Pinterest. You’ve heard how addicting and fun it is. But Pinterest marketing? How can online retailers incorporate this powerful social network into their social media marketing mix?

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Online retailers need to consider Pinterest as an important marketing tool in addition to the other popular social media marketing strategies like Facebook marketing. As you probably already know, social media marketing can generate A LOT of traffic. Social networks like Pinterest and Facebook are great for B2C (business to consumer) companies, since they are visually driven and already have a large traffic base. Pins act as a digital marketing piece for the online retailer, much like a postcard does for the brick and mortar shop. The difference is in the power of the pin: Pinterest really adds value by the nature of the platform, since pins allow for direct clicks back to the website – and can lead to the potential for a sale! You can see why investing time in a Pinterest marketing strategy will do wonders for your business.

Look at the numbers: Pinterest alone has over 70 million users, and drives more online traffic than Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn combined. 

The numbers show that Pinterest marketing can drive sales more effectively than those from Facebook marketing or Twitter marketing strategies. One study by Shopify found that orders driven by Pinterest marketing efforts are larger than those driven by Facebook marketing. The average order size is $80 — double than those coming from Facebook marketing efforts! In addition, the life cycle of a pin (digital bookmarks that can include images and videos) is much longer than a tweet from Twitter — making that Pinterest marketing piece that much more valuable to online retailers.

What do numbers like this tell the online retailer? Marketing on Pinterest will get your products seen, as long as it’s done effectively and with a strong strategy in place. Pinterest marketing can certainly help with driving online sales! A simple understanding of basic social media marketing strategies can help build your presence on Pinterest. Start with understanding how to optimize your Pinterest profile for the search engines:

  1. Optimize your Pinterest bio and URL by selecting keywords that reflect your brand and company. Make your URL reflect your company’s name so that it can be found in search results. This is one of the first important steps of any social media marketing strategy for an online retailer.
  2. When creating pinboards, create those that would interest your potential customer, considering their purchasing habits and lifestyle. Curate fun, interesting images. If you have a swimwear line, for example, potential Pinterest board titles could include: Tropical Travel Spots, 1960’s Beach Movies, or Scenic Sunsets.
  3. Craft well-written product descriptions using carefully selected keywords. Also be sure to use hashtags (#) in your product descriptions. This increases the likelihood that your pin will be found by search topic. Keep product descriptions somewhere between 200-300 words.
  4. Online retailers and eCommerce companies can benefit from rich pins, which allow you to add details such as price and product availability. Rich pins save a lot of time and are a natural extension of your product descriptions, getting the important details about your product in front of a potential customer.

Check out how these brands are using Pinterest marketing as part of their social media marketing efforts:

Etsy: provides a great combination of pins from their own site with those from other sites
Target: their boards represent many different categories and interests, appealing to a wide customer demographic
Martha Stewart: they succeed with their very large amount of boards (100+) and their ability to provide inspiration for just about anything!

Done effectively, incorporating a Pinterest marketing plan into your social media marketing mix will be invaluable to your sales efforts. Understanding the power of Pinterest and its capabilities as a social media marketing tool for online retailers will help drive business. Visit EDK’s Pinterest page for some inspiration to get you started, and learn how to incorporate social media marketing for your small business!