Pinterest hit 10 million unique monthly visitors faster than any other independent site in history. Their user numbers have increased 2,702.2% since May 2011 and the average user spends more than an hour on the site.
It’s stats like these that have convinced marketers in every industry that Pinterest is worth the time invested. But is a site’s popularity a good enough reason to get involved?
Yahoo Finance recently posted an article about financial industry professionals on Pinterest. Brian Wruk of Transition Financial Advisors Group thought it was a good idea. His company’s account posts pictures of scenic America and Canada, along with moving tips and inspirational quotes (a favorite topic on Pinterest.)
At the time the article was published, the account had 2 followers. Now it has 10. I’m not mocking the results, or the effort – getting followers on Pinterest is even tougher than Facebook – but I wonder if his time is being well spent.
Betterment is doing better – they have more than 100 followers and a very nice grouping of inspiring pinboards. Still, they told the reporter that Pinterest doesn’t send much traffic to their website.
No one should be surprised.
Pinterest isn’t designed to sell things or send traffic. It was designed as a place to display all those interesting photos people find while they traverse the web and marketers jumped in because it’s what we do whenever we see a crowd gathering.
What Pinterest does for a brand is give it a human face and promote brand awareness. These are both good things, but it still doesn’t mean the site is for everyone. A quick look at the “Popular” feed tells the story. It’s full of cake, crafts, cute kids and animals. But when you scan page after page, a theme appears. Pinterest is about aspirations. It’s loaded with places we want to visit, clothes we wish we could wear, and lifestyles we’d like to live.
That works for a lot of companies. If you can built boards with images of the good life and relate that back to your company, then Pinterest could work for you. But even if you fill your account with cool things I can buy with my tax refund, I’m still not going to search for a tax preparer on Pinterest.