To Pin or Not to Pin: Should Your Business Be on Pinterest?
If you’re selling houses or furniture or trendy clothing, chances are you’re already on Pinterest and killing it (this article isn’t really for you). But what about the rest of us? What about the sandwich makers, the digital marketers, the car salesperson? Do we belong on Pinterest?
Who’s Using Pinterest?
Before you consider taking the pinning plunge, you probably want to know who’s using the platform. After all, if no one’s there, then why commit the resources to explore a new social stream?
The good news is that there are a lot of people using Pinterest, 335 million, in fact. Up 26% from the previous year, Pinterest has pulled into third place in the social media race behind Facebook and Instagram, excluding YouTube.
What Are All Those People Doing on Pinterest?
In addition to all the inspirational quotes, braided hairstyles, and festival looks, Pinterest users have raked up, “more than two billion searches and more than 200 billion Pins saved to more than four billion boards across the platform.”
And a lot of those pins and searches are users looking to make a purchase with a staggering 90% of Pinterest’s users report using the platform to make a purchase decision.
Ok, but Should My Business Be Posting Pins too?
The numbers make it pretty clear that if it’s only a question of users, there are certainly enough to justify at least considering adding Pinterest to your social media lineup.
Knowing that so many users are explicitly using the platform for purchasing decisions should make you seriously consider where Pinterest might fit into your broader marketing efforts.
If you have a target persona anywhere in the under 35 crowd (or women specifically), then the answer is almost certainly yes.
Also, if your business is in the B2C space, then Pinterest especially makes sense. After all, you want to be in front of your customers. If your customers are on Pinterest, then it seems like a natural fit for you to be there as well.
That being said, is Pinterest a vehicle for driving engagement or sales in the B2B world? Maybe.
Those of us in the B2B world can’t always take flashy pictures of our products, and Pinterest is driven by images. Plus, I’m still not convinced purchasing decision-makers are browsing for their company’s next piece of software or PR firm between crock-pot recipes and living room redesign mood boards.
Not to say there is no argument to be made for the utility of Pinterest in the B2B space. Companies like HubSpot dutifully pin blog post images and graphics and boast a healthy following of 49.8k followers.
But if you’re not selling directly to consumers, perhaps the best way to look at Pinterest is as a vehicle for branding and name recognition and a driver of website traffic. If you’re invested in content creation (infographics, blog posts, etc.), then Pinterest can serve as a nice addition for content sharing. If you have the bandwidth, great. If not, kick it up a notch and focus on the platforms that do perform well for you.
Best Practices to Get You Started
Pinterest is all about visuals. So, the first step in laying out your Pinterest strategy is identifying all of the visual assets you can deploy.
Are you blogging regularly? Add some high-quality graphics or images to your posts and create a Pinterest board. Got some excellent industry stats? Throw those statistics into a visual format. Create a lot of whitepapers or eBooks? Covers and charts make great pins.
You’re not just in it for name recognition, though, so it’s crucial you’re adding links in the description of all of your pins. It’s also important that you’re tracking those links and measuring their success. A link in the description will give viewers the option to do more than just repin or follow and will allow you to see if your efforts are paying off.
Also, just like any other social platform, you’ll need to spend some time following other boards and accounts. To increase your visibility, like and comment on other users’ pins, add pins to your boards where appropriate, and engage with others with overlapping businesses or interests.
So, do you think Pinterest makes sense for your business? Will you be creating a Pinterest account? If you already have a Pinterest account for your business, have you found it to be useful? What’s worked best for your business?