Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

Summary: With a unique product and millions of users, it’s hard for any business to ignore the fast-growing social media service.


Pinned content on Pinterest

Pinned content on Pinterest

You have probably heard some of the noise lately about Pinterest , a new social media service that is supposed to help keep track of all the other social media services.

One week my seventy year old mother is telling me to “check out this new thing called Pinterest” and the next week it’s the darling of the blogosphere.

To its credit, the two year old company has obviously captured everyone’s attention and the concept is definitely pretty compelling.

Basically, Pinterest is a free service that allows its members to organize the things they find on the Internet by “pinning” them to their own personal online “pinboard” where the items can then be repinned, liked, and commented upon by other users.

I have to say, it really is pretty unique compared to anything else I’ve seen before and, just like other social media, I’m sure there are all kinds of ways that small businesses can take advantage.   Certainly too many to try and do it any sort of justice here.

In most cases, small businesses will get out of it whatever they decide to put into it.  Mistakes will be made, time will be lost, and not everyone will find the secret sauce, but the same could be said for any other sort of marketing.

Of course, like so many of the other social media services, small businesses must now decide if it’s worth a try and, if so, how to actually make it work for their particular size and type of enterprise.

Just creating a page and hoping people will find it probably isn’t going to cut it so take some time to develop a goals-based strategy that addresses the same tried and true questions: what’s your market, who’re your customers, and how can you excite their interest?

As always, the best place to start is at the beginning so do yourself a favor and at least take a little time to check out the Pinterest site and see how other small businesses are using the service.

Once you understand how it works – and it really isn’t that complicated – then you will probably see right away if it has any real value or not for your particular situation.

Just don’t ignore it because with millions of users and growing, Pinterest may indeed be yet another way to help you grow your business.

Topic: SMBs

Josh Gingold

About Josh Gingold

Josh Gingold is the Managing Editor of Business and Technology Research Libraries for CBS Interactive with primary responsibility for the presentation of key research and commentary through a combination of blogs, white papers, and Webcasts.

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  • Pinterest??? Never heard of it

    Still not interested in hearing about it. .....
  • RE: Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

    I've heard a lot about it, but never really "grokked" what it was. Good explanation. Not sure I'll be using it (way too much to track now, as it is), but it's always good to understand what's out there. Aggregators are necessary and it'll be interesting to see if this one has legs.
    David Gewirtz
  • RE: Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

    Future will show, but for now I think Reddit has more to offer to promote your service/brand.
    Tomas M.
  • RE: Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

    unpinterested, sorry.
  • RE: Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

    Normally, if I found an article I disliked, I would merely close the tab it's on and continue my browsing. However, I had to comment on this one. The article is titled "Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest", and yet there is only one line which relates to this title (the final sentence). This means your entire article can basically be reduced to the final sentence.

    Hence, I can only conclude, dear sir, that you have not written an article. You have merely written a sentence wrapped in promotional material. Should you wish to change this fate, I recommend changing the title to something more appropriate, like "What your business should know about Pinterest". Good day.
  • I'm not sure I agree anymore

    Josh, I work with many small businesses and like you, have noticed the potential for their business with Pinterest. However, in the last 2 days I've seen a flurry of articles about how Pinterest is making money off of businesses without disclosing (or sharing) that revenue. This has fundamentally changed my recommendation until I see how Pinterest responds to the outcry.

    A basic summary of the issue is here: http://www.mbtrends.com/2012/02/is-it-okay-for-pinterest-to-make-money-from-your-pins-without-sharing-it/

    Does this change your opinion too?

    -April Wilson
  • RE: Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

    Pinterest is a huge fire breathing dragon, blowing new life (and new customer$) into so many industries that were dying. It's so neat to see another social site with so much potential for users and sellers.

    Not to mention, Pinterest will be the place for many industries to spot trends and to find out what's hot. That's one of the reasons why we launched http://pinfaves.com - as a way for the community to vote up and down the latest and greatest things.
  • RE: Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

    You might want to add that you have to ask Pinterest to send you an invitation. Then you receive an email telling you that you are on a waiting list.
  • www.magicbuz.com

    Wow, you have to go onto a waiting list! As a small business owner I am always looking out for the best way to market my factory but I must say that it's getting a little overwhelming. I'm streaching myself a little too thin, I have real work to do, and playing on the internet is time I can no longer afford. I have discovered a compnay called Magicbuz that does SocioViral marketing where there conversationalists spread my marketing messages directly to the people. They have whole teams that do other languages and demographic groups so my business get promoted to millions of people all over the internet.
  • RE: Why small business cannot afford to overlook Pinterest

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