The direct impact of social media marketing on conversions can be difficult to measure. For brand awareness and community growth, Facebook, Twitter and the plethora of other social platforms out there are fantastic. However, because you are engaging with your audience at a much earlier stage in the buying journey, it can take time for someone to become a customer.
One reason why social media referral traffic doesn’t convert straight away is because users aren’t in the frame of mind to make a purchase. They want to talk with their friends, not be sold to. This is reflected in the types of content that people engage with – likes, shares and retweets are usually reserved for interesting or informative content, not self-promotional statements about products.
The social media platform that bucks this trend is Pinterest. We recently compared four online footwear retailers to see how their content performed on social media. As expected, blog posts (style guides, information about the latest trends etc.) were shared the most on Facebook and Twitter. However, product pages were most popular on Pinterest. This would suggest that users of this platform are further down the sales funnel and are thinking about making a purchase.
This anecdotal evidence is backed up by data from Pinterest itself. A recent study co-sponsored by the platform found that pins actually influence purchasing decisions. Over half the active Pinterest users surveyed said that the site helped them find items to buy. In addition, 32% said they purchased something in-store after viewing content on Pinterest.
There are a number of ways brands can optimise their performance on Pinterest to help increase conversions. However, one that we frequently find is overlooked is the implementation of Rich Pins. These provide users with more information than regular pins. In the context on an ecommerce website, Product Pins (a type of Rich Pin) includes real-time pricing and availability. A survey by Sprout Social also found that Pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without.
How to implement Rich Pins
Rich Pins work by pulling in additional information from your website along with the image. What that information is determined by meta tags. These are snippets of code that are added to your website and tell Pinterest things like:
- Product name
- Product type
If you don’t have access to the back-end of your website or you aren’t comfortable with code, we recommend either speaking to your website developer or to us about implementing Rich Pins. Although not complicated to set up, they do require some understanding of how your website works in order add them into the right places.
If your social media marketing objective is to increase conversions, you’re playing the long game. However, by making sure your website is fully optimised for Pinterest, you’ll reach users who are ready to make a purchase.
Image source: Pinterest
Header image via Jason Howie on Flickr