The picture below sums up this post fairly nicely. In the last 60 days, Pinterest has sent 237,806 people to my website, while Facebook has only sent 61,141 people. If you aren’t much of a math whiz, then I’ll break it down and say that Pinterest performed nearly four times better than Facebook.
While the numbers from this case study are impressive on their own, they even more significant when you look deeper into this example. On this same website, I have a following of 35,000 fans who I constantly send to the website by linking to new articles. In contrast, I only have about 5,000 fans on Pinterest. The lesson to be learned? Pinterest is the king of traffic.
Why I’m so disenchanted with Facebook
I spend a significant chunk of my day managing my Facebook Fan Page to engage with customers and fans, and to write compelling status updates to drive engagement. Yet, despite this attention, Facebook only allows about 30% of my fans to see the status updates that I post.
In 2009, Facebook implemented Edge Rank, an algorithm it uses to determine which status updates are the most important to a user, and only shows the most relevant content. Facebook determines the most relevant content by how often a user engages with a person or a page. Therefore, if your users don’t click “like” or “share” or “comment” on your posts, they will eventually be kept from seeing your status updates in their newsfeeds.
This is precisely why Facebook is dead to marketers. We work and scrap and fight to get people to like our Facebook fan pages. Then, after we have done the work, they crop out 70% or more of our audience and prevent us from sending messages to that user even though the user has INTENTIONALLY liked our page to see our content.
This has always bothered me from a marketing perspective, but then Facebook pushed me over the edge two weeks ago when it rolled out Promoted Posts to all Facebook Fan Pages. This allows a fan page owner to pay Facebook to show their status updates to their Fans who have already liked the page. This means that not only do I have to push my customers to Facebook only to have 70% of them cut off from my status updates, but now I can pay Facebook for the privilege of contacting the people I already worked hard to earn?
But that wasn’t all that made me sick of Facebook…
Just for the sake of argument, I paid $20 or so to do a promoted post. I posted a status update that I thought would drive maximum engagement, and then sent it out to the world and continually refreshed the page–anxious to see the results. After the 3 day promotion period ended… that post did not reach even 1% more of my followers than my normal posts do.
Facebook is dead, and Pinterest is king.
But Pinterest Isn’t for Everyone
I don’t pretend that Pinterest is any kind of social media panacea, even though it has produced incredible results for my business. Pinterest works for me because it is a highly visual social network. In fact, it is so visual that it is impossible to write a text-only status updates. The entire platform works by publishing pictures–and my website is in the photography niche.
Still, it is rare that any of my photography is shared on Pinterest. The way that we have generated such a tremendous following on Pinterest is by encouraging our users to share our articles on Pinterest.
Also, my website advertises to people across the entire world. If you are marketing a local business, it will not be beneficial to you to cast such a broad net since Pinterest does not have the capacity of Facebook to target users in a specific geographic area.