HOW TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT AND ROI USING SOCIAL MEDIA
Pinterest, the fastest growing social networking site, is the digital leader in creating referral traffic and conversions for retailers.
In this report you’ll learn what retailers must do to leverage the image-based social networking site, including:
- How Pinterest influences sales
- Optimizing boards for search engines
- Pinterest techniques to increase engagement and visibility
- Strategies to create and build a Pinterest community
PINTEREST DEMOGRAPHICS: WHY RETAILERS SHOULD START PINNING
Retailers fighting for an advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace are looking for new ways to reach consumers, and many have discovered Pinterest as a highly effective platform for impacting ecommerce. The image-based social networking site empowers retailers to convert their social media presence into sales.
70 million people use Pinterest — about 21 percent of all Americans — making it the third most used social network, behind LinkedIn and Facebook. Pinterest’s user base added 6 percent of Americans in 2013, the greatest increase for a social networking site. In 2014, Pinterest is expected to pass LinkedIn to become the second most popular site, trailing only Facebook.
Women make up roughly 79 percent of Pinterest’s user base, which is a high compared to other social sites. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all either male dominated or evenly split between male and female. Pinterest offers a unique opportunity for retailers to directly influence the female demographic.
Women are an important demographic for retailers with 85 percent of women saying they either make purchasing decisions or share the responsibility. The Center for Emerging Female Leadership found that women account for 58 percent of all total online spending and 22 percent shop online at least once a day.
PINTEREST POWER: CONVERTING PINS INTO SALES
Pinterest users have more purchasing power than the average users of other social networking sites. According to Pew’s research, of online adults who make $75,000 or more a year, 27 percent use the site.
A recent case study found that during the 2013 holiday shopping season, Pinterest accounted for 10 percent of all ecommerce referrals. The research firm Piqora reports that in Q4 2013, each pin by a retailer generated two site visits, six page views and 78 cents in sales. Wayfair reports Pinterest users convert at a similar rate as other social media users, but spend 50 percent more on average.
Piqora’s research also found that 50 percent of orders happen more than three and a half months after pinning. This proves that pins have a long shelf life and can impact consumers and sales months after being uploaded.
MAJOR RETAILERS FINDING SUCCESS TODAY
Currently, retailers dominate the top 10 brands represented on Pinterest by the number of followers. One of Pinterest’s most valuable assets for retailers is its visual representation of products and services, thus providing the capability to be adapted toward any type of customer base regardless of vertical.
Home Depot is one of the more active brands pinning, creating new inspiration and idea boards that coincide with home improvement offerings. Spanish retailer Zara is one of many luxury brands using Pinterest to show off style collections. Target uses Pinterest as a way to gauge interest in specific products, utilizing that information for in-store product placement decisions and promotions.
RANKING HIGH IN SEARCH RESULTS WITH PINTEREST
Search engine spiders see Pinterest boards as an authority when it comes to ideas and inspiration. Therefore, when people search for keyword strings that include the words “ideas,” “inspiration” or “DIY,” Pinterest pages are likely to show up on first page results. Pinterest also has authority for many other search terms, making a keyword strategy an important part of optimizing any brand’s social media presence.
The first step for retailers looking to optimize for search is to create an eye-catching profile that is easy to find. Brands should have a user name and profile image that will be easily recognizable to potential consumers.
Next, retailers should consider search engine optimization when planning their Pinterest board name and organization strategy. Instead of just organizing pins by collection, retailers should also organize them by board theme or idea. Each board also has its own description field, which should be utilized. Boards should be grouped by the appropriate category within Pinterest. The more targeted and optimized the board, the more likely it can be found by both searches on Pinterest and Google.
CREATING CONVERSIONS FROM PINTEREST
BEST PRACTICE #1: IMAGE SELECTION
Pinterest is specifically designed as a visual medium. Retailers that understand what users are attracted to and how to create eye catching images for pins will see a higher engagement than those that ignore this.
Curalate looked at a half million Pinterest images and found the mix of factors that resulted in the most engagement.
- Color is important: Images with multiple, vibrant colors had 3.25 times more repins than those with only one dominant color.
- White space is a turn-off: Images with active backgrounds are repined two-to-four-times more than ones with a solid color background.
- Use people, but not faces: Images that included angles of people that don’t include their face garnered 23 percent more repins. Curalate found that less than 20 percent of images on Pinterest today include a face.
BEST PRACTICE #2: UTILIZE RICH PINS
Rich pins allow for businesses to maximize the amount of information available to Pinterest users. They automatically update with your website and make shopping or finding information on Pinterest easier. For retailers, that means being able to include real-time pricing on products, a company logo and direct links to product pins from other digital assets. A study from Shopify found that rich pins with prices get 36 percent more likes and repins than regular pins.
BEST PRACTICE #3: LINK DIRECTLY FROM PIN TO PRODUCT PAGE
Making the buying process as easy as possible for consumers should be a top priority. Retailers should link directly to product pages instead of home pages or other non-related content. The more links and moves a consumer has to make before buying a product, the less likely they are to make a final purchase.
BEST PRACTICE #4: USE DESCRIPTIONS STRATEGICALLY
Pinterest is a search engine for inspirations and ideas. Instead of waiting for products to be put in front of them, pinners actively use it to search for products. Therefore, retailers should create descriptions that appeal to users and that can be found using a variety of keywords.
HOW TO CREATE AND GROW A PINTEREST FOLLOWING
Retailers should be active in promoting Pinterest pages, even away from the social media site. Retailers are finding success in creating large Pinterest communities using four main strategies:
- PIN BUTTONS: Retailers have the ability to attach pin buttons to product pages on their website. This gives consumers the opportunity to share products that may not already be featured on Pinterest. It can also lead shoppers to discover a retailer’s Pinterest page, allowing them to search for and find new products to purchase.
- EMAIL CAMPAIGNS: Retailers can send out targeted Pinterest emails that push people toward specific boards. For example, retailers can include following Pinterest as part of a campaign promoting a specific board toward a target audience or using links to pins in emails instead of links to product pages. Email marketing works when it comes to gathering Pinterest followers; the Container Store reports that it gets 7,000 new Pinterest followers for each Pinterest related email it sends out.
- WEBSITE INTEGRATION: By utilizing a Pinterest API, businesses have the ability to showcase the most popular pins on their website in real-time. This allows for retailers to influence the consumer buying decision at the discovery phase by showing popular items, instead of forcing consumers to find them on their own.
- IN-STORE DISPLAYS: Retailers have the ability to connect Pinterest and in-store shopping through Pinterest displays. Because consumers trust the opinions of other shoppers more than what a retailer promotes, in-store Pinterest displays are a way to promote product awareness without seeming too promotional.
Pinterest is one of the most effective ecommerce platforms for retailers to reach consumers that are actively researching and discovering brands and products. Retailers can gain a competitive advantage by using Pinterest to target active, high-dollar spenders by using high-quality and visually engaging posts, directly connecting to product purchases and create ROI. For more information on how your brand can utilize Pinterest download the PDF.