Just recently, Pinterest hit more than 10 million unique visitors, making it one of the fastest growing websites ever. In the past six months, visits to Pinterest grew by 4,000%, receiving 11 million hits in just one week.
Despite its rapid adoption, I often hear, “I don’t get Pinterest,” or “It’s only useful when planning a wedding.” I hear you, and I felt the same way.
But let me tell you something. Pinterest is ridiculously simple, and it can make a big impact on your business. I’m not saying this for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon. It’s not “just another social media site.” This one is different. Pinterest is doing a great job of driving traffic, leads, and sales.
What’s unique about Pinterest compared to most social media websites, is that it reduces the number of steps from discovery to conversion. This means that visitors from Pinterest convert into leads or sales faster than from other social media sources.
Take Twitter, for example. If a user sees a tweet regarding a product, it’s less likely that a user will buy that product from just one tweet -- unless maybe when it's celebrity-endorsed. Willing to fork over $10k for a Kim Kardashian-sponsored tweet? I didn’t think so.
Josh Davis of LLsocial.com clearly explains the workings of Pinterest buying behavior:
“For retailers, the path to purchase from a social network is no more direct than on Pinterest. ‘See it, like it, buy it’ happens frequently ... Even in cases where the path to purchase is not as direct, rarely do you have a social network where linking to for-sale items is done so frequently. You have clear social proof of the desire for the item, you see a picture of it, and you are only one or two clicks away from being on an ecommerce site.”
This is a dream come true for businesses. Pinterest helps increase conversion rates and reduce sales cycles. Who doesn’t love that?
2. Pinterest Drives Tons of Traffic
Ten million unique views is not chump change. That’s a lot for any website, but it's especially noteworthy for one so new. If you rely on your website to fuel your sales and marketing, you need to generate traffic in order to increase leads or sales. Pinterest is a great tool for increasing links back to your website, thus driving more traffic.
In fact, early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at steering traffic back to a website compared to other social media sites, even Facebook. Josh Davis includes some interesting stats on his blog:
Warbly Parker, the hip but inexpensive eye glass retailer, reports that 11% of its social traffic is coming from Pinterest. 18% is coming from Twitter.
Like many early bloggers, Kate Bryan managed a blog that was based around her interests, but it never generated many readers. She blogged about her professions of hairstyling and jewelry making, and also her craft projects. Hairstyles are extremely popular pins on Pinterest. Kate started pinning her own work and rapidly started generating traffic. In five months, she achieved over 14,000 new subscribers to her site as well as generating over one million page views from Pinterest.
We've even seen it here at HubSpot. Pinterest is already driving more referral traffic than Google+, and we’ve only just begun using it.
3. Pins Get You More Inbound Links
As marketers, we love it when people share our content and link back to us.
What’s awesome about Pinterest is that every pin includes a link, leading back to the source of the image. "Links built through images are some of the best links you can acquire when it comes to actual engagement," says John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. About 95% of the images on Pinterest were either pinned or re-pinned from the web.
With Pinterest’s growing popularity, this could provide you with very valuable inbound links. While these are nofollow links, any link directing visitors back to your website is always beneficial.
4. User Engagement Is Addictively High
I admit it: I’m addicted to Pinterest. It happened overnight, without warning. And this is coming from someone who, just a few weeks ago, didn’t think Pinterest was worth the time. And I’m not alone. I’ve heard the same from so many others. Even for those who deny it. Yes, I see your pins on Facebook! ;)
Pinterest users are far from passive. Case in point; I can’t not share stuff when I'm on Pinterest. John Jantsch states:
“Unlike many social sites, where the game is to get followers, Pinterest users seem very content to simply find stuff and share it with small groups. Pinterest users are keenly interested in what’s hot and what’s cool – a behavior that translates well into the kind of influencer marketers desire to attract.”
This is a good sign for businesses and retailers, because it means your pins are more likely to be seen, touched, or better yet, go viral. I believe the main reason for such high engagement is that it's so easy to digest information on Pinterest merely because it’s visual. Scanning tons of images is easier and far more enjoyable than scanning hundreds of tweets, for example.
5. Pinterest Integrates With Your Website, Twitter Account, and Facebook Profile
What seems to be a critical factor to success for social media websites is connectivity. These sites can’t get away with being a silo, and Pinterest has identified that right out of the gate.
The site now connects with Facebook, according to a recent Open Graph announcement, enabling users to automatically post new pins to their Facebook news feed for others to see. This means more eyes from other channels get access to the images you post to Pinterest. That being said, for marketers, right now Pinterest only connects with Facebook profiles, not business pages, so there is no way for marketers to automatically share their pins to their Facebook pages. In order to do so, marketers must manually share the link to the pin on their business page.
However, if marketers sign up for Pinterest using the same email address used for their corporate Twitter account, they can automatically share the pins they post to their Twitter account.
Additionally, marketers can add a 'Pin It' button to their website and blog (similar to other social media sharing buttons). This makes pinning products or visual content for site visitors super easy.
6. Discover What Your Audience Loves
Pinterest is a great place to discover trends. From marketing to fashion and beyond, you can discover what people love to share. You can follow your followers to see what inspires them. This gives you an opportunity to understand what’s hot today and use that information to position your own offers and products. I would imagine that, down the line, Pinterest will eventually make it easy to see trending data in specific categories.
As Pinterest evolves, I’m sure there will be even more great reasons to get started on this fast-growing social network. Businesses are already receiving first-mover advantage in their industries by leveraging the platform to drive traffic, leads and sales. Just yesterday, I purchased clothing I found from pins posted by a women’s golf apparel line, and I never would have discovered them if that business wasn’t using Pinterest.
So, are you ready to get started? If so, learn how to use Pinterest for business using our brand new Pinterest ebook!