July 14, 2016 eCommerce
Is Pinterest the most underestimated social platform by eCommerce entrepreneurs?
Pinterest is one of the few major social sites that enjoys a large worldwide following. Still, it does seem less popular than the likes of Facebook or Twitter and is rarely considered a must. This causes many marketers to underestimate it and not dig deeper into what it offers. Read on and find out why Pinterest may just turn out to be your strongest social performer.
According to Statista, as of April 2016 Pinterest has over 100 million active users, which easily ranks it among the top 10 social websites, if you exclude apps that primarily serve communication purposes (Skype, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp). Another interesting statistic, delivered by comScore, estimates its digital penetration (percentage of people that use it) among individuals aged 18-34 to be around 40% – that’s more than Tumblr or Vine, but still less than LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, which is used by almost 100%(!) of all individuals in this age category.
The data above could suggest that Pinterest is less attractive than other major websites. That is, if we mistakenly assume that the sheer number of its user base is any indicator of its value for your business. Pinterest still has a huge user base, but more importantly, it may turn out to be a better conversion machine for your business than any other social website. Why? Here are just a few major reasons:
- A lot of people use Pinterest specifically to research products they are interested in. It allows anyone to add interesting URLs and images from all over the web and group in various categories (tables).
- They don’t just research those products. They actively plan purchases. It makes Pinterest a site with a stronger commercial focus than that of, say, Facebook, whose users often see all sorts of commercial content as nuisance.
- Only recently, Pinterest acknowledged its role as a sort of “save button” for the web by changing the copy of the “Pin it” button to “Save.” Better yet, you can use Pinterest Analytics to find out how many people arrive at your website from that saved content.
Interested? Well let’s find out how to turn those advantages into quality traffic and conversions for your website.
Optimize your website
At the most basic level, there are two ways you can bring traffic to your website by using Pinterest. The obvious method is to share interesting content (pin it) from your Pinterest account to have it “repinned” and viewed by your followers (average pin is shared 11 times – more on that later). The less obvious is to optimize your own website so that your users pin your products, images, URLs etc. to their Pinterest accounts. Just how can you do that? Simple!
Add a “Pin it” button to your website
The “Pin it” or “Save” button is a powerful way to get exposure on Pinterest. The button may appear next to your images or reveal itself when the cursor hovers over one. When clicked, it allows the user to save the content to their account. The event is also visible for the user’s followers. If you use a blogging platform such as Blogger or a CMS such as WordPress, you can probably add a button with a plugin or a single line of code. The more engaging your content is, the more often your visitors will do it (good motivation!).
Optimize your metadata for Pinterest
Every time a pin is saved, the image and description it includes is pulled from your website’s metadata. It makes sense to have control over it. That way, you can write a description that really attracts everyone that will see it. A good way to do this is to use the Open Graph format – meta tags with the “og:” properties that should be placed in the head section of your website.
Add a Call to Action
Since you can specify what your description says, you can also enrich it with a Call to Action (CTA). Make sure that each viewer feels compelled to visit your website after reading the description of your pins.
Use Rich Pins
So called Rich Pins allow you to display metadata on the pin itself (as opposed to the description). It may turn out to convert better. Also, sponsored posts do not allow some information, such as price, in the description. You may need Rich Pins to do that (learn more here).
Use images that convert better
According to Ripen eCommerce, lighter images (light as opposed to dark, not heavy) convert up to 20 times better than those that seem shadowy. Take that into consideration and may Pinterest inspire you to increase the quality of the images you use on your website.
Rich pins allow you to include extra information on the pin itself; the pin above is extended with pricing.
Optimize your Pinterest presence
Sharing content on Pinterest is amazingly easy. Pinterest content may take the form of images, links to articles etc. You can add yours or recycle (repin) content added by other users. Every time you do it, your followers will be able to see your pins. Since sharing content on Pinterest is easy and you can get by with merely repinning other users’ pins, it’s easy to overdo it. Still, your limit can be much higher than with any other social media site. Even 20-30 pins is not considered too much and each one is another chance to get new followers.
Boards are an essential feature of Pinterest. Group your content into various topics. That way, your viewers can follow only specific tables, which may increase their conversion and engagements.
It’s also worth remembering that most “repins” take place in the first two days, so it may be a good idea to also be active over the weekend. After all, it really doesn’t take much time.
With Analytics for Pinterest, you can track:
- which of your pins get the most impressions,
- which pins generate the most engagement (repins),
- and, most importantly, how much traffic each of your pins brings to your website.
Setting up Pinterest Analytics is really easy. All you need to do is create a Pinterest business account. Watch the short video below to see the whole process.
How to set up Pinterest Analytics to measure engagement and website conversion
Speaking of analytics, it’s worth adding that since Pinterest provides potentially better conversions than that of any other social website, it may be a good idea to dig deeper into web analytics and set up your analytics tool so that you can precisely measure which sources really bring those users that complete purchases. If you plan to use Google Analytics to do it, read our article on tracking eCommerce conversions.
Sell… directly from Pinterest
Last but not least, some business users have recently been allowed to sell products directly from Pinterest. Those “Buyable Pins” include a blue “Buy it” button, which is tightly integrated with your commerce platform of choice (currently Shopify, IBM Commerce or Magento are supported, among others) and allows the user to complete the purchase without ever leaving the social site.
What’s more, Buyable Pins are proving to be quite contextual. For example, pins that sell hiking backpacks may appear in feeds related to mountains or hiking. That may further increase your conversion.
Unfortunately, the buyable Pins feature is only available to some US retailers and businesses that use certain eCommerce platforms. You can learn more here as well as sign up to get Buyable pins faster.
If you’re already using Pinterest actively, chances are that you already know just how valuable of a tool it may be for an eCommerce website, bringing in eager and well-informed shoppers. If you are not, do not underestimate it any longer. Especially if you prioritize the quality of your traffic.