Debunking Five Pinterest Myths

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Vol. 129, No. 147

There’s no denying virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest’s explosive growth, now boasting more than 40 million active users per month. The Webs 2014 Small Business Digital Usage Survey cites 20 percent of small businesses who use social media view Pinterest as a top social media channel for marketing their businesses.

It’s a trend likely to continue given Pinterest’s unique buying power, with a user base comprised of highly engaged young women in their prime purchasing years – marketing’s holy grail. And if that weren’t enticing enough, Pinterest encourages aspirational thinking – destinations to visit, home interior projects to tackle, and fashion to purchase. In other words, Pinterest users are planning future purchases – the ideal buying trigger and the perfect time for marketers to communicate with them.

If you’re already leveraging Pinterest as part of your brand marketing strategy, or you’re considering it, check out these top Pinterest myths debunked.

You can’t measure the result of your Pinterest strategy. False. The built-in analytics provided by Pinterest provide the basics about how pinners are engaging with your content, such as most repinned and clicked stats. Layer in your website’s Google Analytics data to provide the volume of website traffic Pinterest is driving to your site that is ultimately leading to purchase.

Twitter and Facebook deliver a greater ROI than Pinterest. Not true. Tailwind reports that while Pinterest doesn’t have the largest user base, it does have the most active, driving 12 to 14 times more website traffic than Facebook or Twitter and more than double the website spend. One factor driving the higher spend is that Pinterest’s content stays visible in user feeds for days or weeks vs. minutes with Facebook and Twitter.

The point of Pinterest for brands is to create two-way conversations with consumers. Not exactly. Don’t expect pinners to comment on and engage with your pins in the way they might your Facebook posts or tweets. They are repinning your content as an addition to their board, not as a discussion starter with your brand.

Unless you’re selling apparel or food-related products, Pinterest isn’t for you. Untrue. Sure food and fashion are dominant topics on Pinterest, but so are fitness, technology, entertainment, humor, travel and crafts. The question is less about your product category and more about how easily you can tell your brand story visually.

All that matters is the quality of the visual. That’s just half the equation. The captions matter – a lot. They are your only real chance to brand the pin and put your stamp on it. Most importantly, captions have much to do with how often your pin is found in a user’s search.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and CEO/Founder of RedRover, a sales training and marketing firm based in Memphis, redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).