Social media marketing is not just about using the big players like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It is also about looking at opportunities on the lesser known networking sites, some of which are on the rise. Social media marketing is frequently most effective when several networking sites are used simultaneously. Pinterest has been getting more attention as it has grown, but the jury is still out on whether it is a good channel for the majority of current campaigns. Evidence is available to support either side of the argument, so monitoring the future development of Pinterest makes perfect sense.
Research highlights the uncertainty about Pinterest
During the summer, a survey of the marketing community in the United States found that many were unsure about embracing Pinterest. However, 7 per cent of the sample were already enthusiastic users, while a further 10 per cent said they were about to start using it. A further 17 per cent were potentially interested but were hesitant about moving forward with it. A significant 44 per cent were clear that they were not interested in exploiting Pinterest commercially. 18 per cent of the sample said that they had not even heard of Pinterest, while 4 per cent made no meaningful response.
What accounts for these views?
The main factor behind the research findings seems to be that Pinterest was still seen as a new kid on the block. It was not familiar to everyone in the survey. The fact that 44 per cent had made up their mind negatively was more surprising. This could be partly because of ideas about who uses Pinterest and why. Some people have apparently received quite a sexist view of Pinterest, while others may see it as for recreational use only. One big question, however, was not asked in the survey. If Pinterest becomes much more popular, will attitudes to using it for commercial purposes change too?
Pinterest visitors might have passed those of Tumblr
In the autumn, the rising popularity of Pinterest was reflected in a report which compared its performance with that of Tumblr. This report suggested that Pinterest had almost reached 25 million unique visitors by the end of August. It seemed to show that Pinterest had actually overtaken Tumblr on the way towards that goal. However, a different report suggested that Tumblr was still narrowly ahead in August, although it did show that the acceleration in the popularity of Pinterest was more impressive than that of Tumblr. The statistical divergence between the two reports must have stemmed from the report teams using different methodologies.
The main point is that Pinterest might be becoming a more attractive option than it used to be for those involved in using social media strategy to promote business. The reports of its progress underline that it is definitely worth another look. It will be fascinating to see what adaptations Pinterest makes to make sure it is a good channel for business. Its future performance against its competitors will also be worth watching.