Facebook 'like' losing retailers' love

For brands, Pinterest's pin was more desirable than Facebook's "like" in 2013.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
2 min read

Pinterest's "Pin it" button proved more desirable than Facebook's "like" button with retailers in 2013, according to a newly published report from social marketing and analytics firm 8thBridge.

Pinterest's 'Pin it' button overtook Facebook's 'like' button on the product page with 62 percent of the companies using the 'Pin it' button versus 59 percent using the 'like' button, according to 8thBridge's annual social commerce report. 8thBridge

For its third-annual report, 8thBridge analyzed the social commerce activities of 872 Web retailers between July and November 2013.

The firm found that 62 percent of retailers are using Pinterest Pin it buttons on product pages versus 59 percent using Facebook's like buttons. Pinterest, then, as the Web and mobile service for saving products to digital pin-boards, appears to be the more attractive network to brands trying to entice consumers to share and purchase their wares.

In some more bad news for Facebook, 8thBridge also determined that member engagement with brand pages -- defined as page likes or conversations about a page -- was down 27 percent from the previous year.

Facebook, however, remains the most adopted social network by retailers, according to 8thBridge, which found that 99 percent of retailers have a Facebook page. Yet, a growing number of retailers aren't maintaining their applications on the social network. The study found that 40 percent of brands with Facebook apps had at least one non-functioning or outdated app on their page, which is up from 35 percent in the previous year.

Though retailers' button preferences suggest a new bias toward Pinterest, 8thBridge found that Facebook is still the best at driving digital foot traffic.

"Although companies have embraced social discovery via Pinterest, the upstream traffic to their sites from Pinterest is still underwhelming, averaging 0.1 percent of their total traffic and twenty two times less than Facebook," 8thBridge concluded in its report.

The study, which determined that 89 percent of retailers are on Pinterest, suggests that Pinterest already has a built-in brand audience that may be eager to pay for additional product promotion. As it stands, though, the young social network has yet to figure out a way to convert retailer interest into anything more than buttons and boards. Pinterest only recently started showing advertisements, called "promoted pins," to a test audience, and said that it would not charge its initial advertisers.