Lauren Merkin Pinterest promotion: 3 easy steps

I received the below email yesterday from LaurenMerkin.com, announcing a Pinterest sweepstakes. I’ve seen a number of brands conduct Pinterest sweepstakes/contests, and this stood out to me in a positive way as one of the cleaner and easier implementations for users to understand what is required of them.  I particularly liked the way they broke it down into simple steps/directions for users to follow.  All too often, I’ve seen brands include paragraphs of text, where users really need to focus and digest the instructions. Lauren Merkin made it clear and straightforward as to what is required to enter.

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My main suggestion to improve this communication would be to add a prominent call-to-action, like a “go now” or “enter now” button that links to their Pinterest page. Currently if you click the image, it does link there, but this isn’t readily apparent.

When I searched Pinterest for #LMWishlist, nothing came up. This seemed strange to me because I would expect that they’d seed content themselves. Perhaps there is a delay on Pinterest before search results for hashtags appear.  When I search for “Lauren Merkin”, I do see a handful of entrants, but the hashtag is noted in the comments instead of the description so it’s not clickable.  According to articles on Oh So Pinteresting and Hashtracking, hashtags are only searchable and linkable when they are in the Pin description (not the board or account description). I am unclear on what happens if users include a hashtag in the comments section but this may be the problem.  (ex. See sparkly bag in 3rd column below):

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Lauren Merkin’s account does pin quite a bit (1,000+ pins) and have adorable cover photos for each of their boards, but it looks like their Pinterest offering is in its infancy (under 200 followers). I am under the impression that this promotion is an attempt to spark growth in their # of followers. This is likely important for them during the holiday season since it’s so widely reported that Pinterest is effective as a channel for retailers to generate sales.  I’ll be curious to check in a few weeks and see how effective this was for them in terms of new follower growth.

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Who’s In It To Pin It?

I’ve read (and believe) numerous pieces on how effective Pinterest is at driving new traffic to retailers (see compelling infographic via Monetate/Mashable).  In my day-to-day shopping, a few sites stood out as to where they placed the “Pin It” button on their product pages.  

First, props to One Kings Lane, who took the one-lane approach and singularly focused on sharing via Pinterest.  A “Pin It” button is placed prominently beneath each product, with large instructions “click “Pin It” to share this product on Pinterest”.  I admire their singular focus, not having users debate in their minds on how or where to share, but rather encouraging one clean action.

A more common approach (which I do also applaud) was represented by Gilt, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.  They offered the suite of social sharing options (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook) in a visible way.  Even if many people utilize the “Pin It” bookmarklet, having these buttons on their sites are a visual reminder of the various platforms where people want to place this content.

I must say – Nordstrom surprised me.  I’ve been impressed with their online efforts of late (they’re greatly increasing their e-commerce spend and commitment), yet was surprised to see that on their product detail pages, they offered all social sharing options but Pinterest.  They have a presence on Pinterest itself (14,500 followers and growing), so why not incorporate “Pin It” buttons within their e-comm site?  

Nordstrom wasn’t alone.  Bloomingdales and Saks also offered the option to Like on Facebook or Tweet, and Saks even offered Google+ … but the absence of the Pinterest button is apparent.