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Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads

PREVIEW: Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads? Which one is better for your business? Learn how to use Pinterest and Facebook Ads to your benefit (and without spending a fortune).

Reading Time: 5 mins.

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You’re ready to experiment with paid traffic.

However, if you’re hoping your paid ads will finally make your website traffic explode… There are some things you should know first.

Believe it or not, you can spend hundreds (or worse) thousands of dollars attempting to succeed with paid ads if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You might have heard about online success stories that used Pinterest to skyrocket blog growth or get overnight sales with Facebook ads. Except it’s not as easy as it looks.

Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads is competitive and will vary based on your business needs.

Anyone can get started with their first Facebook ad or Pinterest Promoted Pin, so here are some strategies to help you begin.

Let’s dive in.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a search engine. First and foremost.

Why is Pinterest powerful?

With an $11 billion valuation and $300 million in revenue in 2016, Pinterest is a powerhouse.

Most people don’t think about Pinterest as a search engine. But think again.

Specifically, Pinterest leverages visual search. This is a form of search that Google and Bing also have the technology for, but it’s nothing like on Pinterest.

Pinterest’s visual search technology, Lens, is unlike a text query in that it uses a photo to display similar results. The algorithm and software are able to visually comprehend the image to show similar results the user might like.

Further, Pinterest is a straightforward path to conversion.

Instagram isn’t asking for your visual content to link back to your blog or website.

This makes Pinterest a powerful blogging partner.

It’s also why so many bloggers attribute 80% of their traffic or viral blog success thanks to how fast and easy it is to grow on Pinterest.

For example, in addition to your Pin (video or graphic), you’ll get a short description, Pin title, and a destination URL.

Further, the visual search platform is tapped deeply into shopper insights and purchasing behavior too.

Speaking of the purchasing behavior of Pinterest’s users. That’s part of the goldmine powerhouse of Pinterest.

Pinterest demographics include some of the most affluent shoppers.

Pinterest users are high-earners.

In fact, 34% of Pinterest users earn between $50,000 and $74,999 per year.

Due to the sheer size of Pinterest, it’s the social network with the highest density of adult Internet users making more than $75k per year.

Still, the largest amount of people within that segment of the population, use Instagram and Facebook with 77% and 37% of adult Internet users, respectively.

Wait, it gets super interesting.

Turns out, 90% of weekly Pinners make purchase decisions on Pinterest. 

What’s more, 10% of Pinterest users make more than $125K per year, and active pinners have a 9% higher average income than non-users.

Pinterest discovered that online shoppers who interact with a Promoted Pin spend 7x more than others.

When online shopping, the user’s average order value (AOV) based on platform:

  • The AOV on Pinterest: $179.36
  • with the AOV on Facebook: $80.22;
  • and AOV on Twitter: $68.78

    (Source: Gigaom)

This data shows, on average, people are buying and spending more money on Pinterest compared to any other social media platform, and almost twice as much as Facebook!

So, if you’re hoping for a large AOV (average order value) or can think of products that can be sold in bulk, Pinterest is your platform.

Said another way, this high AOV for Pinterest users proves that Pinterest attracts more purchases, in greater quantities, or they are for larger items.

That’s really useful information if you want to sell anything on the Internet.

Further, from the 200 billion pins that live on the Pinterest platform, two-thirds are brand- or product-related pins. For the foodies, recipe-related pins constitute 1.7 billion.

Remember, that majority of those Pinterest products either link to a blog or an eCommerce site (and you can maximize this with affiliate marketing). products either link to a blog or an eCommerce site (and you can maximize this with affiliate marketing

Finally, for the crescendo moment on Pinterest’s delightful demographics….

The data shows, seven out of every ten Pinterest users are women. (Source: eMarketer, 2018).

Turns out, 77% of Pinterest users as female.

This matters when you think about copy, products, and purchasing behavior.

Remember, women are some of the biggest shoppers in every household.

Women hold powerful purchasing power.

In fact, women drive the world economy. That’s on female empowerment.


In any given household, women account for 70-80% of all consumer purchasing decisions in America.

That means learning how to effectively market to women on Pinterest is ultra-important.

Further, products must be created with women in mind. The reality is, the best people to do that, are women.

Plus, women represent the majority of the online market.

  • 22% shop online at least once a day.
  • 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others.
  • 171: average number of contacts in their e-mail or mobile lists.
  • 76% want to be part of a special or select panel.
  • 58% would toss a TV if they had to get rid of one digital device (only 11% would ditch their laptops).
  • 51% are moms.

(Source: Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather)

With that said, marketing should always aim to be inclusive of all genders.

Demographics are simply more information when thinking about messaging and product placement.

Pinterest has potency.

Plus, more than 97% of the top searches on Pinterest are unbranded. (Source: Pinterest Business) Meaning that you can reach your audience early before they have made up their minds.

That’s typically challenging to do if someone is shopping via a traditional in-store retail experience because it’s such an intentional journey. You physically travel to the store you want to go to based on familiarity, convenience, and location.

Sure, there are opportunities to be surprised by a new store if you live in a shopping area, but those opportunities are few and far between with retail locations typically staying put for 10-50 years in some cases.

Brand discovery (globally) is what Pinterest provides.

Especially since Pinterest is such an inspiration-based platform, the world is your oyster.

If you’re not selling your own products and services via Pinterest, you can monetize your Pinterest with basic affiliate marketing.

Believe it or not, you can make money on Pinterest without ever starting a blog by simply sharing affiliate links.

You can add swipe-up links on Instagram without 10K followers by adding a video longer than 1 minute to your IGTV, removing the feed preview, and adding your link. Then share on Instagram Stories and get views!

Remember, you can advertise on Pinterest and get incredible web traffic and spend $0 on paid advertising. The same applies to Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform. You simply need different strategies.

Are Pinterest ads cheaper than Facebook?

Many people say that Pinterest is less expensive to advertise on compared to Facebook. However, this can be relative.

This is because there is less competition on Pinterest which makes it more affordable to go after high volume search terms.

Taking audience size into account, Pinterest has more than 400M monthly users whereas Facebook has 2 billion active users.

That means IG and FB have 2-4x as many monthly active users. So that’s not a completely fair measurement or comparison there.

Audience size alone can impact ad spend on the platform as well as efficacy.

However, ad spend can be relative based on your budget.

Optimizing your ads is the best way to ensure that your ads perform well.

For Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads, it’s all about optimizing your content fully.

With that said, it’s not so much about which platform is better but rather which one aligns more strategically to what you’re offering, based on demographics and purchasing behavior.

Are Pinterest ads effective?

Pinterest ads are highly effective. Especially in respect to brand discovery.

Turns out, Pinterest users are 47% more likely to be introduced to brand new products than users on any other social platform.

That’s eye-opening!

Especially when you’re thinking about which social media platform to focus on to drive traffic to your website right away.

How much do Pinterest ads cost?

Your ad spend on Pinterest can vary whether it’s Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads.

  • Based on your campaign objectives, if you solely want to boost engagement, ads will cost $0.10 to $1.50 per engagement.
  • If your objective is to drive web traffic, ads will cost $0.10 to $1.50 per engagement as well.

These types of ads run on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) model. This means that you pay when someone engages with your ad.

Are Promoted Pins worth it?

If you do want to try advertising on Pinterest, Promoted Pins amplify your paid ad efforts further.

Promoted Pins look like regular pins, but have additional capabilities and targeting that increase visibility. This is to make sure your ads are delivered to the right people at the right time.

Keep in mind, you can promote on Pinterest for free with organic engagement and strategies.

Promoted Pins will simply amplify your profile to the accounts most likely to interact with it.

If you’re still on the fence…

The data shows that 50% have made a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin. 

The proof is in the pudding.

Advertising on Facebook in 2021

Facebook is one of the fastest-growing ad networks.

With more than 2M current advertisers using the platform to date, the number of advertisers is doubling YOY.

How much money do you need to spend on Facebook ads?

You don’t need to spend a lot on Facebook ads when you’re first getting started.

If you’re on a small budget, you can spend less than $100/mo on Facebook ads. In fact, you can spend less than $10/day on Facebook.

This is effective if you want to simply start getting some data, test different ads and ad sets, copy, and design. 

This will help you to understand what’s working (and what isn’t).

It’s smart to start with a small Facebook ads budget.

This will help you gain some initial insights, scale, and spend more, as well as smarter.

Once you start getting some clicks and data, you’ll have a better idea on what copy and imagery converts.

Once you test your highest performing ads, drop the remaining. Rinse and repeat at scale.

Leverage Facebook ads for the hyper-targeting capabilities.

If you’re using Ads Manager, Facebook has some of the most incredible, ultra-specific targeting capabilities.

That’s thanks to the 2 billion active users on the platform, as mentioned.

You can target your audiences based on:

  1. Age, gender, location, demographic, interest, and behavior.
  2. Interact or liked your competitors.
  3. Edit the ad placement on mobile and desktop, for the right-hand column, Stories, and the newsfeed.
  4. You can also retarget people who visit your website with the Facebook Pixel.

Facebook Ad Frequency, and Retargeting Best Practices

You might have experienced the same ad following you from every website for days or weeks.

Retargeting is valuable and important. Double brownie points if you have an abandoned cart email ready to go.

With that said, retargeting is beneficial for the person that loves your brand but might only be dipping their toe in.

Keep in mind, if your ad frequency and retargeting efforts are too aggressive, that’s a no-go. It will be just as annoying as any other intense effort to get your attention.

Aggressive marketing tactics can negatively impact brand perception as well as ad performance too.

Why is Facebook ad frequency important?

In your FB ad metrics, frequency indicates how many times one person viewed your ad.

The longer you run an ad to the same audience, the higher the frequency rate will be.

So, pay attention to the frequency of your FB ads metrics.

Try putting in place shorter ad campaign lengths to get higher engagement rates (post likes, page likes, or link clicks).

Does boosting Facebook posts get results? What is the difference between a Facebook Boost and a Facebook Ad?

In short, Facebook Boosts differ from ads, in that they’re not created in Ads Manager so don’t offer full customization.

Boosted posts are still ads. They will still appear as ads in the way that they show up in the news feed and because according to Facebook they, “require a budget to be shared with a wider audience”.

Remember, that while pressing the little blue ‘Boost’ button can show your ad to lots of people — it won’t necessarily be the audience that clicks or buys. 

With Ads Manager you can use hyper-targeted capabilities instead.

Using Ads Manager will help to ensure your ad has an optimal effect.

You can also A/B test in Ads Manager and create multiple ads for one campaign to test copy and images to see what’s most successful.

After about 3 days (or you’ve reached approx. 2,000 people) you can reassess the ad efficacy. Revise. Then rinse and repeat.

Whenever you’re boosting your posts, know that if you applied 5-15 more minutes setting up more customized targeting and you’ll likely get a higher return on ad spend (aka ROAS).

If you want to experiment, try boosting your Facebook post and see what happens. Results can vary.

Pinterest vs. Facebook Ads: Which ad platform is better?

Measure and determine what works.

As you experiment, your Facebook ads are going to vary in results.

For instance, local vs. global focus, competition within those regions, and detailed demographic breakdowns based on buyer personas can all skew ad data and results.

As you learn what works over the first few months of FB advertising, focus on which ads performed the best based on demographics and buyer personas.

Choosing between Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads is no easy feat.

As with any digital marketing strategy, an integrated approach works best.

If you need to determine between Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads, experiment with both. 

Understanding Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads cost, demographics, and audience size, you can determine which platform would better suit your product or service.

Each online success story is unique.

You need to identify what works for your business or brand and why.

In the end, create ads that help your audience understand your business and what you’re offering.

You want to make sure your ad efforts are valuable and engaging for your audience.

As you learn what works, you’ll develop a posting style that resonates with your audience, as well as determine if you’re able to meet your campaign objectives and goals.

In conclusion…

When you do start scaling your ad spend, you want to be smart and strategic with how you spend.

In most industries, you do not need to be spending $1,000+/mo on Facebook ads or Promoted Pins — for any number of campaigns.

Remember, make your ad dollars work harder and reach farther with smaller ad spend budgets allocated more strategically.

In conclusion, paid ads can be a great way to instantly get web traffic to your website or blog or make some initial sales whether it’s Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads.

However, in the end, whether you choose Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads, the platform you advertise on should be used strategically based on your specific campaign goals and the demographic you’re trying to reach.

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