A Serious Lack of (P)interest.

April 10th, 2012 § 2 comments

pinterest for business?

Can you spot the business in this image?

Oh goody. Another social media site.


I’m trying very hard (very, very hard) to not roll my eyes in cynicism, but there is another social site that everyone is touting as being great for business. Pinterest is a place to collect images and repost on boards, with each board named as a category. It’s like a virtual scrapbook with each image linking back to the original site.

Oh Look, Pretzels…

At first, Pinterest consisted of women collecting recipes and crafty pictures for inspiration for their macramé and glue stick projects. No, I’m not being facetious, it’s true! But now it seems that it is being promoted and blogged about as a great way to spread your business and promote traffic to your site.

I have a Pinterest account. But it still seems to me to be like turning up to a party only to find that I’m the only guy invited. While I’m all for talking about and promoting my business wherever and whenever, it’s not (yet?) cemented as one of the top handful of places I think of throwing useful content. If I have something to say, I blog about it. If I complete a project I want to share, I’ll post on Facebook and add to my portfolio. Everything gets Tweeted, of course. But things don’t really go into Pinterest yet. I just tend to add pictures of things I find interesting (like guitar designs). I’m not one of those people who collect and distribute memes, goofy pictures or funny signs.

Come Here Often?

My main concern is one of demographics. Are potential customers looking on Pinterest for a graphic designer? If I post screenshots of recently completed websites are people likely to think “that’s a great image, I think I’ll hire that guy”? Maybe that’s not the thought process of a prospect, or how Pinteresters (?!) think. But why are people using Pinterest, other than a visual bookmark page?

I don’t want to be investing time on yet another social media site, building yet another network and duplicating more content only to find that my customers don’t even visit Pinterest. I have many clients who don’t even use Twitter, which has been around for sometime now.

Dancing in the Dark

My business may be visual – and Pinterest all about collecting and sharing pictures – but without some kind of dialogue or personality behind it, I’m not going to stand out. Remember Athena stores? Everyone can describe a poster or two that they saw there, but nobody can name the artists. The black and white photo of the soldier kissing a girl on a train platform? The funny poster you put on the back of your bedroom door? Or how about the plethora of other posters that show up in movies just to show that the scene occurred twenty years ago? That is the level of involvement that Pinterest has. Just like that long list of bookmarked sites that you never visited again. You see a cool picture, you pin it, you move on.

Can I Get Your Number?

Social media needs to be social. That means interaction, personality and dialogue. Until there is a need to be involved in a network and there is money left on a coffee table somewhere, I’m going to stick to the places where I know my clients actually visit.

§ 2 Responses to A Serious Lack of (P)interest."

  • Loved this post, Nick. And now for my thoughts on the matter (you’re welcome)…

    I agree that Pinterest (like any social media site) isn’t right for every business. Stats show that art, fashion, recipes and products are most often pinned, so if your business sells these kinds of things, it would be a great choice. If not, then spend your business development time where it’s most effective.

    It’s always about where your audience is. I love to use Pinterest for my personal vision boarding and collecting creative thoughts, but I really haven’t seen a need to use it for my business as a marketer/social media consultant yet. Business types that would definitely benefit? Fashion designers, small businesses that make handmade items (like Etsy), visual artists, possibly restaurants, cookbook authors, and the like.

    It’s got a place, but it won’t fit for everybody. Or every business.

  • Nicholas says:

    Thanks Kali! It’s possible that it could become a strong network, but as you mentioned, it’s all about where your audience is. Without the people, it’s just another fun thing to do when you don’t have any more Draw Something drawings to do! I too use it for personal things. I guess we can all wait and see.

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