Passing on Pinterest, Marketing to Men

By Dana Rasmussen

If Pinterest was a woman, her friends would have the awkward task of telling her that men just aren't that into her. 

Pinterest is the third most popular social networking site on the Internet behind Facebook and Twitter. It's a place where users go to share images of things that they love. A quick look at the Pinterest homepage shows an inordinate amount of jewelry, cute animals, recipes, female clothing, hairstyles and virtually anything else relating to femininity. Not surprisingly, roughly 80 percent of its users are women. That's good news for businesses targeting women, but doesn't leave much room to market to guys. 

So where do marketers go to find men? Where do men go to find men sharing images of things they like? 

Build It And They Will Come

Other sites like Pinterest are out there. They don't pull in as many unique hits as Pinterest does, but they do get up to a solid 1 million hits each month. Some of the most popular Pinterest alternatives include Gentlemint, MANteresting and Tapiture. 

Photo Sharing For the Refined Male

While one might think that a male-dominated photo sharing site would be plastered with images of the female anatomy, hot wings and beer, that is not the case with all of these sites. Take Gentlemint, for instance. 

This site, as the name suggests, is for gentlemen with a penchant for highbrow tastes. It's accessible by invitation only and is for a classier set of men. In essence, the site looks like it is tailor-made for men wearing tailored suits.

Imported ales, expensive suits, and handcrafted tobacco pipes are just a few of the images shared by the gentlemen of Gentlemint. A site like this lends itself naturally to an upperclass sect interested in the finer things. 

The Internet's Mancave

Then there's MANteresting. This is the meat-and-potatoes' man's site. Users don't pin what they like onto their board on MANteresting, they nail it to their workbench. Some of the top posts include scantily clad women, cars, more women, some jokes, a few sobering pictures of fallen war heroes and some recipes. Users can join without an invitation and find all kinds of things that appeal to those with the Y chromosome. 

The Money Maker

When the world started to take notice of Pinterest they realized that men weren't necessarily uninterested in photo-sharing sites so much as they were just totally bored by what was being pinned on female-dominated Pinterest. Naturally some decided to cash in on a niche market and find the guys out there wanting a page just for dudes. Tapiture was among one of the first male-centric photo sharing sites to get out there and one of the first to be backed by more than $800,000 in seed money. 

One thing unique about Tapiture is that it is not exclusively for males. None of the sites are, really, seeing as there is no real monitoring that requires users to prove gender, but Tapiture's creator said it is up to the users to make it their own. Whether that means the site lends itself more to men and their wants and needs is entirely up to the users. 

That idea is also the rationale behind Pinterest. It's not just for women by any means. It's just women flock to the site in greater numbers and spend more time on the site. Because of this, many photos shared are items that men find unappealing. It's no surprise they spend about a nanosecond on the site before continuing on to something more interesting. 

Cashing In On the Trend

The bottom line on image sharing sites is that men will probably never be a target market, so marketing to these men will continue to be challenging. Businesses interested in increasing their number of male followers on these sites need to make their content appealing to the male mind. 

All of these sites allow users to see which posts have been reposted by followers or, as Facebook users would say, "liked" by another user. It gives users an idea of what kind of content is interesting to followers and what kind of content falls flat. 

Pinterest, for the time being, is still the most well-known of all of these social media platforms and most major corporations and brands would be wise to create a Pinterest page. However, male-centric Pinterest alternatives should be watched as more and more men decide if they want to hit it and quit it or stick around awhile. 

Dana Rasmussen writes about social marketing trends, social media and Internet reputation management.