As of this month, Pinterest has 459 million monthly active users, with Gen Z users becoming the fastest growing audience. The virtual mood board, currently valued at $51 billion, has seen its market value increase 600% over the course of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Pinterest reported that its 2020 Q4 earnings beat on both the top and bottom lines and showed strong user growth. In a letter to investors, the company said people who are bored at home are engaging with the app ever-more, and that its shopping ad revenue business grew faster than its overall business.
Pinterest is increasingly becoming a social media platform that people turn to for inspiration in everything from planning a date night to baking banana bread to building DIY shelves. But since coronavirus hit, mental health searches have increased significantly. The latest Pinterest search trend insights reveal spikes around “manifestations” and “self-love” as new forms of intention-setting and self-care, and marketers should take note not just of the trends, but of why people turn to Pinterest for mental health tips.
“If you’re getting started, Pinterest is a great place to learn how other people are cultivating self-love and how it’s working for them in a way that’s easy to digest, and fun,” said Pinterest Creator and self-trust coach Nory Pouncil. “Seeing other people’s perspective reminds you that you’re not alone, and it is ok to nurture your self-love at your own pace.”
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These most recent trends were calculated by comparing normalized searches in December 2020 to December 2019. Let’s delve into the specific findings around manifestation and self-love and how marketers can leverage this data in their campaigns.
Searches for “manifestation techniques” are up 54x YoY
Type “manifestation” into the Pinterest search bar and you’ll be suggested queries on manifesting everything from money to love to a better outlook on life, as well as inspiring quotes, journal prompts, affirmations, mantras and methods. Pinterest spokesperson Amanda Switzer thinks this spike has to do with people letting go of the idea of ‘New Year resolutions’ and becoming more intentional with their goal setting, specifically around career, travel and mental wellness.
What exactly is manifestation? It’s essentially the practice of working to bring something tangible into your life through attraction and belief. If this sounds suspiciously like prayer to you, I’d counter with, “Yes, but it’s so much more.”
This means there are steps that the person manifesting has to follow — things like setting a specific intention and writing it down and actively visualizing yourself achieving this goal (similar to how rock climbers will repeatedly visualize their climb before actually scaling a cliffside). The first two steps help you outline the path you’ll need to take to achieve that success so you can intentionally build it into your routine. For example, if you want to get a new job, you might want to consider how to make yourself stand out from the competition and sign up for some professional development courses, according to this Pinner. Manifesting also encourages you to practice gratitude for little wins and successes, which psychologists will tell you actually does help you achieve your goals by creating new, positive neural pathways.
You should go and love yourself
“People come to Pinterest to find positive inspiration to create a life they love,” said Switzer. “As emotional wellbeing continues to be top of mind, insights show that people are turning to Pinterest in search of ways to take care of themselves and heal from the past year.”
Are they ever. Searches for “how to love myself” and “how to heal yourself” have increased 6x and 4x, respectively. And aside from the platform’s own variety of emotional well-being activities that people can do right from the app by searching #pinterestwellbeing, Pinners post plenty of useful and doable tips for people who are being forced to turn inward to explore how the past year has affected them.
“Setting healthier intentions and cultivating self-love can be extremely challenging for most people, especially if you’ve had a history of self-loathing or depression,” said Pouncil. “It can feel both foreign and ‘wrong’ to prioritize yourself. At the same time, you don’t even know if you’re doing right. It’s ok, that’s normal. That’s why it is so important that you try different types of self-love practices.”
Some of Pouncil’s suggestions for self-love bear out in the search results. The term “mental health painting” has doubled compared to last year, and “mental health journaling” has increased by 10. And there’s no knocking the simple, yet effective, practice of reading inspirational quotes to be less critical and more self-appreciative. Searches for “self love quotes” have gone up 7x and for “self acceptance quotes” are up 80% from last year.
Why should marketers care about Pinterest search trends?
As people turn to Pinterest for inspiration on how to achieve personal growth, strength and self-respect, marketers can leverage the same mindset to help customers seek out products that help solve their problems through acceptance and change in mindset, for which there’s already a massive precedent (See: Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign).
Manifestation and self-love aren’t new concepts. Manifesting is basically just a new iteration of The Secret and the law of attraction, but by calling it “manifestation” we are appealing to today’s action-oriented populace who also probably have a thing for Tarot cards. Self-care and self-love aren’t new either; they’re just packaged in different language. Nonetheless, it’s important for the modern marketer to keep abreast of the latest lingo. Which is where Pinterest comes in — a truly undervalued resource for marketers who want to understand the type of person a consumer wants to be, and how their product or service can help them get there.