Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fact: Pinterest Is Not For Everyone

Pinterest is arguably the hottest social media site around at the moment, but that doesn't mean your company (or clients) should be jumping in the deep end.

While Pinterest is definitely growing by leaps and bounds, it's format and its users are beginning to show signs of fitting niche markets only. Specifically, crafts, home decor and visual media sites are among the most popular pin boards in use. And people who follow such things comprise the bulk of Pinterest users.

So, what does this mean for your business? Well, if you deal in gardening, art, photos, home decorating or remodeling, or even auto detailing, you have the makings of a decent Pinterest marketing account.

If, however, your business is less visual, let's say you're an accountant or a tax preparer, or do something which doesn't lend itself to visuals, you might have a tougher time setting up a Pinterest account. And would likely derive less from it.

Does this mean you can't find a work-around; a way to post interesting photos and links to your "CPA" Pin Board? No. However, if you look at the demographics of the people who are using the site (no need for a careful analysis-just go to the site and surf around for awhile) you will quickly discover that those are not the Pin Boards people are interested in seeing and interacting with.

Once again I have to go back to a point I make all the time: social media is a tool, not a solution in and of itself. You can't use every tool for every job you do. Sometimes you need a hammer and sometimes you need a wrench. There is no point in trying to use a wrench when you need to drive a nail into a board, or reaching for a hammer when you need to tighten a nut.

Now, have I used a hammer to help loosen a nut? Yes. Have I used a wrench to bang on something when it was the only tool I had available at the time? Yes. That doesn't make either of them the best tool for the job I was doing however.

Pinterest is the same way. It might help you promote your business, depending on what your business is and who you are trying to reach, or it might not. But don't think that it will solve all your problems (if it is) or that your business will fail without it (if it isn't.)

After all, it's just another tool in your social media marketing tool box.

If you are using Pinterest, post a link to your board in the comments section below and let me know how you use it.


Erin O'Brien said...

I think this is definitely how we should view Pinterest, as just another tool in the marketing box.

I interviewed at a bank a few weeks ago and mentioned Pinterest. I didn't recommend the site for the company, but noted that it was up-and-coming. Once I thought about it I realized that there wasn't much the bank could do with Pinterest - at least not even as close to what I do for some of my bridal clients.

Thanks for the post!

Jerry Battiste said...

I have had the same epiphany. I have also had those tough conversations with clients who want to jump on the bandwagon but don't truly understand how Pinterest works, much less who they can reach with it.
This will no doubt be an on-going problem as new social media tools pop-up seemingly all the time.

Chromilo Amin said...

Great post. I just recently signed up for an account or two and am finding it hard to use so far. I'm starting out with DIY projects so here is a board I created for that http://pinterest.com/chromilo/toddler-room-decor/. My wife does food catering on the side so I think there will likely be more visuals for that account, displaying different types of food, etc http://pinterest.com/lutongpinay/. For my computer support & service account, I doubt there will be much use for pinterest for me like you said, wrong tool, but I created one just in case http://pinterest.com/aminsolutions/.

Mags said...

I'm just a personal user,but I think your right. Its the visuals,or the DIY that attract me to a pin. If you cant show a picture,or lets say a quote,I'm not going to be inspired to look at what you have going. I do have a my fav charities board,with a picture of the charity...but again it has a picture. Sometimes to me its like window shopping,or looking thru a catalog.