Martha, Real Simple, BHG Deemed Best on Pinterest

By Steve Smith

With most social networks like Facebook and Twitter, media brands have had to morph and squeeze themselves into the person-to-person models that typify these platforms. But some social nets like Pinterest seem to have been made for magazines. After all, the visual bookmarking site lets people pin images to its wall in much the same way generations of readers have been tearing and clipping pages of magazines for sharing and saving. And so it is not surprising that when Mashable recently asked the hot site to name some of its best media practitioners, familiar women’s mags came to the fore. Pinterest tells Mashable that good behavior on the site means posting items from many sources, not just one’s own. “Repinning” someone else’s image in your feed is a sort of visual retweet that is regarded well. And creating multiple themed boards on one’s page to categorize and segment different topics is considered good Pinterest form.

And among the top pinners the company singles out Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart.

Martha seems to be following up her massive fame on Twitter here as well, with 12,234 followers of her Pinterest page already. She boasts 19 different boards, although some of the boards are mysteriously empty. Real Simple has 21,983 followers and 43 boards like “3-Ingredient Recipes” and “Decorating with Gray.” BHG’s 6,548 followers are seeing 45 boards such as “Blogger Twists on BHG Recipes” and “Not-So-Boring Neutral.”

Anecdotally we have heard from several magazines lately that Pinterest has become one of the strongest sources of social media traffic. A curious combination of Facebook with its wall, Twitter with its retweets, and Flixster or Instagram and their image swapping, Pinterest appears to be more driven by content than other social networks. The profile of Pinterest users maps very well for women’s service magazines, heavy Web users who also visit home and garden, sports and fitness and family-oriented sites.

In late December Hitwise reported that {Pinterest received over 11 million visits in just one week in mid December, up 40 times the number of visits during a week in mid June. The demo skews female (58%) and younger (59% between 25 and 44). Hitwise also sees a regional focus at Pinterest, which gets its largest group of users from California and Texas. Unlike other larger social nets that over-index in Northeastern traffic, Pinterest is stronger in the Northwest and Southeast (see chart).

In fact on Feb. 9 we will be hosting a special min Webinar devoted to magazine presence on the “other” social media networks. Shape magazine’s director of audience development Leslie Ellwood, Parenting’s social media editor Alison Dempsey and others will be sharing their learnings about working on Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+ and others. Because Facebook and Twitter are not the only parties in town. Stay tuned for details and registration information.