Sephora's February 2013 report that their Pinterest followers spend 15X more than their Facebook fans shows the value proposition for retailers.
I know I personally have spent much more than I should on things I found on Pinterest since I started using it last year.
Things I would never have found without Pinterest. Pinterest is a retail surfacer beyond compare, even if it isn't a better image search engine than Google yet. I might be better off if I hadn't learned about Dkode shoes, from Portugal- my violet oiled-suede and purple leather Dkode Cecilys, shipped from London, are the most expensive shoes I've ever bought in my life. Not sorry.
Now Pinterest is introducing Rich Pins, a value-add for businesses, and they're free for now, so if your business is an applicable category, it's a great opportunity.
Rich Pins are amazing for retailers because they add current pricing and a direct link to the product page. It appears that they also indicate whether an item is in stock, which is actually quite a significant click-enticer. (It's frustrating to find a beautiful item on Pinterest, only to get to the product's site three clicks later and find out it's sold out.)
Do Rich Pins offer benefit to all businesses, or just retailers?
Well, Pinterest is trying hard to add value for other verticals. Restaurants and lifestyle magazines can use the recipe Rich pins, which include a recipe clip. Movie sites can use pins that include ratings, main stars and director. Which is lame, actually, but points for trying. Rotten Tomatoes Rich Pins will include the Tomatometer score, however- which is extremely useful!
What's involved in getting Rich Pins?
You'll need to add markup to your site, so this is a developer/website designer task for most businesses. T324 can do it for you, of course! Hopefully you're already working on getting the "Pin It" button on every page of your site and developing a Pinterest presence.
A huge part of social media strategy is getting a footprint on major social sites before your clients get there.
If you have a Pinterest profile and your company social media or marketing professional is building your presence there, you can grow your following and leverage your efforts by adding the Follow button your site as well. Pinterest has real support for businesses, offering case studies by vertical, a business blog, analytics and a widget builder.
How do you know Pinterest is a worthwhile investment of your marketing time?
Pinterest was designed as an environment to share pictures of objects, projects and ideas, with their sources. It's not a social network struggling to monetize human interactions without offending users so much they're driven away- it's a place where people put clippings of things they aspire to have, do or be. In an acquisitional, aspirational culture (guilty as charged, I'm afraid) it practically automates consumption. Beautifully.
I used to have files in a file cabinet with names like "Home shopping- soonest/sale" and "Clothes shopping- I wish". They were full of pages torn out of the Pottery Barn and Anthropologie catalogs. Now I have Pinterest boards. Guess which has resulted in more spending?