If you’re like most companies, driving a return on investment is the goal anytime resources are spent. When it comes to social media, however, most businesses are hard-pressed to define exactly the input of resources, as it’s usually a combination of personnel, time and dollars. Even more difficult to measure in a real and comprehensive way is the return on such an investment. The result is that social media has come to be regarded as a necessary endeavor not necessarily tied to measurable returns, but instead to growing a brand’s image and exposure, while strengthening relationships with aspiring and actual customers (see the recent post where DKNY, Bergdorfs and Kate Spade all weigh in on ROI).
When looking at Pinterest in particular, the numbers alone make a case for brands to be involved. (If you’re not familiar, you can download our free Pinterest brief here).
So what can brands do to convert pinners into paying customers?
The main answer lies in capturing the interest of a user, and following through with an experience that helps them take action on their interest. Initially, this involves curating the items posted, and telling a story through the images and how they are grouped together as a board. But beyond that is where the real action happens. What is the user’s experience once they click on the image and are directed back to the original site? Do they land on a product page? Can they like/purchase the item easily? Is there a way for the business to capture the user in a way that has marketing value (as a Facebook fan or email subscriber, for example). And what’s to keep a user coming back if they don’t purchase right away?
These are all questions brands need to ask themselves, not just to capitalize on the resources dedicated to Pinterest, but to serve the end-user. Interesting to note is that research shows users pin things they aspire to own. Aspirational purchases are like a wish list, and therefore the likelihood a user purchases immediately is lower. Rather, they simply collect the image or aspiration of owning that item and revisit it at a later date. So what happens when they click through to the product page and it’s no longer available?
Well, if you’re a fashion brand or individual on Lyst, not to worry. The fast-acting social commerce platform has just launched sales alerts for Pinterest, meaning that if a person has pinned an item that happens to be from one of the hundreds of global retailers on Lyst, they’ll receive an update the moment that item goes on sale.
This notification could be exactly what’s needed to compel users to actualize their aspirations and drive sales for retailers…making the case for ROI on Pinterest one that is, dare we say, measurable.
Photo credits: Lori Andrews