February 25, 2013, 2:34 PM

How Daily Grommet used a Pinterest contest to attract traffic

The online marketplace also grew its follower base by 14.4%.

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Daily Grommet, an online marketplace, has learned that running a contest on Pinterest can drive consumer to an e-commerce site—140% more referral traffic, to be exact.

Pinterest is the social network where consumers can ‘pin’ and share favorite products and images from around the web. Tori Tait, Daily Grommet’s senior community manager, says Pinterest is a natural fit for the marketplace, which focuses on helping consumers discover food, home décor and other items, she says. “Pinterest is a platform where people are looking to discover products all day,” Tait says.

Additionally, Daily Grommet sells items that appeal to  the kind of consumers who use Pinterest—68.2% of Pinterest users base are women and 28.1% have annual household incomes of more than $100,000, according to marketing agency Modea Corp. Items on Daily Grommet that might appeal to such shoppers include Toezies, a form-fitting toeless sock that has “increased balance, control and superior grip” for consumers who do Pilates or yoga and prefer not to be barefoot, the marketplace says.

To attract more followers on the social network, Daily Grommet in November ran a contest for two weeks that asked consumers to pin a specific image that promoted the contest on Pinterest for a chance to win a $500 Daily Grommet gift certificate. Each time a consumer pinned the image, she received an additional sweepstakes entry.

On Pinterest,  each pin—for instance, Daily Grommet’s pin of a pair of headphones that looks like a necklace—is typically accompanied by a brief description or caption that appears below an image of the item. In the case of the headphones, that caption is “These vibrant necklaces are headphones in disguise.” Those pins are gathered on a board on Pinterest.com. Boards are organizational tools that brands and users use to gather pins together around a particular theme—for example, “Problem Solvers: products, ideas & tips that help solve common household problems.

Daily Grommet hoped the contest would spark consumer interest in its products, Tait says. “If Sally pins her image to one of her boards, all her followers will see there’s a contest going on,” she says. “And that brings in new traffic and people to our site who haven’t been there before because they’re looking to win something.” Daily Grommet made it easy to enter the contest—a consumer merely had to pin a single image— to encourage shoppers to spread the word, she says.

The campaign worked, Tait says. The retailer’s traffic jumped 140% from Pinterest compared with the two weeks before running the contest. And the retailer increased its number of Pinterest followers by 14.4%, she says. The retailer has 11,734 followers.

Daily Grommet conducted the contest with the help of social marketing analytics vendor Curalate. It gives Daily Grommet insight into its popular pins, including which consumers pinned which items and how consumers categorize items from DailyGrommet.com on their own boards. That can be valuable information, Tait says, because while the retailer might think an item like a Cuppow—a top that turns a mason jar into a travel mug—is something a shopper would buy for herself, it has found that many shoppers pin the item to boards that, based on their names, seem to be designed to collect gift ideas. The retailer uses that type of insight to inform its marketing materials—for instance, how it promotes Cuppow, she says. “It’s really helpful in everything from our newsletter to our other public relations efforts,” Tait says.

While many retailers, like Daily Grommet, are finding that Pinterest can help drive traffic to their sites, 45.9% of retailers do not have a presence on the 2-year-old social network, according to a survey in the 2013 edition of the Social Media 300. The guide gives a comprehensive analysis of 300 e-retailers’ social commerce strategies and ranks retailers’ social skills on the percentage of web site traffic that they receive from social networks.

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