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6 Ways to be Pin-Tastic on Pinterest, and Why You Should Want to Be

The following article originally appeared in RKG Dossier 5.2, which is now available as a digital download.

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If social media were a high-school, Facebook would be the popular cheerleader that gets all the attention, but I’d vote Pinterest most likely to succeed.

It’s no secret that Facebook is boss when it comes to social media referral traffic. Just look at our Q2 data. Facebook accounts for a whopping 51% of all social media referrals, significantly more than any other platform. But let’s dig a little deeper. Facebook’s share of social referrals has been steadily sliding over the past year, down from 57% in Q2 2013.

Pinterest keeps gaining ground – increasing its reach from 13% to 21% year over year. If you think that still looks like small potatoes compared to Facebook, not so fast. The increase in referral traffic is exciting enough, but what should really get the attention of retailers is the dramatic difference in the value of those referrals. A Bloomreach study last year found that Pinterest traffic converts to a sale 22% more often than Facebook traffic, and spends 60% more as well.

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In a short period of time, Pinterest has successfully expanded from a source of inspiration to a mecca of curated, shoppable products that increasingly draw consumers’ attention and wallets.

This holiday season is primed to be Pinterest’s debutante ball – where retailers in particular will see the trifecta of increased referrals, quality traffic and larger shopping carts come together to drive sales – showing us what Pinterest can really do. So, what should retailers do to make the most of Pinterest this holiday season? Here are six tips to help your content perform better on Pinterest:

1. Show Me the Money!

Believe it or not, price tags work in a big way on Pinterest. Including the price of the product in a pin increases likes by 36%, and can turn casual browsers into buyers. By using Rich Pins, marketers can include information like real-time pricing, availability and where to buy a product. Rather than turning off consumers, including the price nudges the decision-making process along. Go one step farther and set price-alerts to let pinners know the price has changed - creating a second opportunity to boost conversion.

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2. Get Noticed

Pinterest’s new Guided Search provides visual guides and tags to help users narrow down any searches made on the site. Pinterest wants to help users find things that they didn’t even know they wanted. When pinning your brand’s products, don’t take image descriptions for granted. Think of them as “keywords” for Pinterest. Keep your brand visible by using interesting and compelling copy in your image descriptions.

rkg-pinterest-get-noticed3. Go Big or Go Home

Image quality and shape can impact performance in a big way. It may seem like stating the obvious, but high-quality, simple and gorgeous images go a long way. Speaking of going long, image height can also improve performance. Taller, or more vertical images on Pinterest get more repins – specifically, images with a height of 800 pixels show a significant spike in repins. Something to consider in your image strategy and testing.

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4. Go Easy on Branding

It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole with branded content. Consumers don’t engage with your brand on social media just for great products, they engage with you for the experience you create and the great content you share. Non-branded content plays a big part in that experience and keeps people from tuning you out. This means both curating third-party content as well as creating your own non-branded content.

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Motivational quotes overlaid on striking images are one example of high-performing non-branded content on Pinterest that can help strike a balance for your brand. User generated content (UGC) is another non-branded (or lightly-branded) opportunity. The next time you catch yourself going full tilt with product pins, pump the brakes and make sure you’re maintaining a healthy brand/non-brand balance.

5. Nobody Likes a Control Freak

Social Media 101: Creating a true community in the social space means you need to be social. Your community is creating content, and some of it is truly great. Stop trying to control the conversation and start harnessing great UGC by simply acknowledging it, creating campaigns that call for it and rewarding the best content and influential users. 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is user-generated.

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Sephora gets this. Their #SephoraNailspotting campaign keeps it simple by asking users to tag their most creative manicures with this hashtag and they pin the best UGC on their Nailspotting board, then taking the extra step to make those pins shoppable. Sephora is giving their community a voice and promoting products at the same time – nailed it!

6. Don’t Put Baby in the Corner

Iconic 80s movies notwithstanding, Pinterest can be a jewel in your eCommerce crown, but be careful not to isolate Pinterest to, well, Pinterest. Share your best performing content on other social platforms, on your website or even in-store. Does that mean spam all fronts with the same content? No. But it does mean highlighting your best performing content is smart – and works. An example is a recent Nordstrom Facebook post that read: “You pinned it. What’s hot on Pinterest this week,” getting thousands and thousands of likes and shares.

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Another great Nordstrom example of spreading the Pinterest love is putting Pinterest logos on in-store products to send a visual signal to shoppers that this is a hot item on Pinterest. One of my favorite examples is Forever 21’s #F21xME campaign. Users can post snaps of their take on Forever 21 clothing and post it on Instagram using the hashtag. The best content appears on either the Forever 21 website or their #F21xME Pinterest board, with both places allowing users to ‘shop the look’. Moral of the story: nourish cross-platform strengths to improve omnichannel performance.

There you have it! Some easy tips to get your Pinterest account rocking for the holidays. For more social media tips, including other platform and content strategies, watch RKG’s recent Social Media for eCommerce webinar.

For more articles detailing best-of-breed online marketing strategies along with savvy analyses of industry developments from the RKG team and some of our esteemed industry friends, click here to download the digital version of RKG Dossier 5.2.

  • Dalton Dorné
    Dalton is the Chief Marketing Officer at RKG, a Merkle Company....
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