They may tout the amount of users they have, but for most networks, user counts are the bait to help catch the big fish.
On the flip side, many platforms have put up barriers and rules that have made it difficult for marketers to justify having a strong presence on the website.
However, three networks (Pinterest, Facebook and Yelp) have recently announced updates and tools that cater directly to marketers.
Pinterest Web Analytics
On the web page announcing their new analytics tool, Pinterest described it best: “See what people are pinning from your website.”
Despite all the numbers we see about how many bazillion people are using Pinterest, the big question has always surrounded what are they pinning from a particular website. If there are millions of items pinned each day, but none are from your site, that will inform your decision whether or not to jump on the site. Conversely, if you see that there are LOTS of pins of your content, it also has an impact. Of course, neither scenario leads to a clear-cut strategy to or not to have an active Pinterest presence, but it gives you critical data for your decision-making process.
The key for Pinterest is that in order to get these analytics, you must have a URL validated through their site – basically, you need an account to get the stats.
Most marketers would feel comfortable launching an account to own the data, even if you don’t post to the page actively. However, if you HAVE an account, you are more likely to use it than if you don’t (simple math, no?).
So, big win for Pinterest in aiding marketers sell their network up the ladder and report on it’s success in business goals.
Facebook Cover Photos
One of the most annoying aspects of marketing on Facebook since the shift to Timeline was that you couldn’t really use the cover photo for marketing purposes.
It was valuable real estate on your page, but it couldn’t contain any calls to action, URL or contact information. Basically, it was wasted space from a branding perspective.
To push it over the edge, updating a cover photo earns placement in the News Feed of your followers. So, if you were able to get your content in front of their eyeballs, there wasn’t much return on it.
But Facebook recently removed most of the restrictions.
Text can still only take up 1/5th of the space, but this is a common-sense change that will provide marketers with the ability to better (and more creatively) use all aspects of their Facebook presence.
Yelp Revenue Estimator
“Yeah…but how much revenue is it bringing in?”
The bottom line is critical, in that all line items must contribute to it in some way. There are expenses that are valid, but they have to contribute to the money-making machine.
Yelp’s new free Revenue Estimator, released this week, helps small businesses capture leads generated from the platform, with a calculator to help tailor the results to their company.
While it isn’t a perfect tool, it will help businesses understand how they can work with Yelp – be it just a page or an advertising campaign.
As they mentioned in their blog post announcing the tool, this estimator will help provide a baseline to judge advertising campaigns against.
While this may not scale to large businesses, Yelp is not designed for them, necessarily.
This is a smart upgrade, and hopefully the sign of more to come from Yelp.