Over the past few weeks, many of you will have heard some of the buzz surrounding Pinterest – the latest social bookmarking craze. If you haven’t, we bet that you will, especially as the two-year old social bookmarking site is bringing in more and more unique users each month (the site brought in 7.51 million in December alone).
So what exactly is Pinterest and what does it do? Simply put, the service allows users to create categorised bulletin boards, or ‘pinboards’, of images. This can include food, décor, art, fashion and any others that they would like to create.
Members can use Pinterest’s ‘Pin-it’ plug-in tool on their web browser and iPhone app in order to save ‘pins’ that they find on and offline, while exploring and repining the images that their friends collect via a newsfeed.
Though the general consensus about Pinterest has been positive, there’s been criticism that the social site is not ready for tech brands quite yet – especially those without any visual products.
Below are some thoughts why:
Brands are hidden in search: If you search for someone on Pinterest, you’ll notice that ‘Pins’ appear before ‘Boards’, followed by ‘People.’ Since brands are organised under ‘People’ they’re hard to find, making the connection hard to achieve.
Accumulating active communities is hard: If you pin something interesting or beautiful, it’s highly likely that you’ll get a ‘repin’ or get someone to ‘like’ your content or even to follow one of your boards. However, because the ratio between ‘repins’ and board followers to brand followers is low, we can conclude that making the conversion is very difficult.
It’s a great place to share visuals: The reality is that not all brands are visual. For this reason, Pinterest leaves a huge amount of brands out of the mix. While you may be able to share the personal side of your office and include staff pictures, the value of this is questionable. This is because it becomes hard to convey the core business offering of your brand if it can’t be done through visuals.
Homepages don’t always work: It’s hard to ‘repin’ brand homepages directly. Most sites will have trouble pinning their images because they’re the wrong size – and are not ‘pinnable’ from Facebook. Creating a ‘pinboard’ of favourite websites, for example, would not work.
Brand Name might be taken: Currently, there’s no way for a brand to be verified on Pinterest, which means that anyone can personate your brand name and take your vanity URL. This is a huge problem for brands. However, we’re fairly certain that this is a con that’ll be sorted out sooner rather than later.
Support is hard to come across: There just simply isn’t enough resource at the moment to respond to everyone’s technical issues, it’s just the nature of being a start-up. This means that brands won’t be able to (quickly) ask for the ownership of their brand names, along with a multitude of other queries/request.
It’s dominated by a female audience: Currently, 59% of Pinterest users are women aged 25-44, which leaves a huge gap in the market for brands targeting other demographics, particularly males.
Have you heard about/used Pinterest? If so, what are your initial impressions?
You can read the original article here.