Pinterest holds great marketing promise — 21% of US online adults visit it at least monthly, 81% of the site’s users are women, the median user age is 35, and 84% have made an online purchase in the last three months — but it’s not a valuable social marketing channel today, according to Forrester.

Despite Pinterest having nearly as many users as Twitter and more than Instagram and Google+, today’s marketers find little value from its branded boards. Only 56% of top brands have created these boards, and those that have fail to post regularly, struggle to collect followers, and see limited engagement.

But marketers shouldn’t push Pinterest aside just yet. The rich data consumers contribute to Pinterest creates huge opportunity for effective ad targeting, although the social site currently shares only a fraction of its customer insights. If Pinterest taps into the full customer insights it holds, Forrester contends it will one day drive more sales than Facebook or Twitter, and, by 2016, its ad offering could trump that of other social networks. 

To learn more about this research, visit the Marketing Leadership blog.