They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of Pinterest, it’s worth thousands of customer referrals.
Founded in March 2010, Pinterest has become the fastest-growing social media site on the web, gaining 145% more users since January 2012 alone. But more importantly it has become a referral powerhouse, surpassing Google+, StumbleUpon and Twitter in driving referral traffic to brands.
And you can be sure those referrals are high-value. Data collected by e-commerce platform Shopify found that not only are Pinterest users 10% more likely to buy than customers referred from other social networks, but are likely to spend double the amount per purchase.
So what’s behind the “pinning” wildfire sweeping the web?
A recent study from ComScore found that there is a huge shift towards visual content as an influencer of consumer click through rates and social media sharing. And unlike other social media sites, Pinterest is all about visuals.
Pinterest is a textbook example of referral marketing at its finest. For one, it highlights the utility of visuals for generating social media buzz. With thousands of updates berating online shoppers, catching someone’s eye with an appealing image can mean the difference between glossing over text and real engagement with your brand.
Pinterest is also highly effective at introducing new customers to brands, making it an excellent source for “top of the funnel” leads. The social network provides users tools to create online billboards (or “pinboards”) where they can share images of products and group them into specific, targeted categories. It’s a feature that helps companies better target the customers that are most likely to be engaged with their brand.
Because Pinterest leads users to discover a brand for the first time, it’s not simply reinforcing previous purchasing decisions, allowing you greater influence over how you introduce them to your brand. Once you’ve got them engaged you’re one step closer to building them into a powerful brand ambassador.
Pinterest also helps with building a more passionate advocate base that will pin your products and share them across the web. Like all social networks, Pinterest is a two-way street. Pinning other business’ products to your own board will engage new brand advocates online by driving traffic to your pinboard and eventually your landing page.
So yes, time has shown that a picture is indeed worth a thousand referrals. That’s definitely more helpful for an online business than a thousand words.
What have you been pinning? Let us know how your business is gaining traction through the power of images.