For those of you who don’t know, Pinterest is a visual social bookmarking website which has taken the web by storm. It hit 10 million users faster than any site in history and adds huge number of users every month. The site allows users to share photographs and images along with a brief description and a link. In February of this year Pinterest generated more referral traffic to other websites than Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn combined . These impressive statistics and the huge amount of publicity it has received have unsuprisingly led to a large amount of interest in the use of Pinterest for marketing goods and services.
So as small businesses should we all be rushing out and creating Pinterest boards? The simple answer is, as usual…. it depends. Before sharpening your virtual pins here are a number of factors you may want to consider:
A recent study confirmed suggestions that Pinterest is dominated by women. 68.2% of its users were found to be female. This may be worth bearing in mind before you create a pinboard of your jock strap range. Perhaps your social media activites may be more fruitful elsewhere.
You got the look?
The site is for visual sharing – sounds obvious but if you are selling invisible products or services then you may find it difficult to make pinning worthwhile. No doubt you could post pictures of your office party, your logo or your dog but will anybody really be interested? Are these images likely to be repinned or go viral? Marketeers suggest that you pin ‘lifestyle’ images associated with your brand, however I would suggest that this is only really applicable to certain products and services.
Is your company Business to Consumer, Business to Business or Boring to Consumer?
Pinterest has been very successful for certain lifestyle B2C businesses. B2B companies and B2C comnpanies selling less glamourous wares (drain cleaner, weedkiller, bookeeping…) are unlikely to be successful. Social networking for small businesses is always going to be subject to time limitations and for B2B companies LinkedIn remains a far more fruitful use of that time.
The good people at Intuit have made a nice infographc flow chart which answers the question “Should your business be on Pinterest”
I would be really interested to hear how you get on using Pinterest if you decide to try it., Also if you are interested here is some of ThinkMonkeys recent work on an Pinterest board.