A Friendlier Pinterest for Men
Today, 70% of U.S. Pinterest users are women. But with the introduction of gender filters, the channel is more welcoming than ever to men.
Beyond that, the utility of Pinterest cannot be denied. I already use apps like Feedly and Pocket to read content. Why not bookmark the best pieces by pinning them onto Pinterest boards? I’m always seeking creative inspiration for my blog and music. Why not create digital mood boards with discovered images across the web?
The usefulness of Pinterest is drawing men like me to the social channel. In fact, according to Pew Research, 13% of all U.S. men used Pinterest in 2014, up from 8% in 2013.
The Rise of the Male Pinner
While the millennial mother may be the most coveted demographic, young men like myself are still valuable to brands. We are joining Pinterest in droves – just not to find “the cutest holiday baby outfits,” as lovely as that may sound. If you’re looking to impress me, here are a few examples of pins that fit my lifestyle.
1. Fashion and Style
This is especially relevant to retailers: The stylish man is on the lookout for dress and grooming tips. I might also devote a Pinterest board to facial hair, as I aspire to someday rock the most badass beard.
2. Home and Design
Home goods folks should listen up too. As a young professional with a steady income, I may be looking to furnish a home soon. I can already imagine the brownie points I’ll get when I share a “For the Home” board with my girlfriend. To make sure your brand capitalizes on the young urban male demographic, start pinning cool ideas for sprucing up a small city space that we can explore and discover together.
Like many my age, travel is a big part of my life. It’s the ideal time to explore, so if you are a hotelier, shots of your immaculate views would be very enticing. You could repurpose your best Instagram content here for a one-two punch. Double points if it’s UGC.
4. Food and Beverage
I know I’m not alone here, but I’m also a food porn addict. I want tastes I can see, and ideas for cooking meals that will make me look like an Iron Chef on date night. And knife skills! Dudes always need more knife skills.
Pinterest is for Everyone
Maybe it was the social stigma that initially turned me away; maybe it was the content of the platform. Regardless, I’m happy to say that I have begun using my Pinterest account again. Sometimes it takes the second time around to get it right. Maybe I’ll add that to my “inspirational quotes” board.