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That headline is not a rhetorical question. If you can’t answer it, you should absolutely, positively avoid any temptation to follow the herd onto Pinterest. Like any social media channel, Pinterest is just another way to reach out to a wider audience, and like all the others, it requires significant care and feeding. So let’s take a minute and figure out if it’s right for you.
Pinterest could work for you if…
Just because “everyone’s” on Pinterest doesn’t mean you have to be there too. (Remember what your mom said re: jumping off bridges with friends?) Yet Pinterest is potentially an great channel for many different kinds of businesses, particularly if:
- You have something to sell: If you’re selling something — from earmuffs, to gourmet meals, to hotel reservations — Pinterest could be a fantastic marketing tool for you. Consumers like to see what they’re getting and the richness of Pinterest’s layout allows you to showcase your products and services in a visually compelling way.
- You have something to say: Non-profits and advocacy groups can use Pinterest to highlight key facts, slogans and taglines that support their mission. (Innate’s client, the Ms. Foundation for Women) does this beautifully.
- You have something to teach: Data visualization, when it’s done well, is an incredibly effective way of communicating. Take a look here for some great examples.
If you have key facts or numbers that you want your audience to remember, Pinterest might be able to help spread that message.
- You have a story to tell: “Show, don’t tell,” is a tenet of good storytelling. Pinterest can aid you here. If your company or organization has a long history, an intriguing backstory, or compelling customer service stories, you may be able to tell those very effectively via images on Pinterest.
Great! Your business meets one (or more) of the criteria above. Hooray! Off to Pinterest!
…but wait! There’s the little matter of content
Yes, now I’m going to be a killjoy. Pinterest might be a great fit for your business in theory, but a terrible idea in practice. As with all social media channels, it boils down to one word: CONTENT.
Remember all of those Pinterest boards for your wonderful products? And your great infographics? And your snazzy quotes? They’ll need to be filled and updated with a steady flow of images. Before you get on Pinterest you’ve got to be darn sure that you have the assets to support your presence, now and into the future.
Do you have a photographer, a designer, and/or a graphic artist to produce your images? If not, think twice and three times about Pinterest. Because Pinterest is not only about images, it’s about beautiful, compelling images. The absolute worst thing you could do is to have a Pinterest account filled with sub-par imagery.
Make an informed, guilt-free choice
Using Pinterest well is a tall order for a lot of businesses. If it’s not right for you, that’s not the death knell for your social media efforts. In fact, it can be a great boost to them. Instead of wasting valuable time and resources on Pinterest, use them to make your Facebook page and Twitter account work better for you. In other words, it’s fine to walk away and say, “Hey, Pinterest, it’s not you, it’s me.”
Check out more advice on using Pinterest successfully for business. And if you need more help with your social media strategy, contact Innate. We manage social media accounts for a variety of clients, and could help you, too.
[Photo credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr Creative Commons]