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The Bro’s Guide To Pinterest

The Bro’s Guide To Pinterest

Pinterest’s popularity has exploded in the past few months. Their traffic and user base has grown exponentially, bringing it to the attention of marketers around the world.

One of the most unique factors of Pinterest is the fact that its user demographic is made up mostly of women. This key factor has forced many male-oriented brands to rethink their marketing strategy if they want to leverage this social network.

When I received my invite last summer, male-focused categories were bare. This has been changing quickly over the past few months. For example, the Cars & Motorcyle category is an obvious haven for male users among the sea of hair tutorials and wedding dresses:

So, how can you leverage a network dominated by women? Below I will review some male-focused brands trying to do just that, how to find men on Pinterest, and which types of content appeal to both genders.

How To Coexist With The Female Community

As marketers, one of the first things we ask before starting a project is, “who is our target audience?” This information is a huge factor when putting together your strategy and how you will shape your content.

So, shouldn’t you do the same thing when trying to interact with a new social community? Even if your brand or content is focused around men, you will still need the help of current users (women) to spread that content.

Something I have learned from being on the site, is the ability to coexist with the female demographic, while still posting content I find interesting. I’m not saying you should be posting pictures of dresses, and trendy hair styles but you should be finding common ground content that male and female users will both find interesting.

Below, I have listed some content I have found success with on Pinterest with both sexes.

  • Food. Who doesn’t love food? Some of my highest shared content is based around food recipes. With content  ranging from triple decker burgers to eggs in avocados, I have been able to start building a following of both sexes just based on my food boards.
  • Drinks. Another type of content that can easily be targeted to women and men are drinks. I’ve seen a lot of drink boards with pins about coffee, craft beer, and cocktails followed and shared by both sexes.
  • Health. Who doesn’t want to be healthy? Both sexes tend to pin guides to healthy recipes, workout routines, and organic lifestyles.
  • Green/Environment. My wife, actually turned me on this type of content. She makes her own green cleaning products. Recently she started to share all these recipes and resources for having a green home.  She quickly picked up a mix of male and female followers to those boards.
  • Cars.  This one kind of surprised me, since most of the car sites I belong to are dominated by men. I noticed technical articles I posted didn’t getting much traction but photos of gorgeous cars attracted a larger amount of followers. Men still outnumber the women in terms of followers, but I have seen a growth in female interaction with my car pins.
  • Geek. No matter if you’re male or female, you can be a geek, too. With a massive growth in geek culture, this type of content will do well on the Internet, regardless of gender.
  • Luxury. I’ve noticed luxury related content does really well. Whether it’s a $30 million home or a yacht that comes with car built to match. Both sexes will share the content.

Most importantly, remember to learn about your audience. A huge factor in your content sharing strategy should be based around your actual followers. When someone follows you, click through to their page and see what kind of content they are sharing.

How To Target The Male Demographic

Now it’s time to find all the guys on Pinterest and get them to follow you. So, where are they hiding and how do I make them follow me?

One method is to craft pinboards that focus on the male demographic. As I mentioned above, you should also be learning about your followers and crafting content they will enjoy.

The ability to follow specific boards from any user is one of the best features of Pinterest. This allows you to build boards that focus on one topic and can be targeted to a specific demographic. This also gives the ability to build multiple targeted boards in one profile and allows you to segment and target your followers. So instead of doing a general board for “Food,” create multiple boards, such as “Steak,” “Healthy Recipes,” and “Bacon,” which will help you target various demographics.

Now that we have our method of delivery, we need to find where male users are spending their time and entice them over to our boards. Below are 7 categories you should be watching for male users.

  • Cars & Motorcycles. This was one of the first places I looked when I joined the site. Since most car sites are dominated by guys, it would make sense for them to be here. I was right: I found a good amount of male users in this section. Once I realized this, I started to build car boards. First, I did a general board, and then focused a brand specific board, BMW. My largest male following is on my brand-specific board.
  • Men’s Apparel. Surprisingly, at first not a lot of men were in this section. It was mostly women who had boards based around clothes they would like their significant other wear. But, I’ve recently seen an increase in male brands and male users in this section.
  • Science & Nature. At first the section was pretty quiet, but recently I’ve seen an increase in content being shared. A lot of male users in this section are coming over from other social networks.
  • Sports. This is a great place to find male followers. A majority of content revolves around current events and can easily be leveraged to grow a male following.  There is also very little competition in this section for a users’ attention.
  • Technology. Another section that was kind of bare in the beginning  but has been growing. This section is filled with a lot of tech gadgets and tech articles. This a great place to find male followers, especially if you’re a brand in that niche.
  • Geek. While you will find a mix of female and male users in this category, it’s a great place to find active male pinners. Geeks are typically active on multiple social networks, so these are great followers to have since they will share your content on multiple networks.
  • Architecture. This is another great section to find male followers interested in design, architecture, and DIY.

Once you find male users and follow them, you should visit their pinboards to get an idea of what type of content interests them. This will help you decide on what pinboards to create and the type of content you should populate it with.

Remember, you’re able to get create multiple pinboards, so get granular, and target specific niches. For example, if you’re a technology product site, consider creating pinboards on specific topics like cables, video cards, TV, media boxes, hard drives, etc.

Male Brands On Pinterest

Some male-focused brands have started to slowly appear. Below we will examine a few of those profiles to see what type of content they are pinning and how it’s going for them.

Brand #1: Men’s Health, a popular men’s magazine with content focused around the male lifestyle and health.

What are they pinning?

Men’s health is pinning a variety of male focused content such as new articles from their magazine, cooking recipes, workouts, DIY, grooming guides, and clothing. They’re focusing their content towards men but sticking to content that is popular on the site, such as fashion, DIY, recipes, and guides. Each board varies in the number of followers, with their most popular board being “Look and Learn from Celebs” which focuses on what guys can learn from male celebs in terms of style. This not only hits the male demographic, but is still interesting to female demographic.

It is working?

Since we don’t have analytics access to their site to see how much traffic the site sends, we will be judging this based on likes and repins.

While the board with over 900 followers is their top followed, it has the lowest interaction. The board titled “The Best of Men’s Health” has the highest interaction with almost every pin being re-shared at least once. This shows that focusing on curating the best content from your site, instead of posting everything, will do much better.

Overall, they are doing well in terms of followers but should review their best performing content and see how they can create boards around those topics. Getting more granular with their pinboards in order to target niche categories can yield higher interaction and increased followers.  They should also consider following and repinning their followers’ pins to increase interaction with the community.

Brand #2: Playboy.com, a popular adult magazine brand targeting a mostly male audience.

What are they pinning?

Surprisingly, Playboy isn’t just pinning images of women from their magazine but instead using their pinboards to show off the Playboy brand culture. They have also created boards targeted just at men, such as Cars, Gadget/Tech, Movie Reviews, Music Reviews, Politics, comedy, etc. The content inside the pinboards is also focused around the male demographic. While they only have 48 overall followers, most of their pinboards have over 100 followers, with their most popular board being around cars.

It is working?

It’s hard to come up with definitive answer since the brand is new to Pinterest, but they have started to figure how to interact with their target users. They have done their homework and reviewed what type of boards would do well on the site and are working to curate content around these topics.

Their interaction is really low among all of their pins. The biggest issue I see with this brand, is the lack of re-pinning of their followers’ content. Every single pin on their boards are based on content from their site. While they may understand the categories they should involved in, they are not interacting with those users, which may be hindering their growth on this network.

Brand #3: Guyism, a men’s site focused around male content such as humor, women, tech, and health.

What are they pinning?

Guyism only has a few pin boards but they’re focused around content that both men and women will find interesting. They are posting content around tech/gadgets, alcohol, food, nostalgia, and pets. Overall they have 54 followers, but a majority of their pinboards have over 100 followers.

It is working?

Guyism did a great job researching the community and creating boards that would fit in and not alienate the female users on the site, while still keeping their male demographic happy. They do a great job curating the best content from their site. Instead of making a board titled “hot chicks” they created a board titled “Women Being Pretty,” which is great away to still share popular content from  their site without being offensive about it.

Overall, their interactions are low on most pins but they are sharing content from other sites and even commenting back to their users. They are also another brand that doesn’t seem to be repinning much content from their followers. They are doing well but if they were more active, and interacted more with the community, they could do even better.

Brand #4: Audi, a German luxury car brand with various types of vehicles.

What are they pinning?

If you guessed cars, you’re right! Audi has broken down their pins based on every vehicle they make. Most of pins are current production vehicles. Audi is another brand that is new to Pinterest, so their following is pretty low across the board.

It is working?

Audi is great example of breaking down your boards to a granular level. Interaction is average on most boards, except the R8 board, where almost every pin that was posted has been shared. This a good way to test the waters, and see what type of content performs the best.

I noticed they don’t repin a lot of follower content or even follow that many people. Overall, it’s a good start, and I hope they expand into boards, like Audi Racing, Audi Owners, etc.

What Can We Learn From These Brands?

  • If you want to have male followers, then you need to follow males on Pinterest.
  • You need to repin your followers pins and interact with the community.
  • Research the community, find the best performing categories, and create content around it.
  • Test pinboards, and see what content does the best. Rinse and repeat.
  • Multiple pinboards allow you to target various demographics with one profile.
  • Be active and pin on a regular basis.

6 Strategies To Help Target Men On Pinterest

Below are some examples of how male focused brands could leverage Pinterest to target the growing male audience.

  1. Showcase DIY projects. While many DIY projects on Pinterest  focus around things women like, consider creating male-oriented DIY projects that use your products, to create things men would reference. For example, a brand like Autozone could create boards like cleaning your car, pinning guides on cleaning various parts of your car, and pinning items they sell to help get the job done right.
  2. Create boards that showcase user-generated content from your male followers. Instead of just posting your own content, find out what your followers are sharing and start to interact with them. Create boards you know they will like and seed it with their content in order to bring attention to it. Then start adding your own content to those boards as you are building them.
  3. Create guides inside your boards. Similar to what some blogs do, but instead turning an entire board into a guide. Each section of the guide could be a pin in that board. For example, if your site focuses on guy movies, you could create pin boards for each genre, and put every single related move in that section. You would continue to update movies as they came out.
  4. Create a contest on Pinterest to entice your users to repin your content or grow your following. For example, Home Depot could ask people to submit their best DIY projects, then post them in one pinboard. The user with the most repins would win that contest. Similar contest could be run with a car brand/magazine to pick the best DIY racecar.
  5. Create pinboards around foods guy tend to eat. My best performing pins that are repinned by guys usually have to do with grilling and BBQ. Doing a little research to find out what foods interest guys the most and creating boards around that could draw in a lot of male users.
  6. Create pinboards for guy-related content. Similar to what Guyism and Playboy do with niche boards, you could create boards around male culture to help draw in guys to view your profile and your other boards.

Conclusion

As Pinterest grows, the male demographic will continue to grow and the site might eventually become balanced between genders. As a male pinner or a male brand, you should learn to interact with the female community, since they will be the ones to help you build exposure for your content.

As with any community, the best way to build a following  is to interact with the users, understand what type of content your target audience enjoys, and stay active. If you prefer a more bro-friendly Pinterest type experience, check out the recently launched GentleMint.

What types of content have you seen perform well with men on Pinterest? Have you seen any notable male-focused brands on Pinterest? 

P.S. Follow BlueGlass on Pinterest! Our content appeals to ladies and bros :)

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Comments

  1. I think it’s important to mention the bro-friendly Gentlemint.com

    • Ryan Sammy says:

      You’re right Erik! I had them in my notes and I actually got my invite today. Ill update the post, thanks for the reminder. :)

  2. Ben Cook says:

    And before you pin any of your own images, please carefully ready Pinterest’s ToS!

  3. Now how do I Pin this article to Pinterest ? LOL
    i know its about images, and other stuff, but really is there a way to pin this onto one of my boards?
    i have a board set up as social media, and would like to share this.

    • Ryan Sammy says:

      Hey Dave,
      All you have to do, go to your pinterest page, click “Add+” then “add a pin”, paste the url, click find images, then use the arrows to pick your thumbnail image, select your social media board, and pin it. :)

  4. I think this is amusing. I never knew pinterest was directed at Women. What a concept.

    • Ryan Sammy says:

      I don’t think they intended it to be directed at woman, it just kind of happened as they grew. :)

  5. Kerry Jones says:

    You’re my Pinterest hero :)

    I’m still awaiting TV networks/shows to show up on Pinterest. This is a really untapped area that could be successful among male users if used correctly. Imagine Bear Grylls pinning adventure/outdoor products, style boards for all the Mad Men characters, Family Guy quotes… I really want to see this happen already!

    Hey TV networks, come be our client :)

    • Ryan Sammy says:

      Haha :) That’s a great idea, we should start a group board for it and get the ball rolling.

  6. Yfran G says:

    I love this article. I’ve been reading tons of resources about Pinterest, but the value for men just doesn’t seem to be there. But while there are things women can do that men can’t do (successfully planning weddings), what is there that men can do that women can’t also do? I think you said it was still early and I agree, but even the search capability isn’t as strong as it should be. Finding ‘man’ boards is very difficult unless someone writes an article that points all of them out! I’m not saying that it doesn’t have its potential for both sexes, but I just find it hard to find the value of Pinterest to men.

    What is the value of Pinterest to men? Women have already found it. You can argue that the value of Pinterest to men is discovery. But as I said before, discovering isn’t as easy as it should be – not to mention a lot of the search terms (excluding technology) will yield results with a feminine twist to it.

    I really do love this article as it is arguably the best resource to men and Pinterest. But I will never understand the value to men other then discovery. I honestly don’t think that’s going to be enough. To balance out the sexes, I think we need to discover the value to men first and then market those values.

    To me, this is ‘How Pinterest Can Win with Men’ – http://bit.ly/xvIksP

    Great read Ryan!

    • Ryan Sammy says:

      Thanks for the kind words Yfran. I agree with you, the ability to discover the new content that men would be interested in is hard, if your not following the right people. It’s also hard to discover the right people to follow. Most of the time I log in, the homepage is filled with woman oriented content. I think someone (or Pinterest) will need to come with a way to allow customization of your page. For one, I hope they will add a mute button, so I can mute specific boards from some users. It would be great if I could mute specific categories I have no interest in. I think a small change like that would allow users to easily customize their feed and cut through the noise, in order to find the content they are really interested in. Again, in terms of the social media world, they are still infants, and have a long way to go. I will check out your post, I appreciate the comment! :)

  7. Using Pinterest has a lot of potential, and it’s still early in the game. I see recently they made one of the main link areas NOfollow, however not all.

    Direct referrals from this site can be great for the right niche.

    • Ryan Sammy says:

      Thanks for the comment Jeff. I agree, I can’t wait to see where they go in the next 6 months. I have heard from a few different marketers that the referral traffic from Pinterest is up there, and sometimes surpasses traffic from sites like StumbleUpon and Facebook. I assume the content they are sharing is a huge factor on which sites get traffic but hopefully as they grow, their demographic will start to even out.

  8. Chris says:

    Great article. I have read a lot about how Pinterest is dominated by women and wondered how long it would be before things started balancing out. Great to see someone blazing the trail here.
    I’m on now gents – follow me at http://pinterest.com/chrisssully/

    • Ryan Sammy says:

      Thanks Chris! I think the male demographic will need to become more active in order to even it out. That will catch the attention of male focused brands, who will have more value in using the site as a promotion medium. Glad you liked the article. :)

  9. Holger says:

    Great! No more fancy Hair-Styles and more cars on Pinterest! :) Good Posting, thanks.

  10. Steve Gorney says:

    So I signed up for a site for girls? Just kidding. I have a very strategic application for Pinterest as a “bro” and it weaves very nicely into other social site work. Since I am not really active on Tumblr, there is no crossover. Just linking goodness.