The Four Words That Drive Business on Pinterest Credit: Pinterest

The secret to success for businesses on Pinterest may come down to simply using the right word or words in posts.

New research has found that four words in particular — use, look, want and need — set posts apart from other social networks for businesses. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota say those words are important in signaling the intent of consumers.   

"Those four verbs uniquely describe Pinterest and are particularly interesting," said Eric Gilbert, assistant professor in Georgia Tech's school of interactive computing  who also runs the Comp Social Lab at Georgia Tech. "Words encapsulate the intent of people, revealing the motivations behind their actions. You can use the word ‘this’ after all of these verbs, reflecting the ‘things’ at the core of Pinterest. Many press articles have focused on Pinterest’s commercial potential, and here we see verbs illustrating that consumption truly lies at the heart of the site."

[Four Steps to Putting Your Business on Pinterest]

Though Pinterest may not be thought of in the same way as Twitter and Facebook for marketing purposes, this research proves that Pinterest is quickly becoming a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Pinterest reached 10 million users faster than any other social network and was found to have a higher proportion of its users visit e-commerce sites from the network than other sites. Additionally, Pinterest users are also more likely to spend more once they visit those sites than visitors from Twitter and Facebook.    

"There are several social networking sites that marketers and advertisers can take advantage of these days," Gilbert said. "After conducting this research, if I had to choose where to put my money and marketing, Pinterest would probably be my first choice."

The research, based on a study of more than 200,000 pins, also found that female users have more re-pins than men, while men generally have more followers on Pinterest than women.

"We wanted to take a closer look at Pinterest because of its differences compared to other social media, including its focus on pictures and products and the large proportion of women users," said Loren Terveen, from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering and a co-author of the study. "These findings are an important early snapshot of Pinterest that help us begin to understand people’s activity on this site."

In addition to Terveen and Gilbert, Saeideh Bakhshi and Shuo Chang assisted on the research. 

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