5 Pinterest Drawbacks for Businesses

“Pinning” is quickly becoming a favorite online past time. I know a few of us at TKG are totally addicted! And where there are people online, businesses are sure to pop up as well. As Pinterest continues to see huge increases in users, more businesses are considering whether to jump on the pinning bandwagon. But before investing time and money into Pinterest, ask: is pinning right for my biz?

You’ve probably read lots of Pinterest success stories. Well, not to go all Debbie Downer on you, but here are some drawbacks to the new social curation site for businesses:

1. Pure Visualization
I know this doesn’t apply across the board, however, it can be hard for certain types of business to visually represent what they do. In the B2B, service-oriented world, it can be virtually impossible. However, businesses that are very visual, such as Zulily, can and will flourish on Pinterest.

2. Lack of Geo-Targeting
Pinterest doesn’t currently give users an option to restrict pins to a specific geographic area. Once it’s pinned, anyone can see it. And I mean anyone. In addition, it is impossible to find out where users are located.

For example, if your pizza shop is located in Muncie, Indiana and that is the only area you serve, Pinterest presents more challenges to you than it does for national or international corporations like Papa John’s and Pizza Hut. That doesn’t mean local businesses can’t use Pinterest, they just need to accept the lack of geo-targeting on the network and work with it. A great example is Rice’s Nursery, a garden center in Canton, Ohio. Check ‘em out.

3. Poor Usability
Unfortunately, Pinterest does have a major usability problem: multiple clicks. Businesses want users to see their pin and click through to their website. But to get that referral involves an extra click. One more second for the user to think ‘never mind’, and just hit the back button. It would be much better if when hovering over a pin you had the option to make the image bigger or to jump straight to the link. Selecting to go straight to the link demonstrates the user is more interested in your pin anyway.

4. Uniform Audience
We all know that Pinterest has a female dominated customer base. I recommend considering this before starting an account for your plumbing supply company. Just sayin’.

5. Measuring Success
Success on Pinterest can be difficult to measure. There is no point in being on Pinterest if it’s not providing value to your business in some way. Whether it be sales, leads, contacts, etc. Pinterest needs to give you something to make using it worthwhile. After all, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Do you know how to measure success on Pinterest? If not, don’t worry there is more to come in the next post…

Geoff is our fearless leader – President & Owner of TKG, a role he’s held proudly for the past 15 years. He likes to talk “big picture” online marketing trends and strategy, and how/why businesses can use the web to achieve their goals. He’s also a passionate Steelers fan; we felt you should know that.

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