April 30, 2013

Pinterest: Highly Recommended for Small Businesses? Experts Think So

by Jaimie Siegle | Advertising Systems, Inc.

The e-commerce-driven website Pinterest has been steadily growing traffic and commercial potential for several months, but just how relevant is it to small businesses? New research shows that when it comes to a marketing strategy, it may no longer be optional.

A recent study about the science behind Pinterest traffic found that users of the photo-heavy social site were more inclined to click through to e-commerce sites to make purchases found via Pinterest than Facebook. (But isn’t that part of the genius of Pinterest? The ability for people to find and purchase items of interest to them?) Conducted by professors Eric Gilbert and Loren Terveen of Georgia Tech University and the University of Minnesota, respectively, the study also determined that Pinterest purchasers spend more than shoppers hailing from Facebook or Twitter. According to a report from RichRelevance cited by AllFacebook, Pinterest shoppers are spending $140 to $180 per order, compared with $60 to $80 on Facebook.

AllFacebook also noted that since late 2012 Pinterest’s share of traffic has shown consistent growth, while Facebook’s has increased and then plummeted soon after; however, the two social media sites are fundamentally different in purpose: Pinterest is more for “window shopping” and finding inspiration, while the latter is a resource for promoting and raising awareness.

Still, it’s almost impossible to miss the other websites that have created or changed their formats to those resembling the photo-centric site: Take,, and, for example, three of many e-commerce websites that emulate Pinterest’s format, which is ideal for browsing and buying things. It allows a brand to connect with a potential shopper on a visual, more creative level, not to mention gives them an inside look at the business’s culture and objectives. According to RichRelevance report spokesperson, consumers on Pinterest are “in that mindset … they’re able to put together more of a complete picture, whereas Facebook is like being out with friends, but all of a sudden, a merchandiser is trying to push a product,” AllFacebook reported.

“If I had to choose where to put my money and marketing,” Professor Gilbert said after conducting the research,  Pinterest would probably be my first choice.”

Speaking of Pinterest, check out our boards here for social media tips, inspirational quotes, and more riveting content. 


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