Making Pinterest Work Without Wasting Time

There is a lot to be said about businesses embracing social networking sites, but it’s important to know where you are getting the most return on investment from your time, and what social media projects are simply a time suck. When it comes to Pinterest, businesses may have found themselves caught up in a project that is going nowhere. If you’ve considered using Pinterest for your business, watch out for these time wasters.

Emphasizing Text

The real trick to making Pinterest work for you is that your content needs to be visual. Pinterest is fueled by interesting looking boards, and those boards draw viewers in by having strong visual content. This is fine if you run an Etsy business full of cute products that you can showcase, but the format is simply useless for a business to business company who relies primarily on text to sell their services.

Bouncing Out

One of the biggest problems with Pinterest is that it drives the wrong kind of visitors to your site. When Pinterest viewers click through to your site, more than 90% of them will bounce out. Bouncing means leaving a page less than 10 seconds after you log onto it. These users are not forming any type of meaningful relationship with your company, and they are not interested in doing so.

A Popularity Contest

The reality of having a social networking plan is that all companies have a limited amount of time and energy to devote to developing that presence. If you’re going to pour time and money into a social networking site, it is important that it be one with significant circulation. Pinterest simply doesn’t have a large enough user base to make it worthwhile for most businesses. Compared to Facebook’s 850 million active users, Pinterest’s 10-15 million sounds paltry. Better to put your time and energy into another platform – LinkedIn for instance – that breaks the 100 million user mark, than to waste it on the Pinterest demographic.

And speaking of demographics – if your ideal customer isn’t a young mom, Pinterest is probably not the right forum for you. Surveys show that the vast majority of Pinterest users are female, and about 50% of Pinterest users have children. This makes it a very distinctive audience. If this is your demographic, then great! Pinterest might just be for you! For everyone else out there – try somewhere else. Pinterest isn’t growing your business.

Does your business use Pinterest? What strategies have made Pinterest work for you?

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Bird Pilatsky is a PhD student in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. A graduate of Smith College, with a B.A. in English and the Study of Women and Gender. She works as an archivist and research assistant with particular interests in LGBT issues, disability studies, and literature. Bird also works as a summer camp counselor. She has worked as an art & layout editor, runs an active blog, and enjoys reading, running, and rollerskating.

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