Businesses, particularly those in the retail industry, may have good reason to be skeptical about Facebook commerce, or f-commerce as it's come to be known, but that doesn't mean that social commerce should be written off.
For a growing number of companies, using social media to drive revenue is not just a dream, it's reality.
When it comes to revenue, however, not all social sites are created equal and according to marketing technology company Convertro, a new kid on the block, Pinterest, is beating established players like Facebook and Twitter in the revenue-per-click category.
In a guest post on VentureBeat, Convertro CEO Jeff Zwelling reveals that Pinterest has been making huge gains for his company's clients:
In Q2 2011 Pinterest.com represented 1.2% of social media revenue for e-commerce sites. It now represents 17.4% and is quickly gaining on Facebook. (That shift from 1.2% to 17.4% is based on measurements we made across 40 of our client sites — most of which are top 500 internet retailers.) We project Pinterest will be responsible for 40% of social media e-commerce transactions by end of Q2 2012, reducing Facebook’s share to slightly under 60% from 86% a year ago.
What's more: Zwelling says that "If you measure the big three social media sites on a 'First Touch' revenue per click basis, Pinterest is the clear winner," beating Twitter by more than 400% and Facebook by 27%. That, in Zwelling's opinion, makes adding a 'Pinit' button to each product page a no brainer, something that some retailers, like Boticca, were quick to do when Pinterest's popularity started skyrocketing.
Pinterest, of course, is still relatively young and small compared to Facebook, although Experian recently declared it the third largest social network in the United States. But Convertro's data is a good reminder that age and relative size don't necessarily correlate to productive capacity.
Pinterest may still be coming into its own and it may not be as developed an environment for brands as Facebook and Twitter, but its potential to be a social commerce standout is apparent, which explains why affiliate spammers are targeting it and foreign companies like Alibaba are launching homegrown copycats with business models present from day one.
The good news for retailers not yet on Pinterest is that it's still early days for the latest social network to make waves and there are plenty of ways for brands to begin experimenting.
Editor's note: If you're interested in monitizing your social network efforts, come join our JUMP webinar series on Social Commerce this Thursday, April 12, at 2 pm EST.
Ryan O'Donnell, co-founder of Let's Gift It, joins Econsultancy's Stefan Tornquist for this webinar to take a look at the strategies and tactics in launching and maintaining a successful social commerce initiative. Register online now.