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Pinterest – Is it the right place for you?

When I ask clients whether they have tried Pinterest yet, usually I get a puzzled look or a groan. The groans can be roughly translated as “not another social media platform I have to get to grips with?!”

Yes there are a lot of social media platforms, and you should always be careful you’re not spreading yourself too thin, but Pinterest is a great tool for some and could really help you. So I thought I would give a quick low down on why you should, or shouldn’t, start using Pinterest for your business.

You may be able to tell that I am a big fan of Pinterest which has made finding reasons not to ‘pin’ quite fun…

Reasons you should

1. If you have the kind of product or service which lends itself to photos or pictures

Pinterest is all about the pictures. If you’re used to Facebook, it’s a bit like someone created a social media network just out of Facebook Albums. So designers, venues, food based businesses, products, pretty things, phototgraphers etc.

2. If your business is based on reviews of products or services

You may be looking for new things to review, you may want to promote the reviews you’ve had or written.

3. If your target market is mainly women

According to the stats the majority of Pinterest users are women, so it’s a great place to find women who are visual personalities.

4. If you’re looking to go viral on several platforms

The most powerful thing about Pinterest is it links to Twitter and Facebook (as well as each picture linking to your site) so if someone repins (ie a bit like sharing on Facebook) then you could be reaching their Facebook friends and Twitter followers too!

Reasons you shouldn’t

1. If you can’t create pictures or graphics around your business

You may like you to have a personal account anyway for networking purposes, but may be your efforts and focus are best driven on another type of site. Though, having said that, infographics* are a great tool which can be used by any business

* Infographics are images designed in a kind of poster format that can give information in a visual way – statistics, stories and much more. Try a Google search.

2. If you don’t have time

The main thing with any online networking (or face to face for that matter) is if you don’t have the time – or the resources to get someone else to manage your social media for you – then you will struggle to get to know the etiquette on that platform and can find yourself not interacting in the right way.

3. If your market is only business to business

Remember that behind every business is a person, so it can be a great thing to broaden your reach, but when combined with no time and no pictures Pinterest really might not be for you.

4. You are worried about copyright infringement

The big drawback in many people’s eyes is the very, very technical subject of copyright. You do need to read the terms and conditions and understand at least the basics of copyright before using Pinterest. In all honesty it’s a total minefield and enough to scare most away. Remember you need to protect your own content as well. And I guess my advice is to always err on the side of caution when you’re unsure where a pin has come from!

Having said all that, here are some reasons to start a personal account:

1. To stay ahead of trends
2. Find inspiration for almost anything
3. To get a daily dose of funny
4. If you’re getting a little bogged down in Facebook or Twitter and want something different
5. If you like pretty things
6. If you like pictures
7. If you have a particularly unusual interest and want to find like-minded people