Marketers: Is Pinterest Worth the Hype?

Everyone, and I mean everyone, is talking about Pinterest right now, and for good reason. There’s a lot to love speaking strictly from a user’s perspective. The design is top notch, intuitive, and easy to use. For those reasons among others over the past several months the site has made a serious push into the conscious of the mainstream. As a tool for sharing images there’s perhaps nothing better, but at the end of the day I’m still a marketing guy. I don’t have time to waste sharing photos, infographics, and what not. I want to know if it’s worth my time when it comes to driving traffic to a site or getting a brand out in front of new eyeballs.

What do the numbers say?

A widely cited report by Shareholic that came out at the tail the end of last month stated that referral traffic via Pinterest had increased from 0.17% to 3.6% over the span of 6 months amongst data gathered from 200,000 publishers.

As you can see Pinterest edged out Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and came close to matching Twitter. The numbers are impressive to say the least, but what’s really going on here?

Does Pinterest represent an untapped goldmine of opportunity?

Maybe… but for most of us probably not.

Sharing is common, but don’t be fooled by it

Much of the content on Pinterest, a large majority of it, is un-owned. The items that a user decides to “pin” or share are usually stuff that’s visually appealing, but not typically something that’s branded. A stunning photo or graphic might make the rounds on the site, but it does little good for branding if it’s not tied back to a brand.

Not everyone is Pinterest worthy

There are certain industries that fit well within the Pinterest community: fashion, photography, architecture, graphic art, mass media, etc…

For the rest of us though it could become taxing and a big time suck to find relevant material that’s worth sharing. Sure it’s easy enough to create a Pinterest account under a brand name and link material back to my site, but what good is the traffic if it isn’t relevant to my marketing strategy?

If you sell a niche retail product, such a retro furniture or handmade clothing, then yes by all means Pinterest could be a great avenue for finding new customers. For the rest of us though – at least for the time being – Pinterest is still more suited for personal rather than business use.

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