With more than 20 million users and a valuation of $1.5 billion, Pinterest has become the current darling of the social media scene. Statistically speaking, Pinterest’s user base is comprised mostly of women – 83%, according to recent info. Not surprisingly, the majority of Pinterest’s content reflects the tastes and interests of Pinterest’s primarily female audience.
As a reaction to Pinterest, a bevvy of “men-only” themed online pinboards have popped up. MANteresting, Gentlemint, Dartitup, Punchpin, Manposts and Dudepins – these sites encourage their male audiences to pin and share items of interest to men – gadgets, toys, cars, sports and, of course, pictures of beautiful women!
It’s interesting to note that, unlike other social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook), the gender differences are not as obvious, and many sites have a fairly even split ratio of male-to-female users. Pinterest inherently caters more to the differences between how men and women interact. Behavioral psychologists will point out that women love to get together and share their creativity and discuss beautiful objects with their friends, but in a different way from men. Pinterest’s invitation-capable system caters directly to the way that women interact and share with one another.
So where does that leave the men? Well, it turns out there is actually a large audience of men interested in posting and sharing cool images and content relative to manly interests. Recognizing that the early male adopters of Pinterest were somewhat “chased away” by its over-arching feminine content, the creators of sites like MANteresting found that content catering to overtly male interests would gain traction and repeat visitors. By over-emphasizing the testosterone inherent in each site’s design, and even playfully mocking Pinterest (on MANteresting, men can “Nail It” on to their board as opposed to Pinterest’s “Pin It”), these sites continue to gain a loyal group of followers. This presents another new opportunity for marketers to reach a unique audience.
Many of these men-only sites are offering advertising opportunities. Gentlemint allows for sponsored ads; Dartitup has display ads and allows for brands and publishers to register and create their own pages. Others are taking the Pinterest approach by blocking advertisers and instead are focusing on first growing a large, dedicated group of followers. To reach these audiences, beyond investing in direct ads, marketers and brands should once again create great content – content that is valuable, and content that is designed to be shared. In the case of all of these pinboard sites, the emphasis should be on visual content. It’s easy for users to share and pass pictures and videos (think of the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”). If your brand already caters to a male audience and your product is visual in nature, then you clearly have an instant home run. Products by Black & Decker, Jack Daniels, Porsche, Nike – these brands won’t have to try too hard to find their imagery and messages passed along on pinboard sites.
For any brand, think of how you can visually represent your product and service, or provide visuals related to your company that focuses on the interests of your target audience. If you pin the content yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for a repin, and make sure you continue to keep your pinned pages fresh with new content to encourage visitors to keep coming back. Connect with the followers to your page, repin their content, and create links to other pages relative to your brand, product or services.
For example, let’s say you are a gaming company, and you are about to launch a new game aimed at males. One way you could leverage these sites is to release and promote some exciting graphics of the main characters of your game and encourage your audience to share and post their favorite character illustrations. Links to your gaming blog or forum also can be created to deepen the relationship with your followers.
These male-oriented sites are not for everyone, and for some companies, it may not make sense to invest a lot of time trying to engage followers on them. But if you find your target audience is primarily men, creating visuals and connecting with the users on these sites could be an exciting new way to go.