Pinterest is the hot social media site right now. As a result, a lot of my clients are asking whether they should be using it. Here are the questions I’m asking them in response–and the questions you should be asking in your organization:
1. Is Pinterest aligned with your long-term goals for using social media?
2. Is Pinterest’s audience (chiefly women 25-44) aligned with your audience, and does it deliver a critical mass of users within this demographic?
3. Would the time you’d take to get up and running on Pinterest, and sustain a presence in the long-term, be better spent elsewhere? In other words, is there anything else you could do to more effectively use the other social media sites you’ve committed to?
4. Is your product visual/tangible? If not, can you communicate your message in a way that’s based on images more than words–and can you continue to do so for months into the future?
5. Are you considering Pinterest for some other reason than the fact that it’s generating a lot of buzz?
6. Are you considering Pinterest because you’re on Pinterest and you really like it, or for another reason?
7. Would the resources you would need to invest in Pinterest–either time if you’re implementing social media internally, or dollars if you’re hiring someone to do it for you–be better spent on other things?
8. Do you have a written social media strategy that guided your decision making for all of the above?
I would only recommend Pinterest if you answered “yes” to numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8 and no to 3, 6, and 7. If any of your answers are different, I’d say no to Pinterest, at least in the short term.
The key thing to remember is that what’s hot right now isn’t always the best choice for your business. (Remember, not too long ago Google Plus was getting all the social media buzz, and many of those who rushed in likely have a few regrets.) It’s true that Pinterest may have potential. The important thing to remember, though, as I discussed last week, is that potential is the enemy of likely.