Should You Use Pinterest in Your B2B Social Media Strategy?

December 12, 2011 by

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Image Provided By: ohmeaghan / Flickr

Pinterest is quickly becoming one of the up-and-coming social networking sites.

I first heard about Pinterest and created an account in the summer, when not many of my friends knew what I was talking about. Now I feel like I see a new blog or article about Pinterest every week.  For Pinterest virgins, it is essentially a visual bookmarking site or virtual pinboard which allows users to “pin” and share images of things they like.  As you may have already guessed, it is very popular with my demographic (20something females), but Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch argues that that shouldn’t stop marketers from taking note.  And I agree.

Traffic has been growing very quickly:

Image provided by: SearchEngineLand

In a recent blog, Jantsch shared his thoughts on why marketers should pay attention to Pinterest. Here are his points (and some others) that stood out most to me for B2B marketers in particular.

B2B marketers should use Pinterest for its…

  • SEO Value – Since the rising popularity of Pinterest, SEO junkies have taken note of the potential. Several sources (Duct Tape Marketing, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal) have cited Pinterest as being a great value add in terms of SEO.  SearchEngineLand recently shared some additional tips on boosting local SEO traffic with Pinterest.
  • Content distribution – Using Pinterest to distribute your visual content seems like a no-brainer to me.  If you want to get a quick peek into the potential, just search for “Infographics” within Pinterest.  In addition to sharing your next content asset on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+, think about adding it to Pinterest.
  • Inbound links – Now you may be thinking, what is the difference between Pinterest and Flickr?  Flickr links are “NOFOLLOW”, Pinterest’s are not. When creating a pin the original link is automatically stored within the platform.  This can be an incredible value to B2B marketers trying to not only boost search engine ranking but boost engagement as well.
  • Engagement – We all hear that our audience is bombarded with thousands of ads and pieces of communication each day.  Pinterest may help break through the clutter by simplifying your touchpoints down to beautiful, basic visuals that your company can share with its audience and in turn engage with influencers.  Remember, don’t spam your Pinterest account with only your content!

Since Pinterest isn’t optimized for business yet, there are a few improvements that could be made.  After testing out an account for OpenView Partners, here are my thoughts:

  • There needs to be a better/easier way to find people to follow.  As far as I can tell, users can invite new users or find friends on Facebook.  Since my Facebook account is linked to my personal Pinterest (AmandaMaks) I am stuck on how to get the word out about OpenView.  Perhaps being able to connect to Twitter, businesses would be able to find larger groups of their target audience more quickly.
  • There needs to be better search capabilities or directories.  Since I couldn’t do a mass import of my Facebook friends, I tried searching a bit on the platform.  From my test, the search function is focused on actual “pins” rather than users.  I think it would be cool if users were able to search for other users based on keywords.
  • What about the profiles? Since Pinterest is mostly personal right now, you are asked for your first and last name when signing up.  This isn’t super friendly to businesses!

What are your thoughts on Pinterest?

  • http://www.mytradezone.com MyTradeZone

    Pintrest seems like a cool site that’s getting popular really fast, though I’m not sure if they can keep it or if it’s just a fad.

    “This isn’t super friendly to businesses!”  I agree, and while many social networks cater to B2C companies who are reaching consumers, they aren’t ideal for B2B companies who are trying to connect with other businesses to generate leads, find suppliers, get deals on products & services, etc.

    • http://blog.openviewpartners.com/author/amaksymiw Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaks)

      Thanks for your comment.  More and more social networks are catering to brands and businesses (i.e. Twitter with its recent addition of brand pages) so if Pinterest really continues to take off, it will adapt as well.

  • Guest

    As a huge fan and beleiver of the power of vision boards I’m loving Pinterest, its capabilities, its potential and its addictiveness. From a personal perspective it has opened a whole new world for me and how I spend my free time (doing all the things I didn’t even know I wanted to do/or make) from a professional perspective I think the potential is huge for engaging customers.

  • Cheryl Ann Shipman

    I am just setting up my branding and I think Pinterest is going to be a valuable addition. Yes, it links to my personal facebook, but like many small business owners your personal facebook page IS part of your branding. I simply use it as a landing page for my fan page…making sure I control each and every post (marking each “friend” as public or personal) and then posting links straight to my page. I do wish that Pinterest would give the option of posting straight back to my fan page instead of my personal page. As of now the only way to get posts onto my fan page is to “like” the pin and then share it….I think Pinterest is interesting and needs to stay pretty much the way it is. Simple, non-commercialized and growing.

  • http://crumpylicious.com/ Crumpylicious Blog

    wow this looks promising!

  • Rob Yoegel

    Great post Amanda. Your followers may also be interested in our latest infographic on Pinterest that has received over 12,000 shares on Mashable as well: http://monetate.com/infographic/is-pinterest-the-next-social-commerce-game-changer/

  • http://twitter.com/TerraIncognita Terra Walker Mrkulić

    Can you provide some examples of B2B companies experiencing success through a presence on Pinterest? 

  • Kelly

    I can see Pinterest growing quickly for B2C’s, anything retail and I can even see how it promotes SEO – but I’m not quite sold on its use for B2B as an essential tool in the marketing plan.  Will decision makers really be looking at Pinterest for insight into a company? I work for an event marketing firm and I just don’t see our clients looking at our work on Pinterest. With many large firms blocking these social media sites, I’m not even sure we will even be able to reach the decision makers we are targeting. 

    What is everyone else’s take on this? Anyone who is a B2B in the consulting industry that might agree/disagree?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748310154 Drit Suljoti

    The latest Pinterest does include rel=”nofollow” in the external links. Therefore, it is no different from the other social platforms out there in the eyes of a search engine.