Pin your hopes on Pinterest to reach women

Apr 22, 2012 @ 12:01 am

By

When financial planner Katana Abbott set out to follow her dream of helping disadvantaged women take control of their finances, she looked for a way to reach a wide female audience.

She found it in a fast-growing, 2-year-old social-media site called Pinterest.

“I am surprised more businesses aren't putting up boards on the site,” said Ms. Abbott, founder of the Smart Women's Prosperity Institute, which teaches women to develop financial skills and offers online social-networking support. “It is a great way to express who you are and connect with other people.”

The lure of Pinterest is in the bulletin boards that members set up by topic, then fill with pictures, articles or videos “pinned” from their own collections or other sites. The bulletin boards are public and searchable, and visitors can post comments and sign up to follow boards or members they like.

Pinterest stands out for its visual orientation, ease of use and strong hold it has on its mostly female users, who make frequent, long visits and often use the site as a springboard to make purchases, according to Internet analysts.

The bulletin boards offer a vast variety of subjects to peruse, and social-media experts said it's vital that financial advisers find ways to make themselves stand out.

NEXT BIG THING

“You need to think of it not as pushing your service but as providing content that has interest and value,” said Amy McIlwain, president of Financial Social Media, a consulting firm. “It is about having your name out in front of people.”

For advisers who are already on Facebook, LinkedIn and possibly even Twitter, Pinterest is the next site to look at, Ms. McIlwain said.

“Pinterest is it, more so than Google Plus, especially if you are trying to reach women,” she said.

The numbers back her up.

Pinterest, launched in March 2010, has begun to take off in the past six months or so, and with more than 10 million members, it is now the third-most-popular social-networking site, behind Facebook and Twitter, according to data collected by Experian Hitwise.

About 80% of the site's users are female, according to online re-searcher ComScore Inc.'s Media Metrix ranking.

What's more, ComScore reported that as of December, Pinterest was the third-most-popular social- networking site, after Facebook and Tumblr, in terms of the amount of time an average visitor spent on the site in a month. At 80 minutes, it is behind Facebook, which led with 423 minutes, and Tumblr, at 151 minutes.

More than 17.8 million unique visitors went to the Pinterest site in February, a 52% increase from January, making it the third-fastest-growing site by percentage change in visitors, behind health information aggregator Healthline.com and the Internal Revenue Service.

ComScore estimated that as of Dec. 31, 6% of Pinterest's members had household income of $100,000 to $149,000, and 3% had income of more than $150,000. It has become a go-to site for women seeking fashion and home-decorating ideas.

As of February, the site referred more traffic to online retailers than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined, according to online researcher Shareaholic Inc.

Ms. McIlwain suggests that advisers start by setting up boards on topics they specialize in, such as annuities, investment strategies or small-business management, and pin up articles, charts or videos that they find helpful.

They should also add some boards that feature personal interests in order to connect with browsers.

Financial planner Jeff Rose, a former staff sergeant in the Army National Guard, has both types of boards on his Pinterest site. Along with pictures of himself during his 2005 Iraq deployment and practicing weightlifting, he offers articles on reducing junk mail and making the most of a Roth IRA.

The pictures and articles are linked to Mr. Rose's blog and website, a feature of Pinterest that he likes.

Although he hasn't landed any clients from Pinterest so far, he has picked up 96 followers in his first several weeks on the site, and at least some of those are interested in his financial advice. One early comment asked him to fix a broken link to an insurance wholesaler.

“I see it as another area where someone can find you,” said Mr. Rose, the founder of Alliance Wealth Management LLC in Carbondale, Ill.

Pinterest is a good site to keep an eye on, it but isn't yet essential for advisers, said Geoff Evans, founder of the business consulting firm Social Media Coach.

“If they do want to use it, there is a lot of opportunity to share for visualization purposes,” he said.

TOOL FOR EDUCATION

Mr. Evans agrees with Ms. McIlwain that Pinterest has gained more traction than Google+, which he considers more of a “techie” site.

He said that some good uses for Pinterest could be to offer education on investment topics such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, or to provide pre-meeting checklists.

“There are some good ways of educating with Pinterest,” Mr. Evans said. “It does one thing, which is, it helps you share a picture.”

lkuykendall@investmentnews.com

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Upcoming event

Oct 22

Conference

San Francisco Women Adviser Summit

The InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit, a one-day workshop now held in six cities due to popular demand, is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female adviser who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level.... Learn more

Most watched

INTV

Schwab's Jeff Kleintop: Prep for volatility given China trade uncertainties

China could be considered a developed market in five to seven years , according to Jeff Kleintop, chief global investment strategist, Charles Schwab.

INTV

Young advisers envision a radically different business in five years

Fintech and sustainable investing are two factors being watched closely by some of the 2019 class of InvestmentNews' 40 Under 40.

Latest news & opinion

TIAA exits the life insurance business

The move is a big deal for RIAs, experts say, since TIAA was one of only a few insurers to offer fee-only life policies.

Advisers step up efforts to help clients manage student loan debt

As some Democrats campaign to wipe the slate clean, financial planners focus on limiting the amount students borrow.

Funding for Reg BI, other SEC advice reform efforts denied in Waters amendment

House likely to approve measure that effectively kills rule package, but it faces uphill battle in Senate

Wall Street lashes out at Sanders' plan to pay off student debt with a securities trading tax

Financial pros argue that a transaction levy will hurt mom-and-pop investors along with investment houses.

GPB paid B-Ds and reps steep commissions to sell troubled private placements

GPB paid commissions of 9.3%, or $167 million altogether, on the firm's private placements.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print