Pinterest has all the ingredients to become the next big thing for social media – the truth, and you don’t need to be a digital guru, is it is probably well on its way to becoming a stable of the social media world.
It is easy to use, easy to connect, fun (depending on your point of view) and has the potential to reach tens of millions as it more widely adopted.
It can work for business, not just for PRs or marketers of consumer companies, but solid B2B PR.
If a business has a product that is demonstrative, can be shown visually, it can work. Designers, architects, advertising agencies all spring to mind as being made for Pinterest.
And while businesses selling time, professional services essentially, might struggle, there will be some that could benefit (trainers for instance) providing their audiences are on Pinterest – a point that needs to be considered further.
But there are at present reasons why it might not be right for B2B, and here are some to consider:
Time – Social media is time consuming, it can be valuable but to do it well takes time. If there is limited resource for a B2B company surely LinkedIn or Twitter might serve the business better than a new social media channel.
Tumbleweed – Pinterest is easy to set-up and get to grips with and so a new account can be set-up in a few minutes. But the challenge of social media is to keep thing fresh with regular interesting content.
It is more harmful to start using a new social media channel, stop and leave a jaded looking account. Having an extra social media site to maintain is an issue for all channels, LinkedIn as much as Pinterest. But if you have a limited resource decisions have to be made and LinkedIn at this moment in time is a better option for most , not for all, businesses looking to improve their online marketing.
Copyright – How do you protect your content, how do others protect their content from your (innocent) indiscretions? What are the legal consequences? There have been no major legal cases as of writing that I am aware of concerning Pinterest, but it is an issue that could dog businesses looking to really engage through Pinterest.
Numbers of users – comScore noted that Pinterest had 10 million users by January of this year – the fastest site to reach this landmark for unique users. But 10 million or even 20 million are not so many, Twitter reached 140 million around the time of its sixth birthday this year. Pinterest has not reached a critical mass that makes it valuable for businesses yet, it will probably do so, but not yet.
Demographics – In the US Pinterest users are 83% women / 17% men, in the UK it is reversed to some extent: 56% men / 46% women and the age ranges were typically 10 years younger in the UK. This could be good news or bad depending on your product or service.
Pinterest is a good tool for business, but any social media done well needs to be approached with a little bit of vision, a strategy and most of all a commitment. Larger businesses can call upon the resource to engage through Pinterest, but for many SMEs it might be a luxury they cannot afford.