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The Pros and Cons of Pinterest for B2B Marketing

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There’s no denying it: Pinterest has officially become a major player in social media.  The social-sharing photo website — introduced just ten months ago — allows users to “pin” images they find interesting to virtual pinboards and share them with their followers. The site has already grown to attract over 13 million users, and marketers have taken notice.

What Pinterest has certainly been more popular among consumer marketers, a few B2B marketers have begun to integrate the platform into their social media strategies as well. But should they? Should Pinterest really be used as a B2B marketing tool? Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of Pinterest for B2B.

Pros

  1. Referral traffic. You might be surprised to learn that Pinterest generates more referral traffic than major players YouTube and LinkedIn. In January, Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of total referral traffic, according to Mashable. Twitter, which is arguably second only to Facebook in social media, only accounted for slightly more referrals at 3.61%. If you want to find new ways to send people back to your site, Pinterest may be worth considering.
  2. SEO. As Karlie Justus points out in this Social Media B2B post, Pinterest creates a stored link for every image a user posts. These stored links act like inbound links to your site, and inbound links will boost your search engine ranking.
  3. Visual content. Pinterest is all about visual assets. For B2B marketers, this could mean product images, videos, infographics or even images that fit into a certain theme related to your business. In many cases, B2B marketers are already creating this visual content for other purposes, and Pinterest provides a visually interesting way to group and showcase it, all the while building backlinks.
  4. Women. According to this AP article by Barbara Ortutay, 65% of Pinterest users are women, and women drive 85% of traffic on the site. If your company targets women, Pinterest could be a great way to reach your consumer.

Cons

  1. Copyright problems. There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether pinning certain images to Pinterest could constitute copyright infringement. There is still a great deal of confusion about what can be pinned and what cannot, but Pinterest promises to take steps to protect their users. If you’re pinning only images that you own, you’re unlikely to run into problems, but this is still an area where B2B marketers should exercise caution.
  2. Business isn’t a focus. Pinterest is evolving quickly, but it is still focused on lifestyle content — things like recipes, fashion and home décor. Most people aren’t visiting Pinterest to find business-related content, at least not yet.
  3. Women. While Pinterest’s female-dominated user base can be a positive thing for B2B companies, it can also be a drawback if your target is made up primarily of men. Take some time to consider how closely your target resembles the average Pinterest user profile before making the platform part of your social media plan.

What do you think? Do the pros of Pinterest outweigh the cons for your business?

Image via SoftWeb Solutions blog.

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