Since Pinterest burst into the social conversation last year, companies have been scratching their heads as to how their products, services and usership exists on this photo-centric community.
For food and fashion companies the site seemed to work perfectly in showcasing glossy pics of things people wanted to wear or eat the question became, “Does it lead to more sales or just eyecandy?”
While Pinterest is still in its infancy of commerce media, it appears that pins are equally sales for the companies that dove head first into the new waters.
Pinterest is rapidly climbing the social ladder to become the third most popular network online in the US -- just behind Facebook and Twitter, according to a recent report out by Experian Hitwise.
The report shows that Pinterest received 21.5 million visits in the last week of January -- a staggering 30x more than a single week it had in July. The total visits in March show that Pinterest is rapidly creeping up on Twitter's 183 million visits with its own 104 million. Facebook is in a league of its own with 7 billion visits in March. LinkedIn, Tagged and Google+ rounded out the top six with 86 million, 72 million and 61 million hits, respectively.
Pinterest, with its strength in building brand and product awareness by creating an early shareable wish-list of goods is targeted more toward women, but a surprising number of men also frequent the site -- giving the new service a 60/40 split.
Over at home design flash sales site One Kings Lane, Pinterest has become a great way to share pictures of décor that people can buy while supplies last.
“Our brand and products play well [on Pinterest] because we offer both the inspiration and the hard to find/fun/interesting,” One Kings Lane CMO, Greg Fant shared with me. “It’s a great opportunity to visually showcase our brand and brand aesthetic through editorial pinboard stories around trends in home, design, and entertaining.”
The e-commerce company has created great pinboards for professional and personal home designers to shift through and easy repin or click on to lead to the website purchase page. Boards for the company include: “Polka Dots Galore”, “Pastel Persuasion” and ”NY Gift Show Trend: Utility Brights.”
Since January, One Kings Lane has see traffic from Pinterest to its site grow 600% and the number of individual pins driving traffic to the company has increased five-fold.
And when compared to other traffic drivers, the revenue per visitor from this channel is one of the top performers.
One Kings Lane has also see its follower growth on Pinterest increase 800% since the start of the year.
Those are exciting numbers for other e-commerce sites out there trying to figure out whether the work of pinning is worth their time.
For those that aren’t sure yet how Pinterest works there are a few simple steps to get started.
-- You have to go to the site and request and invite to build a profile.
-- Then you decide what your pin boards should be labeled as. You can pick as many boards as you want and name them however you like. My suggestion is to start with pinboards titles that are already common on the site such as “Architecture,” “Design,” and “Home Décor” so that people searching in those fields see your related items.
-- Add a pin button to all of the pages on your site that have photos. Pinterest is a photo-centric site and if the image is strong it could go viral on Pinterest. Also having a “Pin It” button increases the chances that someone will click on it rather than taking a screen shot of the picture – which doesn’t direct traffic back to your site.
-- Think about creating a pin board for sale or limited time offerings and keep it updated. People on Pinterest like seeing things that are attainable just as much as they want to see the luxury, dream-world options.