Retailers' love affair with online bulletin board Pinterest continues and there is no lack of those trying to help them use the platform to their advantage.
Pinfluencer, for example, launched a marketing and analytics platform in October claiming to help e-tailers run and track Pinterest promotions much more easily than doing it themselves. The company today said that since launch, it has hosted and tracked over 50 holiday promotions for brands including Gilt, Jetsetter, Wayfair.com, MarthaStewart, and Shape Magazine, that have reached over 400,000 Pinterest users.
"With this platform, brands can host promotions that turn Facebook users into avid pinners," said Sharad Verma, CEO of Pinfluencer.
The Pinfluencer dashboard lets companies quickly set-up promotions including contests, sweepstakes and scavenger hunts that they can host either on Facebook or on their own websites. They can then track the number of clicks and interact with contest participants, including those who are determined ineligible.
Home furniture and décor site Wayfair.com ran a Thanksgiving competition using Pinfluencer. In it, users were asked to compete for the best DIY recipes and ideas around the holiday. The challenge promised a $5 discount to those who entered and rewarded the person deemed to have the best ideas $100 to spend on the site.
With the analytics platform, Wayfair.com was able to determine a 21 percent growth in the amount of pins related to the company over the course of the three-week campaign, said Trisha Mack Antonsen, senior manager of social media at Wayfair.com. Additionally, there was also a 27 percent increase in web referral traffic from Pinterest during the contest period, as compared to the three weeks prior.
Overall Wayfair.com found a 255 percent increase in the number of participants in the campaign compared to previous campaigns, which the company had run via email newsletter. However, she explained, earlier the company had no way to actually determine how many people took part.
"Before we had no way of knowing how many people started a challenge and perhaps did not finish, we only saw those who made it all the way through," Mack Antonsen said.
The company also determined that those who clicked through to the website and ordered products during the campaign were ordering larger-ticket items than the typical buyer.
Pinterest is becoming one of Wayfair.com's most effective marketing platforms, according to Mack Antonsen. "It is the social channel with one of the highest engagement rates, as users who pin already have a high emotional connection to the product."
Formerly called CSN Stores, the site was consolidated from a host of disparate web properties and rebranded as Wayfair.com in 2011, with the new tagline "a zillion things home." It saw about $500,000,000 in revenues in 2011 and currently sells about 11,200 brands on its site.
Its main focus today is to get its items in front of as many people as possible, a strategy which has worked beautifully on Pinterest, Mack Antonsen said. "Pinterest is amazing for product and brand discovery, whereas as Facebook is more of a community for organic growth," she said. The company has a modest following of about 58,000 on Facebook.
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Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.
March 19, 2014