Pinterest is shaping up to be the fastest growing social media site in history, but have you really stopped to think about what that could mean for your e-commerce business?
Maybe you’ve been caught up in thinking about the time and effort it would take to get involved with yet another social media platform, especially when you’re not really seeing any great return on your investment in other platforms? But the data proves that Pinterest is different and, if you own an e-commerce business, you really can’t afford to ignore it.
Why Pinterest is a great marketing channel for an e-commerce business
With its focus on images and products, recent studies suggest that Pinterest has fast become a “must have” social media platform for e-commerce businesses. And there’s a reason for this – Pinterest users use the site as a source of inspiration to get ideas and inspiration for their purchases. Especially popular with women and higher income earners who enjoy shopping online, in case you’re still not convinced, it’s also been found that Pinterest users are now spending 60% more than Facebook users.
Now I can’t speak for you, but I’d want in on that Pinterest action?!!
Keep reading to discover a few simple tactics that you can quickly implement to help you use Pinterest to generate more sales for your e-commerce business. In fact, some of these tips will work well with any business!
8 proven tactics to help e-commerce business owners profit from Pinterest
Have a “Pin It” button on all of your products
Mashable reported that 70% of brand engagement is started by other Pinterest users. This means that people on Pinterest enjoy sharing content with their followers, all of whom can then “Repin” your content. It’s unlikely that all of these users will have the pin bookmarklet tool on their browsers, so make sure that you don’t lose out on all of that exposure. Make sure that you have a “Pin It” button on every single “Pinnable” image and product that you showcase on your business site.
K.I.S.S – Make your pins easy to share
Having that “Pin It” button is just the first step. Pinterest is the visual ‘get-together’, where it’s all about getting your content “Pinned”, “Repinned” and then “Pinned” some more. The best way to do that is to make your pins attractive and share worthy, here are a few of the best ways to do this:
Use high quality graphics and imagery that are related to your customers interests– you want to grab their attention.
Label your pins with intriguing headlines that use keywords your potential customer might use – you want to make sure that they can find your content in a search.
If the original content or product can be found on your website, then make sure that your pin links back to your website.
Put your web address in the product image and pin description
It’s possible for a pinner to change the original description of a image once they re-pin it, so if you want to make sure that users are receiving important information about your pin, this text should be embedded in the actual image.
Having your web address at the end your product description gives users a more direct link to your businesses website. Though users can get to your site by clicking on the actual image, they would have to click twice in order to get there. The first click enlarges the pin image, and the second would then direct them to your website. You want to drive traffic as efficiently as possible to your e-commerce store, so I’d recommend including this direct link as an option.
Don’t forget to link to your other social media profiles
Speaking of driving traffic…this is one area where you’re really going to have to put on your conductor’s cap. Facebook is still the largest social media platform in the world with the greatest awareness, while Twitter is still the hub of current affairs and all things “breaking news”.
Make sure that your Pinterest account is linked to all of your businesses social media platforms. And don’t be afraid to occasionally ask your followers on other platforms to follow you over on Pinterest. After all…if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Show up and Pin consistently.
It’s not enough to just have amazing Pins. Like all social media, Pinterest is all about establishing an online relationship. Users don’t want to feel elated by gorgeous contributions on Pinterest the one day, and then experience radio silence for weeks on end. Your pins give your followers the chance to have a relationship with your brand which is all about shared interests and aesthetics. When someone repins your content, they are saying you share common ground.
That being said, there is such a thing as “over-pinning”. Users don’t want to be saturated by content. Find out when your customers are online, and then establish a pattern where you pin only a couple of times per day. I’d recommended that you get started with 3 – 5 new pins a day. Make sure at least 1 of those are of your own product.
If you’re a business that targets women, quick Brazen tip here – Saturday is your new Friday! It’s been found that a large segment of wealthy women spend a part of their weekend perusing the site, so don’t forget to make sure you’re contributing to the platform on those days.
Hangout with your followers and other brands
Cast your net wide and show that you aren’t just singing the tune of “me, me, me”. Nobody wants to listen to someone who’s always talking about themselves! Pin content from, and related to, your businesses interests, yes. But make sure you’re also repinning content from your followers and other brands. Take the time to reply to all comments, and make sure that you go to their pins to write a few comments of your own. This little extra effort can go a long way in building your followers’ trust in you and your brand. Go the extra mile.
Remember, your main goal on Pinterest is to engage with as many of your target customers as possible, and you never know where they may be hiding.
Make sure you emphasise your best products on Pinterest
Consumers aren’t interested in working hard to find what they want, so make it easy for them. Organise your products into different categories, and have separate boards for each category. Make sure that your most popular products are “front row centre” so that your viewer can see them with minimal effort on their part.
Having a special event, offering or giveaway? You may also want to consider creating a separate board just for that. Use every opportunity you can to pull followers deeper into your brand story and message. Think about what you can do to turn a follower into a fan?
Use Rich Pins
“Rich pins” are a new type of Pin that have certain special features. Right now there are only three types, but Pinterest has suggested that this might just be the beginning.
The 3 types of rich pins:
Product pins – these have “real time pricing, availability and where to buy” products.
Recipe pins – these show “ingredients, cooking times and serving info to get pinners excited to hit the kitchen”.
Movie pins – these give “ratings, cast members and reviews to help pinners learn about new flicks”.
Rich Pins are a fairly new introduction to Pinterest, and though some e-commerce business owners may be apprehensive about using such direct marketing on a social network, this feature still has online marketers excited, and quite rightly so!
Wondering why rich pins are so important? here’s why.
Last year a study by Shopify showed a 36% increase in likes for pins with prices.
Stock availability can be seen on the pin. This means that customers are likely to be less upset than if they’d only found out about stock outages after clicking on the pin.
It’s believed that “the presence of a direct link to the product page acts as a strong call-to-action”.
Rich pins can be tested and evaluated individually.
So how do YOU get rich pins for your e-commerce business?
You’re going to want someone with a little technical “know-how” to help you with this one. The first thing you’ve got to do, is install meta tags on your account. Once you’ve done that, you can apply via the Pinterest website.
There’s a compelling argument for rich pins, so it might be worth your while to experiment a little. Mix in some rich pins with your normal ones, or place them on a separate board. The key is to find out how your customer reacts and adjust your strategy accordingly.
And that’s a wrap. If you decide to take action on at least 2 of the tactics listed above today, I guarantee you will start to see changes in your Pinterest marketing results.
For those of you who weren’t taking notes, here’s a quick recap:
Have a “Pin It” button on all of your products
Don’t forget to make your pins easy to share
Put your web address in the product image and the description
Make sure you link to your other social media profiles
Post consistently and thoughtfully
Engage with followers and other brands
Don’t forget to emphasise your best products
Leverage rich Pins
Are you experiencing any big wins with a certain tactic on Pinterest? Come and share it with the community here in the comments.
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Reference:Mashable 2013, Pinterest. Available from: http://mashable.com/category/pinterest/ [Retrieved 7 August 2013]
Image Sources: All at Getty royalty free images
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