Since the arrival of social media, businesses have been using it to drive sales. The key to using social media to convert prospects to buyers is to understand how those potential customers typically use social media within their purchasing process.
The Harvard Business Review has shared research that offers businesses insight into how they should be planning their Pinterest strategies. It shows the impact Pinterest has on purchases. There are definite patterns in the use of Pinterest that can help establish businesses’ Pinterest best practices, which can drive not only online sales, but sales in stores as well.
Utilize the “Reverse Showrooming” Phenomena
“Showrooming”, the phenomena that involves customers going to a store to check out an item, then leaving to buy it online at a lower price, is reversed in Pinterest use. Users of Pinterest and other social media sites are actually pulled in to stores via online promotions and advertising. Studies show that 20% of Pinterest users have gone to a store after repining or liking it on Pinterest. Over 35% of users under age 35 have engaged in this pattern of behavior. This encourages businesses to design their Pinterest strategy to send people to their store as well as their website.
The sales aren’t coming from Pinterest boards of companies, however. Almost 20% of purchases from Pinterest were discovered through a friend’s board, and 24% were found on the boards of strangers. Only 7% are credited to the board of the company. Therefore, companies need to focus on more than just their Pinterest presence and figure out how to drive repining. Some ideas include having a “Pin it” button on every product page, and like and repin the pins of users who share your content.
Put Information in your Images
Pinterest is able to influence purchasing by delivering additional information about a product. When visitors come to your page from Pinterest, it’s essential that they end up on a page that’s relevant to the image they saw. An even better solution is to put the information in the image, with text or additional visual cues.
Design Promotions with Pinterest in Mind
Pinterest is behind Twitter and Facebook when it comes to being used for promoting store specials and sales. There is room for growth, and it should be fairly simple to integrate Pinterest into your promotion planning process. It would involve incorporating the notification of sales with pinnable product images, or creating more appealing, pinnable online sale announcements.
Over 80% of purchases brought about by Pinterest are made within three weeks of pinning. This means your window of opportunity for conversion closes most of the way after 21 days from the time they first pin your image. It’s during that time that you need to be reaching out to your customers.
If you have big-ticket items for sale, like cars, it may be worth your while to follow up on any indication of interest. This can be done by using analytics or some sort of third party tool to determine who has been regularly pinning items from your site or boards.
If you’re looking to actively drive engagement, you may want to consider hosting a “Pinning Party” or contest that encourages your customers to pin your content.
Pinterest is one of the current social media platforms that has great potential for helping your business meet and exceed sales goals. By following Pinterest best practices, your company may be able to take advantage of all the platform has to offer, while simultaneously improving the content on your website and in your marketing campaigns to make it not only more “pinnable” but also more informative, useful and appealing to your customers.
You can also automatize your Pinterest pinning process, using a plugin I built . It can automatically pin content to your Pinterest boards, each time you publish a new post to your WordPress blog. It can also pin posts manually, by selecting which post should be pinned. Another huge feature of it will allow you to import pins as posts, to your own WordPress blog. Check it out now, on CodeCanyon.