My Pinterest Confession: I Hate You!

PinterestOkay Pinterest, I’ve tried. For months, I’ve tried. I’ve listened to my friends’ warnings of Pinterest addiction, and their stories of getting “lost” for two hours pinning away on Pinterest. I’ve read the stats about what a powerful social media tool Pinterest is.

And at the risk of sounding like a geek, I’ll admit that I’ve been caught up on Google+ for two hours when I intended to just check my notifications. But I just can’t get with Pinterest.

While I’ve certainly found some great recipes there, I have little interest in doing business there. In fact, whenever I go there intent on connecting with fellow marketers, I usually end up coming away with nothing but a good recipe. Not a productive use of my time.

Why I “Hate” Pinterest

Okay, “hate” is a pretty strong word. And it’s not that I hate the Pinterest platform itself. It’s fine. For me, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn are just more rewarding places to connect with my audience.

What I “hate” about Pinterest is how important it appears to be to those of us who are using social media to build our businesses. A quick Google search that includes the word “Pinterest” in it will show you what I mean. Here are just a few of the compelling statistics I ran across:

  • 81% of U.S. users trust information and advice on Pinterest.
  • Pinterest brings in 1,090 visitors a minute.
  • The number of people who use Pinterest daily has increased by 145% since January of 2012.
  • Pinterest generates more than 4x the amount of revenue per click than Twitter, and 27% more than Facebook.
  • Pinterest generates more referral traffic to Shopify than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.

Clearly, Pinterest is hot, and it’s making people money. But . . .

Do I Need to Be on Pinterest?

I am an information marketer. People buy information from me, not physical products. Most of my audience is made up of people who are, or want to be, information marketers. Are people buying information on Pinterest, or just shoes and purses?

Most of the money-related statistics I’ve seen about Pinterest relate to the sale of physical products. The statistic I mentioned above about referral traffic to Shopify doesn’t help me. That’s not where my market is.

And while I’ve had people tell me that Pinterest is a major source of traffic to their blog, it’s really impossible to track whether that traffic consists of people who are joining your list, or buying your products.

So I have a Pinterest account, and I pin content there every week, but I’m very hands-off. I don’t plan to change that, and I’m okay with that.

How to Choose Your Social Media Networks

One reason I’m okay with not doing much on Pinterest is that I have a strong presence on Twitter and Google+, and somewhat on Facebook. I post a weekly video on YouTube, and am really concentrating on growing my audience there.

Realistically, unless you have an entire team of people working with you, you can’t have a strong presence on all of the social media networks. So I’ve concluded I’m good with where I’m at on Pinterest.

You should do the same analysis I’ve done for my business with your business. If you sell a physical product, like chocolate or purses, you need to be on Pinterest. If you’re an information marketer, figure out where your audience is, and where you are best connecting with people.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you must have a strong presence on any social media network. There are always examples of profitable businesses who aren’t using that platform. Look at your goals, do your research, and figure out where you can best connect with your audience.

You want to have a strong preference on two social media networks, and some presence on at least a third one. And while I know some may disagree with this, I say Pinterest doesn’t have to be one of your core social networks if you don’t want it to be.

In researching Pinterest, I found a great article from KISSmetrics about automating your Pinterest presence. You can read it here. While I think this is great advice, remember that even if you follow it, you are going to have to be on Pinterest engaging with others there if you want to have a real presence.

Please share with me your feedback about Pinterest in the comments below. Do you love it and think I’m crazy? Not even have an account and are happy to read my take on it? Or somewhere in between? Have you sold information products directly from Pinterest? I’d love to hear your experiences.

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