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Is Pinterest the Right Call in Your B2B Marketing Efforts?

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by Dave Thomas
May 09, 2012

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas, who writes on subjects such as online marketing and email marketing , writes extensively for San Diego-based Business.com.

Dave Thomas has written 12 articles for PromotionWorld.
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For the B2B marketer, any means by which to successfully promote their brand figures to be a good thing.

In the case of Pinterest, many B2B marketers are still scratching their heads as to whether or not the social media venue is a good vehicle to promote their products and/or services. For those that are still trying to get up to date on this social media tool, giving Pinterest a look over is definitely worth the time.

Developed in 2009, Pinterest grew rather quickly despite being an invitation-only venue. Nine months following its launch, the site had some 10,000 users. When August of 2011 rolled around, the site was listed by Time magazine as one of its “50 Best Websites.” In December of the same year, Pinterest found itself as one of the top 10 largest social network services, tallying some 11 million total weekly visits. Just a month later, Pinterest could lay claim to driving more referral traffic to retailers than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.

A pinboard-style social photo sharing site, Pinterest gives users the ability to form and manage theme-based image collections like interests, events and hobbies. With its missions being to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting,” Pinterest allows users to share and interact within a wide-ranging community.

A number of companies have found Pinterest to be an effective tool with which to promote their brands and services, including:

  • HubSpot – The inbound marketing software provider reports having some 1,030 followers and has pinned more than 100 items to date (http://pinterest.com/hubspot/);
  • Klout – The social media analytical provider notes having some 1,700 followers, pinning more than 170 items up to date (http://pinterest.com/klout/);
  • Reach Local – This online marketer has approximately 100 followers and uses the site to share statistics, facts, infographics and more (http://pinterest.com/reachlocal/).

So should your B2B marketing team be utilizing Pinterest if they are not already in order to bring more attention and hopefully more customers to your site?

If you have not already, keep in mind a few things before turning your attention to using Pinterest as one of your social media marketing venues:

  • Women like their Pinterest – Digital ad agency Modea reports that those ages 25 to 34 have the largest presence on the site, approximately 69 percent of users are women, the average user can be found on the site some 16 minutes, and the site had 11,716,000 visitors just in January of 2012;
  • What do you want from the site? –Which images will provide your business with the best bang for your time? Make sure you do not rely altogether on promoting your products. Pinning items tied to your company’s culture, employees, etc. gives you the ability to humanize the business and demonstrate to visitors that you are not only a good company but one that is well rounded when it comes to your interests;
  • Zero in on pin boards specific to your brand – Make sure to pin products showcasing your company’s marketing efforts and share with others. When you share your pins with your clients, you also educate your business as to what is and isn’t important in the eyes of the customer. Also, try and offer exclusive options to your house list in your email marketing campaigns and newsletters focused on “members-only;”
  • Don’t be the occasional ‘pinner’ – Just like any content you write on your B2B blogs and email newsletters needs to be fresh, don’t get into the habit of being a drive-by ‘pinner’ all the time. It is important to ‘pin’ regularly so that you pick up a strong following that will keep coming back.

So, you have more knowledge now regarding Pinterest, who is likely using it and what your goals are. What, then, should be some things for your small business to be pinning?

Among the items would be:

  • Team members – Pin headshots of your prominent management members, with a brief description noting their respective roles;
  • Whitepapers and guides – If your business is producing whitepapers and guides to educate current and potential clients, pin such items as readily available resource tools;
  • Infographics – The world of infographics is becoming more and more prevalent, so don’t be left out. Pinning relative infographics to what industry your business is in allows you to be seen as more of an authoritative presence on that subject or subjects;
  • Trade shows – If your business attends trade shows and conferences, pin some of the images from such events. Doing this brings more traffic back to your original site, meaning more potential business.

If your B2B marketing team has not spent a great deal of time focusing on Pinterest to date, perhaps it is time to pin some more effort on the site moving forward.


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