Pinterest‏

Pinterest. It’s one of the new social media sites that is taking off. If you imagine Pinterest is to Twitter as Quoakle is to the Yellow Pages. In fact, you can see Quoakle on Pinterest now and get a hands-on view as to the way in which this great new social media can be used to promote business and enterprise. For example, check out Quoakle’s Restaurants in Gloucestershire pin here. You can also see Quoakle’s user page here.

Real Business talks the 5 positives and 5 negatives to this new social-media phase:

 

Downsides:

1. More social media!

It’s yet another social network you have to worry about.

2. It can eat your time

It’s very compelling and therefore easy to get sucked in. This blog has taken me four hours to write – three of which evaporated in a cloud of vicarious Pinterest board surfing.

3. It can be fake

It’s hard to tell who’s genuine and who’s not. A lot of people pin what they think will make them look cool, rather than what they actually like. So if you’re a brand researcher looking to gauge what people really want, your figures are likely to be skewed.

4. They hijack your efforts to make money

Pinterest appends affiliate links to some pins (products featured on Amazon and eBay, for example). They don’t declare this in their terms of use. Sneaky.

5. It’s a copyright minefield

Though its terms and conditions are very specific in that they prohibit members from posting copyrighted material without the copyright holder’s consent, the majority of Pinterest users will violate this element of the T&Cs because people tend to not to read them before accepting. The main issue is that Pinterest stores near full-size copies of images on its server, rather than the more regular thumbnail images associated with other social networks, which are usually covered under copyright “fair use”.

 

Upsides:

1. It’s visual

You can show people what you like in picture format on Pinterest. Pictures evoke an emotional response. What you pin to your boards allows visitor to get to know you quickly by picking up on visual cues. Pinterest is the “mood board” for who you are and what you stand for.

2. It’s easy

You can add the “Pin it” button to your browser which makes adding stuff to Pinterest as easy as bookmarking a web page.

3. It can make you money

Pinterest is a big e-commerce driver. It’s widely reported that Pinterest generates more referral traffic to brands than LinkedIn, Google Plus and Youtube combined, which is great if you’re a big blue-chip brand, but equally as good if you’re an SME niche one. All life – quirks, predilections, desires, passions – are represented here.

4. Women love it

If you sell stuff to the ladies, you’re on to a winner. Techcrunch recently reported that more than 90 per cent of Pinterest’s one million Facebook Likes are women, with Experian Hitwise stating that, in December 2011, 58 per cent of Pinterest users were female.

5. It’s authentic

Pinterest is cathartic and revealing. There’s nothing like collating your life in pictures. You can give you clarity on what you represent, which can be very powerful if you share this with your potential customers. There’s a lot of talk about “authenticity’ in social media, and I think that Pinterest displays you at your most authentic.

 

But wait! There’s even more! Copy Blogger has perfectly outlined the best ways to utilise Pinterest for your business. So if you are looking for some free advertising – this could well be the perfect solution. Check out the article here.

So whatever you’re thinking about Pinterest, we suggest to take a long hard look and decide for yourself. It’s got potential. But so did so many others that fell into the black hole started by Myspace all those years ago. Who knows where Pinterest will take us…