Pros and Cons of Pinterest

Pros and Cons of Pinterest

February 29, 2012  |  Social media

Pinterest is the new best thing. With new statistics proclaiming its incredible growth featured in the press almost everyday, Pinterest is the word on everone’s lips at the moment.

Not wanting to simply provide a How To Pinterest post in a sea of same, same blog posts, we decided to look at the advantages and disadvantages of this new pretender in social media.

So what is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a pinboard style website for sharing photographs and has been around for a couple of years

In January 2012, according to comScore, Pinterest had 11.7 million unique visitors, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark. Until the last few months, Pinterest’s audience had been largely female and American. But the site suddenly caught people’s attention based on news it had driven more referral traffic to websites in the US than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn.

These growth figures are especially impressive considering the site is still invitation only. Interestingly, in the UK, the majority of users are male. (Econsultancy have a great infograph that compares the US adoption to the UK’s.)

The pros of Pinterest
Pinterest is beneficial for visual businesses such as interior designers, fashion companies and lifestyle magazines to promote their products and inspirations. By creating mood boards around their different influencers or projects, these companies can engage with their potential market and drive interest to their corporate website.

Pinterest is also a great tool to use when you are planning an event and want to collate a variety of elements in one place. I wish I had used it when I was planning my wedding last year. It would have saved huge piles of tear sheets and bookmarks in my browser and made it easier to share my ideas with friends and family.

Unlike certain social media tools, Pinterest’s early adopters appear to have been women with mainstream interests like design, fashion and travel. They are not geeks who are continually looking for the latest technie craze. They are genuinely engaged and hopefully will stay interested in your brand.

In addition, Pinterest is both attractive to look at and easy to use. I find it a valuable book marking tool and it is a simple way of way of creating mood boards.

The cons of Pinterest
Whilst the benefits to creative and retail companies are clear, the business case for many organisations is not. Pinterest’s growth has been rapid and as a result, successful cases are limited. It is definitely, at this stage, more relevant to companies selling products – and in someways creates more of a catalogue than social experience. I, for one, am using it more as a tool to record things that interest me and to support my personal blog at this stage.

Although the signs are positive, it’s still early days for Pinterest in the UK, so we don’t know yet whether the popularity craze will endure. Proceed with caution.

You also need to ask yourself the question, “Does your company have the time and resources to devote to yet another social media channel?”. Although even if you don’t it’s still worthwhile creating a profile and protecting your brand identity on the site.

There are potential privacy concerns because Pinterest forces you to link through either your Twitter or Facebook accounts. Pinterest’s current privacy policy is not crystal clear when it comes to how information they share with your other social media channels.

The bigger that Pinterest grows the more issues the site faces with images that are copyrighted. They face a growing backlash from media owners and users over their somewhat vague attitude to copyright. Pinterest’s “Terms of Use” put the emphasis on the user to make sure there are no copyright or licensing violations so it could be the user who would be sued.

If you want to join Pinterest and would like an invitation, get in touch via the comments form and I will send you one.

Follow Me on Pinterest

More useful info about Pinterest

Ideas on how to use Pinterest for your brand
13 “pinteresting” facts about Pinterest users
Is Pinterest useful for business?
26 ways for using Pinterest for business
Even if you don’t want to take on another social media platform, read these things to consider about Pinterest and your brand
Watch this straight forward introduction to using Pinterest

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