May 8, 2013, 10:52 AM

When’s the best time to ‘pin’?

If you’re a fashion retailer, try Friday at 3 p.m.

Lead Photo

Most of the retail-focused activity on Pinterest happens independently of what brands are doing on the social network, according to a new report from marketing firm Digitas and social marketing analytics vendor Curalate.

Pinterest allows consumers to ‘pin’ and share favorite products and images from around the web. Consumers then add their pins to boards, which are organizational tools used to group pins together around a particular theme—for example “Wedding planning.”

The report finds that consumers account for 70% of the brand-related activity—including pins, repins, comments and likes—on Pinterest. Although neither Digitas nor Curalate had corresponding figures for Facebook and Twitter, the report suggests the percentages of brand-led activities on those two social networks are far higher.

The companies based the report on an analysis of 10 million pins, repins, comments and likes from 120 auto, electronics and fashion brands from March 15 to April 15.

The lack of brand-led pinning and other actions on Pinterest provides opportunity for retailers to help steer shoppers’ activities on the social network, says Jordan Bitterman, Digitas senior vice president, social, mobile and content lead. “Brands need to go forth and pin,” he says. “This study reveals the opportunity for brands to drive the conversation on visual platforms like Pinterest.”

In certain categories the percentage of brand-led activity stands even lower than the 30% average. For fashion-related actions, only 18% of activity is based on items pinned by a retailer (Pinterest users can repin another user’s pins on their own boards). However, when fashion retailers pin their items they spark activity; each item pinned by a fashion brand examined in the study received, on average, 46 repins. User-generated pins, on the other hand, received an average of six repins.

The report also examined the time and day that consumers have the most robust response—via repins and other activities. For fashion retailers, Fridays in mid-afternoon, around 3 p.m. EDT, is best.

Brands lead only 25% of automotive industry-related activity on Pinterest. And when brands pin items, they often fail to gain traction. Each item pinned by an auto brand examined in the study received, on average, three pins. User-generated pins received an average of 10 repins. Friday around noon EDT is the best time for auto-brands to pin.

There’s less disparity between brand- and user-led pinning among electronics retailers. Brands account for 47% of Pinterest activity. However, their pins fail to resonate with shoppers. Brands’ pins receive an average of five repins, compared to 14 for user-led pins. The best time for the brands to pin is Monday, around 10 p.m. EDT.

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