Pinterest has become the dominant social-media sales driver for many companies, beating out Facebook and Twitter, partly because pins and re-pins of products last longer on the Web, according to visual-data analytics company Piqora.
Piqora found that when products are pinned, they continue to be repined many days later, extending the life of a pin. Content on Facebook and Twitter, however, tends to be much more short-lived.
In fact, Piqora examined the “half-life” of a pin and found that 40 percent of clicks happen within the first day, 70 percent happen with the first two days, and the remaining 30 percent of clicks come all the way through 30 days and beyond.
“[This data] puts a different focus on pins and your social asset,” CEO of Piqora Sharad Verma said. “The half life of a pin is very, very long in Pinterest, while Facebook and Twitter feeds move very fast and they focus on immediacy.”
Many online retailers are experiencing strong sales from Pinterest, while sales from Facebook drop off. Select Shops, an online retailer that operates Bedding.com, SelectBlinds.com, and SelectRugs.com, found that sales have skyrocketed from Pinterest while sales from Facebook have plummeted.
The company said revenue on its SelectRugs site has jumped 600 percent on Pinterest year to date compared with a decrease of 41 percent on Facebook. The company has experienced similar results for its other sites, Bedding.com and Selectblinds.com.
Bonnie Dewkett, founder of TheJoyfulOrganizer.com has had the same types of results on Pinterest. “I have been using social media to market my business for years and it was successful,” Dewkett said. “However, when Pinterest came along, we began increasing our web traffic significantly. Some days up to 90% of our web traffic comes from Pinterest.”
A recent report by Monetate, which studied 500 million online shopping sessions, found that in the first quarter of 2013, 55.18% of site traffic that stemmed from social networks came from Facebook, down from 62.45% in the fourth quarter of 2012. By comparison, Pinterest—which launched about three years ago—accounted for 24.96% of site traffic from social networks, up from 17.51%. The rest came from such sources as Twitter and LinkedIn.
Pinterest also topped in the Average Order Values for shoppers coming to e-commerce sites from social networks, the report said. Monetate says those shoppers spend $80.54 per order when coming from Pinterest, compared with $71.26 for Facebook and $70.17 for Twitter.
Ron Yates, CEO of Yates & Co Jewelers, which runs www.Titanium-Jewelry.com, said their social traffic has skyrocketed on Pinterest this year while Facebook has declined. Yates said that Pinterest traffic in May of 2013 jumped to 71 percent of their total social traffic compared with only 22 percent in May of last year. Social traffic from Facebook, on the other hand, dropped to only 6 percent last month compared with 29 percent in May of last year.
“A big trend we are seeing in 2013 is that Pinterest is really rocking it now, and FaceBook is really falling behind with traffic referrals to our website and resulting sales,” Yates said.
Because Pinterest is very visual, online retailers that have compelling images on their sites often do better on Pinterest than other retailers. Verma said that the audience of each social network is different so each brand needs to take into account who its audience is and how they market products. Verma said that Facebook can be a tough place for brands to keep fans engaged.
“Facebook is really a personal relationship network,” Verma said. ” As a brand, if you don’t have an active fan page, and if you’re not posting content you’re not going to get any derivative engagement.”
Chris Savage, who works in the Internet Marketing Department at Select Shops agreed. “People are more likely to be in a buying mode when on Pinterest,” Savage said. “Facebook users are less likely to be in a buying mode and more of just visiting with family and friends.”