Let’s start with a cold, hard truth: email marketing outperforms social media marketing. Email has 3x as many users as Facebook and Twitter combined, and emails are viewed at higher rates with higher conversion rates and average order values.
Does that mean you ignore social media marketing and double-down on email? Nope. Each has its place, and social media marketing can be a great tool to raise brand awareness, as social networks are typically one of the “earliest” interactions in the purchasing cycle that customers have with your brand. It’s also useful for building a relationship with customers — check out how Taco Bell does it on Twitter.
While you may not be using social networks strictly for sales, it doesn’t hurt to make money from it in the process. While Facebook is still king of traffic and conversions, let’s start with a network that’s effective for several types of stores and can yield high order values: use Pinterest for WordPress eCommerce.
Pinterest has emerged as one of the most effective social media platforms in terms of average order value and how likely visitors are to purchase. Shopify has conducted several studies on Pinterest across its stores, and has found that Pinterest shoppers are a valuable traffic source:
Of the traffic from Pinterest, shoppers are 10% more likely to make a purchase compared to those who arrive from other social sites.
– Shopify study
They’ve also found that, “Pinterest was the second largest social source for traffic (over Twitter), and resulting visits had the third highest average order value (beating Facebook).” (Source).
Aside from being a great source of traffic and sales, Pinterest also leads to higher than average order values. In the most Shopify studies, Pinterest now leads the pack in terms of average order value, and doubles the Facebook average order value.
Shopify isn’t alone in this finding, either. A Bottica study found that Pinterest yields more valuable orders as well:
Pinterest users as higher spenders: on average, Pinterest users spend $180 vs. an average of $85 spent by Facebook users
If you’re going to be using social media to reach out to customers and build a following, you might as well make money doing it. Pinterest can be a great fit for stores that sell physical goods, as it showcases your product images, and there are several ways to use Pinterest for WordPress eCommerce.
Rich Pins are a fantastic way to add more detail to any pin that links to your site. Pinterest has samples of product pins and a setup guide so you can see what these pins will look like and get them set up.
Product pins will add product details and pricing to pins from your store, and pins with prices are 36% more likely to be shared. You’ll even be able to keep tabs on these pins via the Pinterest analytics.
To get rich pins set up, I recommend using a plugin to add the appropriate meta tags to your site, then simply verifying your site with Pinterest.
The easiest way to get Rich Pins set up for an eCommerce site is to use WPSSO Pro. This is already integrated with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, MarketPress, and WP eCommerce to add the needed rich pin data for your products.
If you’re using another eCommerce plugin, you can start with something that adds open graph tags for Facebook, but may need to adjust these according to the Pinterest developer docs for your product pins.
As Pinterest is focused on images, you’ll want to ensure that your product photos are pinnable. Images larger than 600px are best, and “tall” images (portrait) tend to be shared more frequently.
Curalate has some helpful image tips to ensure that your images are pinned as much as possible.
For example, a few of their tips say photos should contain:
- multiple colors
- less than 30 percent background (blank space)
- no faces: images without faces receive 23 percent more repins
Ripen eCommerce has a few more tips in this infographic:
In order to get Pinterest to work for you, you’ll need to encourage pinning so that customers and visitors share your products. You can do this by adding “Pin It” buttons to product pages, following the checkout, or both. This should make it easy for both desktop and mobile visitors to quickly pin products from your shop.
If you’re using WooCommerce, you’ve got a few options. Check out this tutorial from Patrick Rauland on adding social sharing buttons to WooCommerce products with Jetpack. You can also add sharing buttons if you use WPSSO with the social sharing buttons extension, which adds these buttons on the product page.
If you want to encourage pinning after purchase, you can use WooCommerce Social Checkout from Lee Willis. This will let customers pin the products they’ve purchased from the “Order Received” page.
If you want to add sharing buttons to EDD products, you can use the Social Links extension to do so.
If customers see that you’re active on a particular social network, they’re more likely to get involved with your brand. Include links to your Pinterest profile and post consistently. Include pins from anything relevant to your ideal customer, even if those pins aren’t from your site (only linking to your own products in all pins seems spammy).
One way you can do this is to embed your pins or boards on your site.
The Alpine Photo Tile for Pinterest plugin makes it easy to embed boards or photos from a user with several different display styles. I was able to get a board embedded on my site in about 4 minutes.
Hubspot also has a how-to guide for creating Pinterest widgets you could use instead.
As with any social media channel, you’ll need to be engaged and an active user. It’s near impossible to have an effective social media presence on every social network, so picking which are best for you is integral. If your images sell your products, then Pinterest should be a focus for you. Build up you following by organizing your pins and reaching out to customers.
Have boards for major product “types” or categories, as well as one for customer images where you can like or repin customer photos. This is a great way to show off customer-generated content as well as your own photos, and other potential customers like seeing your products in action. A customer board is also a great showcase to embed on your own site as detailed above.
Pin anywhere from multiple times a day to a couple of times a week — the average “lifespan” of a pin is about 1 week before engagement drops off dramatically, so posting more frequently than once per week is a good place to start. My favorite brands post something once or twice a day.
Tailwind is a handy tool that will allow you to schedule your pins starting at $10 per month. If you like to batch tasks, then you can schedule all of your pins for the week at one time, and they’ll post on your schedule (it’s a lot like Buffer if you’ve used that).
Do you have a favorite tool or Pinterest strategy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments 🙂 .