Pinterest is emerging as the best social media site to showcase products and drive traffic to a website, blog and hopefully through the door! There is a lot of hype around how social media can help businesses, but Pinterest is getting more attention than the rest. There are two main reasons for this
A recent survey from PriceGrabber indicated that 21% of users purchased something they saw on a pinboard. The most commonly purchased products were food and cooking related (33%), fashion/clothing (32%), home decorating (30%) and crafts (26%), suggesting the Pinterest is more popular among women than men. Estimates put the male/female user split between 40/60 and 20/80, which comes as no surprise. Just as many other girls, I used to cut out pretty things I found in magazines and stick them into a scrap book. Pinterest has just bought the concept to the Internet, where there are more beautiful photos and images than we all know what to do with. The age range of women users is large; between 26-65 and this group is interested in whats new, things that are unique and interesting and things they may want to buy.
Even though Pinterest is one of the younger social networks, it bypassed Twitter in terms of referral traffic in February 2012 and refers more traffic than than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined.
So how can Pinterest can help retailers? Because Pinterest is based on images, it is the perfect way to showcase products. The Pinterest interface attracts users that expect to see and find images of beautiful things that they want to buy. Just as people flock to Google to search for something in particular, Pinterest’s users go to the site to browse and see whats new, so you have an engaged audience, which is always better than targeting people with advertising that they see everywhere and treat as noise.
Each pin clicks back to a website from which is was posted, so is a great way to attract traffic to a website or blog. For a retailer that is selling high end items, this is really important. Since people are less likely to buy a a high end item on impulse, attracting them to a website, where they can sign up to a mailing list really helps. Retailers without a website can still benefit from creating a following and promoting a store on the site.
To attract followers, it is important to curate content on boards and to keep the themes specific. In time, depending on the likes, comments and followers, it is possible to understand what images people are attracted to and what goes viral through constant re-pinning. But basically, users like original content and beautiful images. Quality is more important than quantity and so well taken photos are key here. People are also interested in the content behind the photo. If a photo is related to a blog people will be interested in reading it.
Although the growth of the Pinterest user base has been avalanche like, gaining followers is a slower process. However, followers do tend to be more engaged than they are on other social networks and so its possible to build a relationship with followers and in turn, build a loyal customer base. So much so, that Pinterest has created ‘Contributor Boards’, a fantastic way for retailers to engage followers and spread content to an even wider audience. Pinterest contests using contributor boards have proved hugely successful.
In the end, all social networks are an experiment and there is some trial and error involved. But Pinterest shows us yet again that a picture paints a thousand words and is hugely powerful when connecting over the somewhat non-personal and untamed Internet.