4 Reasons Pinterest Is A Waste Of Time For B2B Marketers (And One Reason It Might Not Be)

pinterest logoI’ve been remiss in my duties recently. As bloggers, whether you’re writing about sports or SAP, we have a responsibility to those who take the time to read our work. You should always read your comments and reply whenever possible. This past week I have received plenty of comments on a recent post on this blog about B2B digital marketing mistakes. And I haven’t replied to a single one of them.

Thankfully, all of the comments made the same point and I can reply to them all here instead. Each of the comments (which occurred across three different reposts of the piece) centered on the same comment, they said I was wrong to dismiss Pinterest for B2B marketing. And each commenter made some valid points. So I felt they deserved a fuller explanation on why I truly believe Pinterest is a waste for 90% of B2Bs. Starting with the obvious.

Your Ideal Clients Either Aren’t There Or Aren’t Looking For You

Without descending into the sexist claims that often get thrown at Pinterest, it does have a pretty obvious niche market. Pinterest users are there for images they like, or images of things they like. While it would be ridiculous to assume there are no potential B2B clients using Pinterest; it would be similarly silly to assume those users are thinking about business services while picking out furniture or ogling a Michelin star meal.

That means your Pinterest boards would have to be pretty compelling to get their minds back on the job. And that’s no easy task.

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Very Few B2Bs Can Create That Works On Pinterest

Especially considering how difficult B2Bs often find it to create winning original visual content. If you provide IT solutions, how do you create visually striking, colorful and stunning images that will leave users hungry for more? The answer is ‘with great difficulty’. Which is why a lot of B2Bs, and B2Cs, end up using Pinterest to curate content rather than create it.

Which begs a number question, where is all of your Pinterest content linked to? Do you repost everything to your site? Or let users link to the original content? What value is that to you? Most importantly, it makes you wonder…

Are B2B Pinterest Followers Really Following ‘You’?

If the content is just a list of infographics pulled from every corner of the web, are those followers really interested in your business? Without your own content, you are relying heavily on your bio to lead users back to your site and your conversion points. Alternatively, you may be able to effectively work in your business’ logo, contact or value proposition into repins of other people’s content but that will take time and effort.

It Takes Time Away From More Natural Channels

While an argument can be made for using Pinterest to generate traffic and leads (more on that in a moment), it’s not the most prolific B2B social network. You will always get more traction on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+. Every second you spend on Pinterest is time you could be investing in one of those more natural choices. Why would you spend that time trying to force Pinterest to work, when the network itself isn’t especially interested in B2B marketers?

(But What About SEO?)

Which leads me to the one point I can’t argue with in relation to Pinterest, SEO. As Internet usage evolves, social activity is becoming more and more prevalent and, as a result, more important to search engines. That’s led the likes of Google to give plenty of SEO credit to social posts. Therefore, it follows that the broader your social reach, the greater your SEO benefit.

However, should we decide to use Pinterest as a purely SEO boosting enterprise? If we’re creating these accounts just to create links with content that we’re not really interested or invested in, what kind of tactic is that? Google has done so much work to root out black hat SEO tactics like link farms and keyword stuffing, does B2B pinning for pure link-generation not fall into a similar category? Where is the dividing line between genuine content marketing and artificial SEO inflation?

I won’t enforce an answer for the above question on anyone. I have my opinion and I think every B2B marketer will have his or her own. However, I do think it’s worth asking.

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  Discuss This Article

Comments: 2

  • Debby Edwards says:

    Hi, Bryan! My daughter got me started on Pinterest just a month ago so that I could see her wedding posts (she’s getting married next year). I’m really interested in shopping for some of the things I see, but I get very frustrated because most of the images, no matter how far back you try to follow it, just don’t go anywhere. The ones that do link back to an active Web site are usually pages from Etsy or similar companies. Retail stores might be surprised at how many hits they could get if the images linked back to their active Web sites. Just my 2¢ worth.

  • I completely disagree that B2B should dismiss Pinterest. As a B2B I rank on the first page of google.com and google.ca as “pinterest consultant” because of Pinterest. How can you argue with those results?

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