Pinterest is the hottest topic in social media discussions these days. Much like the last “next big thing,” these conversations focus on the site itself; how much traffic it is getting, how much time on site it is drawing and how much traffic it will bring you. Focusing on these metrics gets everyone in a huff about what their Pinterest strategy should be because “Pinterest is getting tons of traffic, people are spending tons of time there and we want to get tons of traffic.”
Well I’m here to be the cold shower for those conversations.
Traffic does not equal conversion.
This keeps happening again and again and again. People focus on traffic. Traffic is one of those sexy numbers like followers and fans; it’s nice to see get bigger, but on its own is technically meaningless.
In the midst of trying to “figure out a Pinterest strategy” most businesses forget to question if they have a good website strategy.
But Pinterest is FREE and our website costs money!
If you are a business, your bottom line is that you need money not traffic. If the traffic you are driving doesn’t result in dollars, you are either driving the wrong traffic or not closing the sale…in either case, you are wasting your time, which you are paying for by the way.
Fact, Fiction and Things Overheard
FACT: Pinterest is a popular way to post, share, and spread visual content. It also has the possibility to effectively increase website traffic.
FICTION Pinterest is a sure-fire way to drive sales.
Make Money with Pinterest.
As with EVERY other social site, it’s not getting the traffic, it’s what you do with it. Signing up for a Pinterest account is not nearly the same thing as closing a sale. Don’t confuse the two or you will be just as disappointed as the day you realized that your Facebook page isn’t driving any sales. The mindset needs to be aligned to how these sites integrate with other marketing and sales activities.
If you are a retailer, make sure that you are driving people to pages where they can easily purchase what they were looking at on Pinterest. Make sure that it’s easy to lead a visitor toward similar items. Convert. Convert. Convert.
If you are a service provider, make sure that whatever content you are pushing people to from Pinterest has a call-to-action. Maybe your goal is to get them to subscribe to your blog or newsletter, or maybe it’s “call us now!” Whatever you choose to do, don’t let that traffic come to your site and get away without giving them an option for next steps.
Measure what pages your Pinterest traffic is going to on your website, how much time they spent on site, and whether they “took the bait” and converted.
I like Pinterest and I think the platform has a ton of potential. People enjoy browsing content visually. Like everything else in Social Media however, the hype is only one side of it.
Using Pinterest is about more than self promotion, it’s an opportunity to provide value in some way to an audience that will self select. Be smart about what you post, how you post it and what result you expect to get from it. The more thought you put into it ahead of time, the more successful you are likely to be.
But don’t ignore your existing channels because everyone’s talking about Pinterest.