In any industry there are pros can cons to being an early adopter. Technology, for example, excites a lot of people, and early adopters will want the latest and greatest the day of release. It’s likely that these products will have some bugs to work out, but that’s the risk that early adopters take in order to “show off” the latest trend on the market. In some cases those trends become flops and disappear from our minds, but in some cases it can become a hit. Remember the detractors when Apple announced they were entering the mobile phone markets? Now look where we are.
In the online world, social networks are a dime a dozen, but the real heavy hitters have found ways to sustain themselves and their communities. Unlike their failed social networking counterparts, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are growing every day and users are posting large amounts of data, and the world is consuming it.
Two of the more recent additions to the social media family, Instagram and Pinterest, both launched in 2010 and hit their stride in about 2012. The idea of simply using visuals was not unheard of, but these two platforms created a community of diverse users that instantly wanted to share their personal experiences, likes, dislikes, and thoughts through visuals. It’s safe to say that it took awhile for marketers to find ways to build their brand on these networks. Truthfully, it’s not for everyone, but those that were early adopters have grown with the networks and are poised to benefit from the latest release of advertising on both platforms.
With the tremendous popularity both networks have currently, imagine the benefits of being able to feature your product in front of an already captive and engaged audience and directly tying that to sales. If you’ve already established a presence for your brand on the network, and grown a natural community of followers, you stand to win big with the addition of advertising.
Pinterest generated 4x more revenue (per click) than Twitter and 27% more per click than Facebook in 2014 according to research done by SNAP. Whopping 47% of U.S. online consumers made a purchase based on recommendations from their Pinterest account. These are numbers that marketers cannot overlook. The power of peer recommendations is unmatched when it comes to purchasing decisions and this community is already pinning and repining like crazy.
Instagram is no slouch. In a recent study by Shopify, after reviewing their product across all industries, Instagram came in second place for the average order value with a total of $65.00. This was followed very closely by Pinterest, which came in third with a total of $58.95. These these average values, multiplied by the number of people on these networks creates great value for marketers.
It was last summer when The Verge posted on Ikea’s creative use of Instagram, and how they made “small websites” within the network. It’s this type of creativity that marketers must employ for their brands. Taking it a step further, companies like West Elm and BaubleBar are introducing Instagram widgets that show highlight images from their Instagram account with direct links to purchase products featured in the images. It’s an indirect way, but it’s providing value for these brands already.
In a post from DigiDay, “How retailers are driving sales (indirectly) from Instagram,” this quote clearly identifies the value of integrating Instagram into their website.
“Thirty to 35 percent of our online traffic engages with that widget on the homepage or on the product page,” said Daniella Yacobovsky, co-founder of BaubleBar. “We see conversion about four to four-and-a-half times higher with these people than from people who don’t engage.”
With the advertising platforms launched on both networks, it will be interesting to see the impact on sales. If you’ve carved a space for yourself on either of these networks and have a strong community, you’re ahead of the game. If not, it’s time to create a strategy to feature your products and weave yourself into the community. Just remember, be helpful, be natural, and have fun.
Read our post about The Instagram API Sucks.