We all have said it: If we see another Pinterest guide for marketers, we are going to scream. But the reality is that Pinterest has taken us all by storm. It's another new social network to maintain on top of all of the others, with a truly new strategy behind it. It's called an image strategy. Brands are now forced to think about how they merchandise all images, whether it be product, content, or even user generated images. They all need to be optimized for sharing on Pinterest.
We've all seen the traffic potential of Pinterest when content is easily shareable and very visual, but we haven't yet seen much on the conversion front. There have been numerous studies done regarding conversion from Pinterest traffic, and we have heard everything from reports of 10 percent lift in conversions over other social networks to reports of lower conversion rates but higher average order value. The reality is everyone is still experimenting, and it varies by business type. As with everything else in marketing, the blanket statements should be ignored, and brands should test things out for themselves.
Going into the second half of the year, we suspect we'll see two areas of enhancement regarding Pinterest: conversion optimization and experimentation with monetization. We have already seen lots of companies focusing on Pinterest analytics and monitoring, as well as mashups like Pinstagram and others. We shall see how this all shakes out in the back half of 2012. Maybe Facebook will buy the company for $2 billion?
Regardless, Pinterest is not going anywhere -- and neither are the copycats. Rakuten, the company that owns LinkShare, recently invested $100 million in Pinterest.