Pinning Facebook to the Mat? Pinterest ‘Can Teach Facebook About Social Media Monetization,’ Says Analyst

Pinning Facebook to the Mat Pinterest ‘Can Teach Facebook About Social Media Monetization,’ Says AnalystIs Pinterest now in position to school Facebook on how to make money?

Maybe so, according to Digital Current’s Troy Ireland. Ireland recently discussed the power and potential of the Pinterest social media site, which turns five years old this month, in his second essay for Forbes Magazine, “Five Ways Pinterest is Beating Facebook.” The column has piqued much interest.

“Pinterest, launched in 2010, and with approximately 40 million monthly active users, is increasingly grabbing the attention of Web marketers and firms specializing in search engine optimization due to the site’s revenue-generating capabilities based on the intersection of consumer-generated content and its 17-month trial with ‘promoted pins,’ ads created by marketers in the style of Pinterest site content,” Digital Current explains.

“In the world of social media, news happens fast and maturity happens even faster. YouTube, the world’s most popular video uploading site, turned 10 in February and is already considered a ‘legacy social media’ platform in some circles. Based on this standard, Facebook, with its 1.3 billion members and now 11 years old, might be ready for retirement, too. That is unless the uber-popular networking and content-sharing site can learn a thing or two from its younger sister Pinterest, the crafting and image-pinning site.”

Being the older cousin doesn’t help (MySpace, anyone?) But that’s not the whole story.

“By this measure, more than any other, Pinterest is beating the pants off Facebook and it’s a phenomenon digital marketing companies are taking note of,” said Ireland. “From its visual content style and long content shelf life — pins are arguably available forever — among other pluses, the average consumer purchase order value is already significantly higher than search engine-based purchases from Google, shopping site Amazon, and Facebook.”

Whoa, really?

“Indeed, the average order price coming from Pinterest is $80 versus $40 from the above-mentioned Web platforms, a 100 percent increase,” the report notes. “Driving this effectiveness isn’t your traditional SEO clumsily inserted into online content in an effort to impact search engine algorithms and page rankings. This is a return to something more human and more genuine: quality content.”

OK, now we’re talking. It really is — eventually — about content. In other words, marketers need to evaluate the quality of their content as much as they evaluate what they’re peddling — and equally important, it needs to be more genuine.

“It’s amazing to think that in our excessively plugged-in, multi-screened, and Wi-Fi-enabled world, we forget that brands are human,” Ireland explained. “And marketing to consumers requires sparking that humanity in genuine ways that inspire purchases. Even Google, the epitome of the digital librarian, is ultimately human because the people behind the screens and the fingers tapping away at the keyboards are human too. It’s incumbent on digital marketers to ensure that smart SEO and compelling content are intricately joined.”

Content, narratives, stories. They matter.

“As Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, a search marketing website and consulting firm, was quoted as saying in (a recent) article, ‘There’s an odd correlation with brand narratives and successful brands,’” the report concluded.