As the fastest site ever to gain 10 million users, Pinterest took the social sphere by storm. While there are many resources (including tons of awesome infographics), which illustrate site statistics and user demographics, there isn’t too much out there on how brands can utilize Pinterest for eCommerce. With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time for your brand to start using this ultra-powerful platform to drive sales.
Before you commit your brand to the platform, it’s important to determine if your brand is right for Pinterest.
Does your brand satisfy these factors?
Once you’ve determined that your brand is a good fit, you might ask what’s the value; is it worth my time?
There’s a great article on Search Engine Watch written by Miranda Miller titled “5 Pinterest User Insights Marketers Can Use to Drive Sales”. In this article, Miranda points out that when compared to other social sites, Pinterest users are less likely to convert, BUT when they do, they tend to spend more.
Let’s look at a few examples from clients of ours here at SwellPath…
As illustrated from the examples above, average order value from Pinterest referrals is much greater than those from Facebook.
Now that we’ve seen what’s possible, let’s talk about some ways to leverage the platform for eCommerce and add SEO value to your account and pins.
THE BASICS WITH A SPRINKLE OF SEO
First, make sure the description on your Pinterest profile is completely filled out. Include a high quality image of your brand logo, link your company website and your Twitter and Facebook accounts, if applicable.
In the ‘About’ section, include a thorough description of your offering and brand. Just like page meta descriptions, your profile description on Pinterest can contribute to the keyword-relevancy of your profile. Optimizing your Pinterest description will also ensure that the SEO authority passed back to your website has keyword value attached to it.
When creating pin boards, use descriptive keyword-focused titles. It never hurts to make them catchy and fun too. Whole Foods- Austin does a great job creating fun pin board titles.
Now that you have your account all set up, you can start pinning items or products to your categorized boards. This is probably one of the most crucial steps for SEO value. Ensure you’re including product keywords that describe the product and its features/benefits. The inclusion of keywords ensures that your pinned products and boards can be found through internal and external searches. However, optimization of these areas should always be a compromise between SEO and a friendly, personal messaging style. Always remember that you’re on a social network where people want to experience things that are fun and creative.
If you plan on pushing pins to Twitter it can be useful to include hashtags. Hashtags are also helpful to add a category to a pin such as #holiday, #recipes, or #craft. This helps users find your pins easier. Here’s a great example from Nordstrom.
Always use high quality and attractive photos. Pinterest is a visual platform before anything else. Make sure the images you’re pinning are high-res and accurately illustrate the product. Also, remember that Pinterest resizes thumbnails to 192 pixels wide, so detail might be lost when they’re thrown in the feed.
Finally, don’t forget to add a “Follow Us On Pinterest” button to your company website and social networking profiles. Also be sure add “Pin It” buttons on product pages. You can find the code to embed here.
SO WHAT ABOUT ECOMMERCE?
One of the best, and most underutilized Pinterest features is the price banner. To add a banner on your pined product stating the price, simply add the dollar sign ($) with the price in the product description. It’s really that easy.
Once you add the price banner, Pinterest automatically adds your pin to “Gifts” feed and inserts it into the correct pricing category.
Pinterest can be a great resource to drive traffic to your site, which can ultimately lead to sales. One of the best ways to bring people to your site via Pinterest is to hold a contest or sweepstakes. There are many ways to execute a Pinterest contest. I won’t go in to the specifics here, but check out this great pin board full various ways to conduct contents or promotions on Pinterest.
So, why should you run a contest on Pinterest?
First and foremost, this is a super low cost (if any cost at all) way to engage with your customers.
Pinterest is also a valuable resource for collecting customer and product insights. As users follow you to participate, create boards, comment, and re-pin your products you’re collecting priceless customer information and feedback.
Many “pin it to win it” type contests have a value-added factor. In this type of contest users pin images of your products to a board made specifically for the contest. Pictures of your products are now circling the world of Pinterst and getting repined and repined, with no effort on your part.
There’s lots of Pinterest tools out there to help you measure the value of your pins and also you help you identify influencers. Here are a few to look into.
- Pinerly: Pinerly aids in marketing your visual content across the web. Their “dashboard” provides Pinterest measurement and optimization.
- Pintics: Pintics is a Pinterest analytics tool that highlights the best-performing pins.
- PinPuff: Measures “pin worth” and places a monetary value on your pins. PinPuff assigns an influence (pinfluence) score, similar to Klout. Your pinfluence is measured by your popularity, influence, and reach on Pinterest.
While Pinterest has the power to drive high-value referral traffic, it’s critical to remember that above all else, Pinterest is about customer engagement.
There’s nothing more annoying than a brand aggressively pushing their products when you’re looking for craft ideas or a great dinner recipe. Be sure to interact with other Pinners in a natural and conversational manner. Brands can successfully converse with pinners by:
- Pinning thematically relevant images from other Pinterest users as opposed to only pinning your own images
- Leaving comments on other user’s pins, “liking” other user’s pins, when appropriate
- Using the mention feature to mention other Pinterest users in comments (e.g., “Hi @FancyPants10, thanks for pinning!”)
- Following other users or brands that pin items in a similar product category