Consumers Engage With Retailers on Pinterest More Than on Facebook, Twitter

Pinterest logoIf you’ve taken only a cursory glance at Pinterest as a marketing tool, you might want to take a closer look.

It appears newcomer Pinterest has overtaken its more established social media brethren when it comes to consumer engagement with retailers.  That’s right—shoppers actually prefer Pinterest over Facebook and Twitter when it comes to keeping up with their favorite brands and retailers.

The 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, jointly sponsored by Shop.org, comScore  and The Partnering Group, reported these findings  based on a survey of more than 1,500 US online consumers conducted in March of this year.

Among the nearly four out of 10 respondents who indicated they follow retailers using one or more social media sites, the number of retailers tracked via Pinterest averaged 9.3, compared to 6.9 retailers on Facebook and 8.5 on Twitter.  Considering the fact that Pinterest is a relative newbie and has only seen a surge in popularity over the past year, that’s quite an accomplishment.

With its unique visual appeal, Pinterest provides a refreshing new way for businesses and customers to connect.

“Specifically, Pinterest has given retailers another channel to ‘listen’ to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and their brand ‘spirit’ – a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members,” explained Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell.

Even so, I’m certainly not advocating for you to drop your current Facebook, Twitter or other social media marketing campaigns so you can solely embrace Pinterest.  As I’ve mentioned before, social media marketing success depends on finding the mix that’s effective to reach your targeted demographic.

In addition to highlighting the acceleration in Pinterest use, this particular study also revealed other valuable social media trends. Among these findings:

  • 70 percent of those who follow a retailer’s blog click through to the company website.
  • 68 percent of those surveyed go to YouTube as part of their research of a product.
  • 33 percent of respondents who own smartphones have used them to share their physical location (which enables location-based services offered by Facebook, FourSquare, Groupon, etc. to target these consumers with real-time specials via their mobile devices).

Today’s marketers can choose from among a smorgasbord of social media options –and the feast is always growing and changing. While at times, the pace of change can seem overwhelming, remember, this is no time to go to extremes. You don’t need to gorge on everything, nor refuse to sample anything from the menu. I continue to believe that staying on top of emerging social media trends and adjusting strategies accordingly will result in the most effective campaigns. Start by determining where your audience is most engaged. Then, reach out to them there, measure your progress and adapt your approach as your plan matures.

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