When it comes to social media marketing, not all followers, Likes or Pins will contribute the same value.

There’s a reigning misconception that volume is the most important part of gaining social media followers, but that’s rarely the case. It’s nice to have plenty of users who can potentially see content, but if they aren’t interacting with it in ways that align with marketing goals, it’s almost as if they weren’t there at all.

Pinning is winning

A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota explored this phenomenon as it applied to Pinterest. It seems it isn’t just population that divides men and women on the social platform, as marketers have known for some time. While male Pinterest users have more followers, women are much more likely to re-pin.

This underlines something very important to social marketing yet specific to Pinterest. Unlike Twitter, where a brand advocate who has many followers is a lot more valuable than another without the same audience, Pinterest is useful precisely because of re-pins. 

Female users are much more likely to share what they’ve pinned and click on Pins they find on other websites. This naturally makes women on Pinterest a valuable audience. In addition to interacting with social content in much larger numbers (the study pegged the split as 87 percent female, 13 percent male), female users also make much better investments as followers.

Take a hard look at users

This study is specifically about Pinterest, but it demonstrates how important it is to soberly examine followers when assessing social media marketing tactics. For example, you might have plenty of Facebook fans, but they may  not be helping your strategy if they aren’t interacting with your posts and contributing to conversions. It might mean you need to take a look at the content you’re producing and  sharing on that site. Take this perspective to every social platform to better understand which users are more worthy of your attention. 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.