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Category Archive: Pinterest

  1. Is Pinterest Forcing the Social Shopping Trend Too Early?

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    articleimage1531 Is Pinterest Forcing the Social Shopping Trend Too Early

    There’s a trend in social media starting to emerge. No longer limited to only encouraging social connections and discussions, modern platforms are constantly adding new features to make life easier and more manageable for their users. But these features tend to be added slowly, carefully, and deliberately. Major platforms like Facebook are well-accepted, but they aren’t invincible—changing too quickly could alienate their users or result in negative blowback.

    Pinterest, in contrast, is making major moves in the social world and doing so quickly. Back in June, they introduced a “buy” button for a handful of retailers active in the platform. Free to use, the feature would essentially make images of certain products “buyable” on mobile iterations of the app. Since then, they’ve scaled up the feature, publicizing it and now offering it on several major e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, IBM Commerce, Bigcommerce, and Demandware. Their waitlist is growing quickly, and Pinterest has no sign of slowing down in their expansion of the feature.

    Knowing this, is it possible that Pinterest is trying to force the “social shopping” trend? If so, will users reject the feature, seeing it as a money-grab by social media platforms they used to trust?

    The Slow Road to Social Shopping

    articleimage1531 The Slow Road to Social Shopping

    Social media apps have always tried to cater to advertisers, but they’ve done so in subtle, methodical ways up until now. For example, Facebook has always offered advertising for corporate brands on the platform, but those advertisements are mostly just paid posts that are natively embedded in a newsfeed—in a sense, brands are just paying for some extra organic exposure. After years of this system in place, Facebook expanded to include new types of ads—like a carousel of products that lead users to a shopping cart for purchase. Even so, this carousel is less prominent than other forms of advertising, and Facebook allows users to toggle what kinds of ads they see. Instead of forcing a social shopping hybrid app, Facebook is only gradually transforming and never changing its primary function.

    A New Hybrid

    articleimage1531 A New Hybrid

    On the other hand, Pinterest doesn’t seem worried about the repercussions of changing too quickly. It released the buy button after years of existence, but now that it’s out there, Pinterest is showing no hesitation in expanding it. Instead of offering one or two new features in an otherwise consistent app, Pinterest is almost becoming something of a middle ground between “social media app” and full-fledged e-commerce platform.

    In a world where half the pins you find are buyable, what’s the difference between Pinterest and a platform like Amazon? It could be argued that buyable pins, if popular enough, could make Pinterest closer in form and function to Amazon than a platform like Facebook. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it could reset user expectations for the limits of a social app.

    Pinterest’s Shortcut

    articleimage1531 Pinterest’s Shortcut

    There’s a major differentiator that makes this fast transition possible for Pinterest, and less possible for more established brands like Facebook. Pinterest holds one of the highest organic rates of user activity to eventual buying decisions—meaning that when viewing pins, versus any other kind of social media content, users are more likely to eventually buy that product. Because of Pinterest’s unique format and high trust, users naturally began using it as a kind of e-commerce platform on their own. Pinterest simply connected the dots and made it easier for users to get from point A to point B. It’s less of a transition this way, and makes faster transformations possible.

    The early data further suggests that Pinterest made the right move. According to recent reports, users have accepted the buy button with open arms, leading the company to expand the feature with such pace. In this way, Pinterest isn’t really jumping the gun—they’re just following their users’ requests and instructions.

    What Does This Mean for Other Platforms?

    Pinterest has set a unique pace for the transition into social shopping. Seeing those results, it would be natural for a platform like Facebook or Twitter to want to replicate them for their own house of brands. Despite being forerunners in the social world, an e-commerce feature would likely be lucrative, provided it could be introduced properly.

    Unfortunately, Pinterest’s unique position as a buying decision juggernaut makes it so that its buy button introduction is nearly impossible to replicate, at least not exactly. Because of its current warm reception with users and practically limitless income potential, I imagine we’ll be seeing the “social shopping” trend develop more in the coming months and years. However, don’t expect other brands to copy Pinterest’s approach exactly; instead, we’ll likely see new forms of hybrid social/e-commerce models, and sneakier ways of trying to get consumers to make purchasing decisions within apps.

    The bottom line here is that Pinterest isn’t moving as abnormally quickly as it might appear to be on the surface. Pinterest users were already leveraging the app to make buying decisions, and Pinterest decided to make it easier for them. Once it saw how effective the introduction was, expansion was natural. Other platforms, like Facebook and even Google, will likely follow in these footsteps, but in a much more gradual, careful way. If you’re an online retailer, the next few years will present a great opportunity to capitalize on this new social shopping trend. Stay tuned for new updates, and get the jump before your competitors.

  2. Social Media Marketing 101: Why You Should Care about Pinterest

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    Pinterest LogoEvery day, social signals become more and more intertwined with organic search engine algorithms. But while it seems that we already have more social networks than we know what to do with, there’s a new player in the crowded social media space that’s growing faster than any other social startup in history.

    Pinterest is social media’s new rising star. Even Mark Zuckerberg has recently joined the site.

    Pinterest’s rapidly-growing user base is a signal that marketers should jump all over. It provides a new medium through which to reach consumers and potential clients who have self-identified themselves with certain interests, niches, and communities; a marketer’s dream.

    But why is Pinterest so… interesting? Why has it suddenly garnered so much attention? First, let’s address a more important question:

    What is Pinterest?

    Pinterest is a hybrid social bookmarking site where users can post (“pin”) photos and videos of just about anything to a “pin board.” Anything pinned to these boards becomes publicly or privately viewable, depending on settings. It gives users a simple, clean way of sharing anything that people find visually interesting.

    Users are finding lots of ways to make Pinterest useful, from planning a wedding, to saving a favorite recipe, to redecorating a home.

    From an SEO standpoint, Pinterest is a great tool for link building; every image pinned can be hyperlinked to any destination URL.

    Even though Pinterest is still in its infancy, it already has lots going on:

    • Pinterest has received tens of millions of dollars in venture funds, which says a lot about the confidence that the investors have for the company
    • Unique visits to Pinterest increased by a staggering 429% from September to December 2011
    • Pinterest is only three years old, but it has become the top traffic referrer for retailers
    • In the entire social space, Pinterest is sixth on the scale for driving the most traffic to websites
    • Pinterest now drives more traffic than Google+
    • Pinterest also now drives more traffic than LinkedIn and Reddit
    • Recently, it was reported that Pinterest receives over 11 million monthly unique visitors from the U.S. alone. It crossed the 10 million mark faster than any other stand-alone sites, according to Comscore.

    What should I do about Pinterest?

    If you are running a business, it’s time to register a Pinterest account. You probably don’t need a tutorial on how to create one, as signing up for one is very simple.

    Learn as much as you can about how to use Pinterest, its best practices, and learn from others about how best to use the site to share interesting things.

    While it’s obvious by now that Pinterest is here to stay, businesses should use the site with caution. As with any website, Pinterest was created for real people with interesting things to share. It’s fine to promote things, but make a point of providing real value that other people will appreciate.


    I hope this has helped you understand why Pinterest should become part of your social media marketing efforts. Watch out for our post on how to specifically use Pinterest to grow your followers and traffic soon.

    For help in creating effective social media marketing for your business, contact us and I’d be happy to chat about how AudienceBloom can help you grow your business.


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