Is Pinterest Headed Towards Becoming Pin-Disinterest for B2B?


Share on LinkedIn

Not interested in PinterestFans of the latest social media darling, Pinterest, swear that the social sharing site is great for individuals and businesses alike. The retail market has found a new online show gallery. Professionals who offer services where creative design and aesthetic appeal play a role are thrilled with the viral prowess of pinning and re-pinning. What about B2B marketers? Two months ago, I wrote about the Pinterest buzz I was seeing in the B2B space. In the absence of any concrete evidence of this social channel’s effectiveness for B2B organizations, I’m wondering if Pinterest is going in the direction of becoming Pin-Disinterest for this segment of the market.

Statistics from AppData reveal declining numbers of Pinterest users connected to Facebook over the last month or so, dropping to 8.3 million from 12.2 million. Where are we in the adoption curve when it comes to Pinterest? For the general population, we are probably entering into Early Majority. For B2B, I would say we are still in the Early Adopters stage, or possibly, the Innovators stage.

Technology Adoption Lifecycle

Source: Wikipedia

When looking at new media or a new marketing tool I find it useful to draw comparisons with traditional, time-tested techniques and processes. Pinterest is in my opinion, the online counterpart of a shop window. So if you are a company like Staples, it probably works well to have a Pinboard like this: But what if you offer industrial fabrication services, conveyer belts or screws and gauges? You are an IT consulting company—what business leverage can Pinterest offer you? You specialize in pharmaceutical research for drug manufacturers—what will you pin online? How can B2B companies that neither have creative material to showcase online nor any lead generation advantages of doing so use Pinterest?

I suppose one can come up with some really radical and innovative ways to use a new medium. And I’m sure some B2B companies are doing this. My question is whether they are realizing any returns on the investment they make in terms of time and effort. I was sent a link to Cisco’s “Women in Technology Forum” pin on Pinterest. Interesting, no doubt; but did I share it with anyone or pass it on? Didn’t see the value in doing so, besides adding more clutter to someone else’s already overflowing social media and email box!

I just found this “case study” online about a B2B company that claims to have found success with Pinterest. It is a unique idea, no doubt, but from a long term and replicable strategy perspective, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. If you promote an event on Pinterest, you are eliminating right away, everyone who is not on Pinterest (because you have to be invited to join Pinterest). I don’t see too many B2B executives on Pinterest yet, especially from the technology or consulting fields. Interesting that they created a board for Thought Leadership—I’d like to know if this increased traffic to their blog. What reinforced my apprehension about Pinterest and B2B is this extract from the case study that said, “…although Pinterest has become a major piece of Bluewolf’s marketing…the company does not currently track any KPIs on these efforts or analyze any metrics. Bluewolf sees measuring and tracking Pinterest metrics in its near future.”

I don’t see how this company has “leveraged” Pinterest at all. All they have done is try something new and arguably wasted resources by not measuring results at all. Their social media expert is obviously a tactician and not a marketing strategist as I talked about last week.

So…What Social Media Tools ARE Working for B2B?

From what we are seeing, most B2B organizations are still struggling to devise a useful social media strategy. Beyond trying a little bit of everything and getting some quick wins on channels like Facebook and LinkedIn, there is still a significant lack of proven, quantifiable, measureable success with social media tools for B2B.

The one social media tool that I can say for sure is useful for B2B branding and relationship building is blogging . What companies need to learn is some good blogging etiquette. There…I just found my topic for next week’s blog post!

In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on Pinterest and B2B. Are you still Pinterested or leaning more towards Pin-Disinterested?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here