Pinterest not delivering sales

Pinterest is the latest social media darling, with marketers and social media evangelists demanding that you join up so you don't miss out on the action.  The site is undoubtably growing apace, with Hitwise reporting recently that it is now in the top 30% of sites in America by page views.

Which is very nice, but is it driving revenue?  I've written before about a simple way to measure your ROI on social media, using a two pronged approach looking firstly at a user benefit metric, and then turning that into pounds and pence.  As marketers there is never a shortage of social networks to spend your time on so you need to make sure it's:

  1. A place where your users are hanging out
  2. A place where you can deliver value to your users there
  3. A place where you can generate revenue

It's this final point that I'd like to focus on with this blog.  Recent research by Prosper Mobile Insights suggests that people simply are not motivated to buy things based on what they see on Pinterest.  They asked users whether Pinterest influences their purchasing decisions, with just 13% reporting that it did.

Of course this problem is not confined to Pinterest.  Facebook have taken to touting the subliminal benefits of their adverts in large part because of the horrible click through rates that adverts on the site receive.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn't discount any social network, but equally you shouldn't jump in with both feet simply because everyone else is.  You're a human being, not a lemming.  I wrote previously about 5 things you should consider before joining a new social network, and they offer some good steps to guide your thinking before you decide to jump in. 

If you do decide to give a network a go though, please please please figure out your ROI before you start.  Adopting a build it and pray approach is likely to do little but waste your time and money.  There are lots of people out there trumpeting the claims of this network or that network, but I implore you to think for yourself.  Whilst it might work for the person holding the trumpet, their circumstances are not yours, their market is unlikely to be the same as yours, their product is not yours, so what works for them quite possibly won't work for you.

Work through the 5 steps, then figure out your ROI and you'll be a lot further along than most marketers who simply use social media as yet another broadcast advertising channel.




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