People who know me – both online and off – know that I have become seriously addicted to a fairly new social media platform known as Pinterest. In case you haven’t made the leap into “pinning” yet, I will fill you in on what you may be missing.
Pinterest is a “Virtual Pinboard.” The site’s concept began in 2009 and launched as a closed beta in March, 2010. The site really started taking off in late 2011 after being listed among the top 50 websites of 2011 by Time magazine. According to data retrieved and recorded in Wikipedia: Pinterest entered the top 10 social networks according to Hitwise data with 11 million total visits per week in December 2011. In January 2012 it drove more referral traffic to retailers than Linked In, You Tube and Google+. The same month, the company was named the best New Start Up of 2011 by TechCrunch.
Pinterest has become quite popular, especially for females, as a place to organize images and videos, for various purposes. The stats about Pinterest users vary slightly based on who is writing about it and/or when it was written. In general though, it is women aged 25 to 34 who make up the largest demographic of Pinterest users. This being said, the most popular pins include things for the home, style/fashion, and food. I personally believe these are popular because they appeal to almost everyone…or at least everyone on Pinterest.
Pinterest currently presents a huge challenge to B2B online marketers who would like to be involved in this type of action, but just cannot figure out how to do so. The stats regarding referral traffic from “Pinboards” to websites are especially appealing to many companies. Let’s face it, Pinterest is a hot spot for visual and tangible content. However, B2B marketing is mostly about the intangible. A successful B2B marketing campaign is one where a solution is presented in such a way that the decision-maker feels somehow attached emotionally. Needless to say, this is not an easy thing to do.
Social media and online marketing have certainly helped us in the B2B marketing world by providing tools which allow us to come across as “human,” and to more easily engage with our target markets and potential clients. If companies doing business with other businesses want to become involved in Pinterest they now face the task of creating images of ideas and solutions that are not only fun to look at, but are also worth sharing. It then becomes a matter of deciding whether undergoing this task is really worth the time it takes versus the number of visitors and potential leads that could be converted. In my opinion, it currently does not look like a promising avenue for B2B online marketing. There are other ways, and most recently through online marketing, to successfully reach potential clients, promote lead generation, and accomplish ROI.
Although I really enjoy Pinterest on a personal level, I am not convinced that it has intrinsic value in the B2B online marketing world. At least not yet. You may feel differently and I would certainly like to hear your thoughts.
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