Autumn is not yet upon us, but Jill Waage, a top editor at Better Homes and Gardens, has already predicted some of the biggest trends of the coming holidays. Painted pumpkins are about to replace carved pumpkins. Snowman cookies with jiggly eyes will overtake traditional gingerbread men. And decorative ribbons on Christmas presents are going to get much more creative.
But instead of spotting these trends by consulting colleagues or outside experts, Ms. Waage has tapped Pinterest, the social media site that lets its members pin, or post, images of their favorite foods, hairstyles and clothes. Pinterest has forged close relationships with magazines, especially those focused on women, who make up 71 percent of Pinterest users. It is a leading driver of traffic to certain magazines, and in some cases — like Self — it serves as a bigger source of reader referrals than either Facebook or Twitter.
“That’s one more piece of brain food that editors have,” Ms. Waage, the editorial director for home content at Better Homes, said of Pinterest. “It’s just a subconscious part of their lives now.”
And Pinterest is redoubling its focus on working with publishers. On Monday, Robert Macdonald will join the company to manage media relationships for the site, a job he previously held at Google, and it plans to hire more people in the coming months to work with digital and print magazines.
Joanne Bradford, a Pinterest executive who runs all of its partnerships, noted that because the majority of the content on Pinterest comes from what she described as “professional content creators” like magazines, it’s crucial to educate these titles on how best to use the service.
“We don’t think we’ve invested enough yet to totally capture the opportunity and to help these publishers,” Ms. Bradford said. “We think that they make a lot of quality content that pinners are very passionate about.”