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Pinterest and Twitter Gain Traction

Small businesses may be selling themselves short by thinking that simply creating a Facebook account provides an adequate social media presence. Twitter and Pinterest now account for approximately half of all social-generated e-commerce sales, according to data from AdShoppers.

  • Twitter accounted for 29% of social-generated e-commerce sales in the third quarter 2013, compared to 14% in the previous year.
  • Pinterest accounted for 19% of social-generated e-commerce sales last quarter, compared to just 7% one year earlier.
  • Meanwhile, Facebook’s share of social-generated e-commerce sales decreased by half in the past year.

You may not need to be on all social media sites but you should pick the handful that are right for your business.


Pinterest is very visual and attracts a very high participation by women (anywhere from 80% to 85% of its user base is female). Marketers know that it is women who usually control the budget for household purchases for clothes, home decoration, and gifts — three strong areas for Pinterest that tend to do well with social referrals. You’ll want to be on Pinterest, if your customer is apt to buy based on a beautifully-photographed product.

Pinterest recently released its first API, which allows companies to display their most popular Pinterest Pins on their own websites and mobile apps. . However, this is not the full story of why Pinterest has nibbled away at Facebook’s share of social-generated commerce. That’s been happening for over a year, and it’s the result of Pinterest’s natural compatibility with retail.

As Pinterest continues to grow its user base and release new marketing products, it will also likely drive more sales.

Of course, direct return on investment is not the only reason to embrace this very visual from of social media.  For example, the iconic retailer L.L. Bean maintains a Pinterest board called Woodland Creatures.  It’s all about cute and fascinating pics and videos of animals.  (I spent thirty minutes on the site revisiting it this week –couldn’t help myself.)  It’s just for fun, but a subtle bond is strengthened between customer and retailer. If approached authentically with a real interest in building a relationship with your customer, Pinterest boards like this will eventually increase brand loyalty and contribute to building brand equity long-term.


You may wonder why Twitter’s IPO was so robust compared to that of Facebook.  Twitter lends itself naturally to businesses. Twitter users are the most influential online consumers with more than 70% producing blog post comments (Tweets) monthly.  Twitter posts produce an average of 19 clicks as opposed to 3 clicks for Facebook – and double the leads.

Twitter Cards is a new marketing product that allows brands to promote an offer for a product or service directly via Twitter. Because Twitter fills in the user’s contact information, all the user has to do to redeem the offer is click a button.

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