Should You Consider Using Pinterest For Your SMB?

pinterestbiz-3_600You may have heard the hype about Pinterest updating its iOS app last week, adding the ability to edit your profile from your phone, and a new close-up view of pins on the iPad.

This new capability may be exciting for us marketers, but many of my SMB clients simply want to know what Pinterest is and why they might want to consider using it in their business.

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social media site built around the concept of sharing photos. Users create and manage theme-based “boards” on topics that interest them (such as fashion, food, travel, home design, etc.). Users then “pin” photos to their boards for sharing and engaging.

While still relatively new, Pinterest has now become the third largest social media site based on the number of site visits. It has proven its ability to impact purchases, and is fast becoming an important source of referral traffic for websites, with some businesses reporting it surpassing Facebook for referrals in their analytics. Despite popular belief, your business doesn’t need to be product-based in order take advantage of their benefits.

However, while it might be easy enough to understand how B2C could use Pinterest to showcase their products, the manufacturing process, the ingredients, the lifestyle around the products etc., figuring out how to use it for B2B requires a little more thought. Here are a few questions to consider when deciding if “pinning” should be part of your marketing strategy.

  1. Is your marketing strategy focused on brand awareness? How can you use Pinterest for this purpose? E.g. how can you tie brand awareness into visual tactics?
  2. If you are a B2B business, is the investment of time equal to the return? E.g. if it costs you time to develop the creative visual and post it,what are your expectations of the return?
  3. Who is your target audience?  As Pinterest is most popular with women in the 25-44 age bracket, is this audience considered influencers or consumers of your service or product?
  4. On a very practical level, do you have the resources to execute and implement an on-going Pinterest social media site? E.g. do you have an art or creative department who can design infographics and repurpose images, and a social media person to post and measure its success?

Pinterest grew by 4000% in six months and its potential is huge. As the links to your site are being created and clicked on by real people, it can give your SEO a wonderful boost.

Do you use Pinterest in your marketing strategy?  If so, is your business B2B or B2C, and what type of success have you had?  Would you recommend using Pinterest for B2B?  I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

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