Once upon a time, a picture was posted online. That little image helped explain a heap of words and tired eyes everywhere let out a sigh.
But the faux-fairy tale doesn’t end there – for pictures not only complement copy, but boost business as well. This magic visual effect is explained best by Social Media Today: “Words tell, but images sell.”
As Internet – and particularly social media – trends continue to favor visual, brands are discovering the value of pictures. 44% of users are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures on their social network pages. Images increase engagement, certainly, but also possess the power to influence sales.
Sephora has witnessed the moxie of images firsthand. Visual elements are a necessity for the beauty retailer, whose products include makeup, skincare and fragrances. For Sephora and many other brands, pictures capture consumer attention, increasing interest and credibility – and leading sales generation.
Image-based social networks aid in building awareness and engagement. Although Sephora has a strong social presence across the board, the visual nature of their products and current digital trends point to Pinterest as the top influencer. The fastest growing social network, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. Below we examine how Sephora found success in social media marketing on Pinterest.
Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale
Pinterest is the ideal network for retailers like Sephora. Pinterest provides a visual design board for product promotion, as well as adds value for users by way of category organization, direct linking and lifestyle inclusion. For example, Sephora’s boards are not just “Blush” or “Lipstick,” but uniquely fit for occasions, trends and topics. 12 out of their 44 boards are shown here:
Pinterest has also proven itself a solid revenue driver. Sephora recently reported that Pinterest users spend 15 times more on products than Facebook followers do. This is likely due to the intention of users on those networks – Facebook is seen as a social tool for connection, while Pinterest is a shopping bulletin board known for impressive referral traffic.
Other brands looking to find success on Pinterest can learn from Sephora. First of all, it’s important to optimize the basics. If you look closely above, you’ll see the little check mark by Sephora’s website, meaning they’re verified (which aids in site search results and user credibility). Their board names and pin descriptions are optimized for SEO, utilizing keywords and hashtags. Product images are high-quality and easily shareable. And of course, they’re very active pinners, with well over 3,000 pins so far.
Pinterest should be part of a larger social media optimization (SMO) strategy for your brand marketing in order to see an impact in sales and customer acquisition.