Why I’m not on Pinterest, but maybe you should be

by on May 2, 2012

Pinterest marketingChances are, you’ve heard of Pinterest, right? Well, it has been absolutely everywhere, praises being lauded left, right and centre.

Haven’t heard of it? It’s the latest social media channel to really take off. It essentially involves users pinning images, graphics, videos and online content to boards around specific topics. It’s a beautiful, highly creative platform that lets you organize online content and images in a new way. It’s really fun to check out the unique ways that people are categorizing their pins. From what I’ve heard, it’s highly addictive!!

What’s so great about Pinterest?

Pinterest has been getting a ton of press and exposure – many businesses have seen some great benefits from using this social media platform. Here are some of the main benefits of Pinterest:

  • it already has millions of users and daily visits and is growing super fast.
  • it has become a major traffic driver. Pinterest got a lot of press back in January when stats published revealed that it drives greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, G+, Reddit and YouTube combined. (See stats from Shareaholic )
  • people spent a lot of time on the site. It’s very easy to go down a rabbit hole of beautiful images and cute graphics. Even just poking around a little had me fully drawn in and ready to get myself all signed up :)

So why am I not on it?

For those of you that have been with me for a while, you know that I never recommend to just jump on any ol’ bandwagon no matter what others are saying about it. Whatever marketing strategy you choose for your small business, it has to work with your goals and just plain be feasible. Better to hone in and do social media well on a small handful of channels (or heck, only one) than settle for half-assed execution across a myriad of platforms.

And this is exactly why I’m not on it. I already feel like I am not doing Google+ justice, so throwing another social media channel into the mix just doesn’t work for me right now. My biz has been hopping busy and I simply don’t have the time to take on another social presence and do it well.

That plus the fact that I am not a super visual person. The thought of pinning cool pictures doesn’t really appeal to me. I totally get how other people love it, but it just doesn’t really jive with the type of person that I am. And while there certainly is an aspect of visual and creative to what I do, it certainly isn’t the main focus. So I just feel that it isn’t the right place for my biz to be at this time. There are other social channels that make way more sense for me. So I’m focusing on those. That isn’t to say I’ll never use Pinterest, just not right now.

Never feel like you have to do something just because everyone else is or so and so guru says you should be.

What kind of small business is Pinterest for?

Regardless of whether I’m on Pinterest or not, it all comes down to deciding whether this is the right social channel for YOUR small business. If any of the below apply to you, go for it!

  • Any sort of a small business that revolves around visuals is a perfect fit for this platform. Jewellers. Fashionistas. Artists. Designers. Bakers. Event Planners. Landscapers. Any sort of visually appealing product or visually creative service business can shine on Pinterest.
  • Your target market is women (only about 20% of Pinterest users are guys), especially in the 25-44 age range. Check out these and other demographic goodies about Pinterest over at Ignite Social Media.
  • Content marketing is a part of your strategy. While it may seem that Pinterest is only about photos and images, you can definitely use boards to organize resources and share blog posts and other online content. The image used in the resource will be highlighted.
  • You absolutely love visuals. Even if your business isn’t really visual, as long as you love this kind of thing and it sounds like a whole load of fun to you, go for it. All kinds of businesses that aren’t even remotely visually focused are using Pinterest. Remember, being on Pinterest isn’t all about business – there is a huge personal dimension to it. It’s about pinning things that you love, not promoting your business at every turn, or pin.
  • You have the time or the internal resources (aka an assistant or staff member) to take this new channel on. If so, it’s definitely worth a bit of experimentation. It’s a new way to reach new people, share more of your personality & values to make stronger personal connections, network, get inspired, do market research etc…

Additional Pinterest resources

As with any social media channel, there is etiquette for using Pinterest. This post by Copyblogger covers the ins and outs of making the most of this social network: 56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest

Statistics. Examples. How-to tips. Oh my! SocialMouths has a killer post with everything you need to know about Pinterest.

The biggest question surrounding Pinterest is copyright issues. After all, we all know how careful we must be with the images we use on our blogs and other online properties.  buildalittlebiz gets into the nitty gritty of those copyright issues: pinterest & copyright

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

Image source: lobster20 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Pin Latino May 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

And if you speak Spanish and you want to speak in your language, http://www.pinlatino.com it’s the real option.

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Martina May 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

En espanol – que fantastico!

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Allyn May 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I love Pinterest! I started using it earlier this year and was immediately addicted!! I think some of my friends thought I was receiving a kick back for talking about as much as I did. I now limit the amount of time I go on bc it’s true what you said about the rabbit hole effect, especially for anyone who is visually oriented. I’m a painter/illustrator and it’s perfect for anyone who already tears out magazine images &/or saves them to folders online as reference and inspiration. I include folders of my work, but I don’t think of it as a serious platform to promote myself. Of course, it’s a nice surprise to see if someone likes or repins something I’ve made and I feel kind of flattered when someone decides to follow any of my folders. I really hope Pinterest doesn’t ever become solely a marketing tool for businesses. It definitely has that potential, but right now, it still feels fresh. I particularly enjoy discovering artists, illustrators, photographers, designers (new & old) I’d never heard of before and must admit, I have a weakness for all the cute animals and great interiors on there! I totally understand why you would resist Pinterest (for now) because it can easily divert your attention from other more important tasks. Thanks for your piece, will check out all the links.

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Martina May 3, 2012 at 9:40 am

Hi Allyn,
It’s great to hear your personal experience with Pinterest! Your business is definitely a perfect match for this platform. You also bring up an important concern that I’ve seen under discussion all over the web – the fear that marketers and businesses will take it over and “ruin” it. You’ve got the right approach though. It’s all about keeping etiquette in mind and not using Pinterest as a way to solely blast out self-promotion :) Really appreciate your comment!

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Sarah May 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Great post, Martina. I wrote a similar post about Google+ :-) You just cannot be everywhere. Especially if your target audience is not on it, then why “waste” your time ? I’m based in Europe and Pinterest is not big yet with my target audience (small businesses who are just starting out on Social Media). But as you mention, for some businesses Pinterest is great and I do recommend it !

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Martina May 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

Couldn’t agree with you more Sarah! It’s just not possible to be everywhere – it all comes down to what is right for your business and your people. Thanks for your comment!

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Steve Hippel May 3, 2012 at 10:54 am

You are absolutely spot on Martina.
For most small businesses, large scale social media campaigns are neither practical or worthwhile. I think better to get one or two of the important channels working well is good advice. Social signals now play an important part in SEO too, so better to do something right instead of everything wrong.

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Martina May 4, 2012 at 8:16 am

Couldn’t agree more! Stretching yourself too thin and trying to be in too many places at once can definitely dilute your efforts and their impact. Thanks for the comment Steve!

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