Should You Use Pinterest for Your Business?

Right now, Pinterest is the hottest member of the social media family. It’s fresh, new and it’s quickly gaining traction as more than 11 million people are spending time on the site each month. People love the visual nature of the network and it’s incredibly easy for users to get hooked.

If you haven’t heard about Pinterest yet, here’s how it works…

People “pin” images into categories called “boards”. Think of it like a virtual corkboard or scrapbook of magazine clippings. Women have been doing this for ages when redecorating a home or planning for a wedding.

Pinterest just makes it virtual, conversational and viral, which makes it a very attractive marketing tool for businesses.

For example, this hairstylist’s traffic catapulted to more than 10 million pageviews in five months once she started sharing her photos on Pinterest. Amazing, huh?

Folks are getting really excited about the possibilities with Pinterest.  But the real question is – should you use it?

I think the answer boils down to asking a few simple questions:

  • Is your target audience using Pinterest?
  • Do you have something visual to share?
  • And finally, how does this fit into my overall strategy?

Let’s dive into each of these questions a little further to see if Pinterest is right for you.

Is your target audience using Pinterest?

To determine the answer, let’s look at user demographics. In general, women ages 25-44 are the predominant users of Pinterest. Some stats are saying that the number of female users could be as high as 97%.

pinterest-statesIf you dive in a little further, data from Ignite Social Media shows that 60% of users have at least some college education and have an annual household income, on average, of $25,000 to $75,000. And, Pinterest’s core user base appears to be in the heartland of the U.S. in states like Missouri, Kansas and Minnesota.

Does that sound like your people? If so, Pinterest might be a good option for you.

Do you have something visual to share?

Pinterest lives and breathes off of sharing images. So, you must have a visual-based business for Pinterest to work to work for you. For example, it would be difficult for an attorney or a financial planner to use Pinterest well.

Although product-based businesses are a natural fit for Pinterest, a number of service-based businesses can really thrive on the network. Here are some ideas:

  • Photographers
  • Interior designers and architects
  • Artists and craft-makers
  • Stylists (of any type – hair, makeup, clothes)
  • Graphic designers
  • Chefs, restaurants, dietitians – anything food-related
  • Fashion consultants
  • Wedding planners
  • Realtors
  • Physical trainers

The list could go on and on. But, the bottom line is that you really need to think about what images you can share that really represent you and your brand.

If you don’t have anything visual to share, then Pinterest isn’t for you.

How does this fit into your overall strategy?

The tricky thing about social media is that it’s really easy to get obsessed with shiny object syndrome. But, like any endeavor, you must determine your goals for using Pinterest and how it would fit into your overall marketing strategy.

To do that, you need to consider how Pinterest would help you reach your business goals.

Do you want it to drive traffic to your blog? Raise awareness about your brand? Listen for trends? Whatever it is, make sure you know what you want Pinterest to do for you before you dive in,

Also, you also must consider if you have the time and budget for adding a new social network to the mix. If you’re struggling to stay on top of your other social media efforts, perhaps adding Pinterest may not be helpful to you at this point.

Using Pinterest Effectively

If you’ve answered these questions and feel that Pinterest is for you, here are some great articles that will help you come up with some ideas for how to use Pitnerest effectively:

Are you using Pinterest for your business? Have you seen any good examples of businesses using it effectively?

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  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    I LOVE PINTEREST!!

    I love the ideas you’ve detailed here. Since I wrote my blog post about it (thank you for linking, BTW), I tested something with a friend who sells high-end Italian shirts.

    I pinned two of her shirts to my clothes board. Then we watched. With an hour (ONE HOUR), Pinterest was the #3 traffic source to her ecommerce site. And the conversion for people coming from Pinterest was higher than any other traffic source. She sold 10% of her monthly volume within three hours of that one pin.

    It may not last, but it’s so easy to test it and see what happens.

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Wow. That’s pretty darn incredible! You’re right – there’s a lot of possibilities with Pinterest, especially with products. I think it’s a natural fit for that space. But, I think services are a little trickier, depending on your niche. 

      Like you said, you need to test it to see what happens before you fully commit a ton of resources to it. 

  • http://www.vieodesign.com/ VIEO Design

    Good one Laura!  We have had much discussion about the Pinterest craze in our office.  Thanks for the great post. 

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Glad you liked it!

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