While fads come and go, the latest social media craze seems to be pinning its hopes on staying around for a while.
Given the surge in people using Pinterest, it leads one to ponder if B2B marketers would be best served by using the site? Is it a wise call to pin your efforts on the site or direct your energies to other and better-known social media venues?
According to a piece from Marketing Profs, Pinterest is engineering a larger percentage of referral traffic across the Internet than Google+, YouTube, Reddit and LinkedIn combined.
For B2B marketers not up to speed on Pinterest, the site allows users to share images on virtual pin boards that are placed in categories for specific themes or interest sections. Users can not only submit their own 'pins' to the site, but also re-pin existing images straight to their own boards.
So, should B2B marketers be 'pinning' some of their time and efforts to the site, especially given the perception that most folks look at Pinterest as a hobby, design, and craft type site? Keep in mind; one of the advantages to striking now is that Pinterest is still relatively new in social media circles, so why wait for the crowds to show up?
Among some of the companies that are effectively using the site to date include:
- HubSpot -- The inbound marketing software provider has some 1,030 followers and has pinned more than 100 items so far (http://pinterest.com/hubspot/);
- Klout -- The social media analytical provider has some 1,700 followers, pinning more than 170 items up to now (http://pinterest.com/klout/);
- Reach Local -- This online marketer has close to 100 followers and uses the site to share statistics, facts, infographics and more (http://pinterest.com/reachlocal/).
If you've been thinking about spending some time on Pinterest, consider a few things:
- Just the facts -- According to digital ad agency Modea, those ages 25 to 34 have the biggest presence on the site, nearly 69 percent of users are women, the average user spends nearly 16 minutes on the site, and the site had 11,716,000 visitors in January of 2012 alone;
- Determine how the site will best serve you -- Take the time to troll the site and see what kinds of products have the potential to be good for marketing and which of your products would best suit the boards. While the images are nice, which ones will end up giving your company the best bang for your efforts? Also, don't rely entirely on promoting your products. Pinning items related to your company's culture, employees, etc. allow you to humanize the company and show visitors that you are not only a good business but one that is well diversified when it comes to your interests;
- Focus in on pin boards that are specific to what you offer -- Get products pinned that showcase your company's marketing efforts and share with others. Just like many business pros use LinkedIn to network, doing the same on Pinterest allows you to gain increased exposure while helping non-competitors do the same. By sharing your pins with your clients, you also learn more about them in the process as to what is and isn't important in their eyes. You should look to offer exclusive offers to your house list in your email marketing campaigns and newsletters geared towards "members-only." Among the items to consider are product discounts, useful white papers and daily specials;
- Don't be the occasional 'pinner' -- Just like any content you write on your B2B blogs and email newsletters needs to be fresh, don't get into the habit of being a drive-by 'pinner' all the time. It is important to 'pin' regularly so that you pick up a strong following that will keep coming back;
- Reap the SEO traffic and benefits -- For those B2B marketers that regularly 'pin' items, they put themselves in place to receive a boost in SEO traffic. With Pinterest, you can build inbound links to drive people to client Web sites, meaning an uptick in SEO traffic. At the end of the day, building valuable backlinks is worth the time and effort.
When all is said and done, Pinterest allows B2B marketers the opportunity to tell the public their stories and also add to their engagement level with both prospects and clients.
That being said I have a feeling a fair amount of B2B marketers are taking a "wait and see approach" to Pinterest prior to diving into it. Perhaps the recent copyright law stories regarding the site and its terms of agreement in the media have led some B2B's to think twice before joining.
As a B2B marketer, if you're not already on Pinterest, what is your reasoning behind this decision and do you foresee yourself joining before the end of the year?
Photo credit: isedb.com