Facebook Ads vs Pinterest Ads: Which is best for your eCommerce business?

Since Apple changed the way advertisers can track customer data in its April iOS14 update, the number of enquiries I’ve had about Pinterest ads has increased substantially.

Like you, my clients are interested in finding new ways to reach their target audiences and have heard that Pinterest is a great option.

In this blog I’m going to share the answers to the most commonly asked  questions and explain why I don’t think this is an ‘either/or’ choice.

The difference between the Facebook and Pinterest platforms

Despite popular belief, Pinterest is not a social media platform, it’s actually a visual search engine. This means people use it differently to Facebook. 

People use Pinterest for inspiration, to plan big life events and to search for information about topics that interest them.

Facebook and Instagram users on the other hand, are there to catch up with friends and family and to interact with brands they like.

The difference between Facebook and Pinterest ads


Because ads on Facebook and Instagram are competing against so much personal content, they need to really stand out and grab attention. 

Compare this to Pinterest where users are actively looking for information and inspiration – your ad could be shown to them exactly when they’re in the right frame of mind to learn about your business. 


Creative best practice varies across the two advertising platforms.

On Pinterest, polished graphics and photos do better. Video pins are actually given preferential treatment on the platform over static pins.

On Facebook and Instagram, you really need to test a variety of content types in your ads to understand what works best. Whether it is UGC (user-generated content) which can look a bit more authentic and ‘rustic’, to more polished photo shoot images and video. There’s no rule as to what performs best.

Shelf Life

Here’s another BIG and important difference… Pinterest ads live forever!

Yes, you read that correctly. Even when you switch off your ad spend the ads don’t disappear. They exist on Pinterest FOREVER. 

If someone has pinned your ad to their board, it will stay there ready to be re-pinned and shared organically on the platform. This is unique to any social commerce advertising.

On Facebook and Instagram, ads disappear as soon as they’re turned off. This is common across all other platforms.

Which is cheaper? Facebook ads vs Pinterest ads

Currently, Pinterest ads are cheaper to run than Facebook ads. This is because there are less advertisers using the platform so there’s less competition.  

Pinterest likes to use the statistic: ‘Ads on Pinterest deliver 2.3X lower cost per conversion vs ads on social media.’

But, as with all digital advertising, the results achieved differ from business to business.

Facebook, Pinterest… or both?

With so much going for Pinterest ads, you might be wondering whether you can pull the plug on Facebook altogether?

I’m afraid not. I never recommend Pinterest ads replace Facebook ads. Why? 

Firstly, Pinterest users use the platform less frequently than Facebook. This means it can take longer for Pinterest to find your ideal customers and it can take longer for your ads to get results.  

Pinners are also more likely to be at the very beginning of their buying journey. Pinterest is great for driving awareness of your brand but it may take customers longer to commit to buying.

The bottom line is, Facebook and Pinterest ads work completely differently but, when done properly, compliment each other really well.

I usually advise Pinterest ads to be used as part of a sales funnel. Attract new customers on Pinterest and retarget them with advertising on Facebook.  

A cross platform advertising strategy can also build you a reputation as an established brand as you’re present on more than one platform.

Growing your business with Pinterest ads

If you’re an eCommerce brand with ambitious plans to grow, do not discount adding Pinterest ads to your marketing strategy. 

Diversifying your revenue streams will make you a more robust business and make you visible to a whole new audience.  

Really the question you should be asking yourself is not ‘should I be using Pinterest ads instead of Facebook ads?’ but ‘Why am I not using Pinterest ads alongside my Facebook ads to grow my business?’

If you’re unsure whether Pinterest ads are right for your business, find out more about my Pinterest Ad Management services here.