PIN THIS! How Pinterest is *Not Really* Kicking Ass for Me Personally

I'm losing my mind with Pinterest hypeOf course, it’s not all about me. But if you are a small business trying to allocate your scare resources, I’m sure you are hearing about Pinterest. I’ve certainly done my part in crowing the social media hype, “Pinterest is coming, Pinterest is coming, Pinterest is HERE and IT ROCKS.” (Okay, maybe not that last one.)

BUT… (you knew there was going to be one) I’m far from *in love* with Pinterest. And let me give you a few examples of what Pinterest IS and what Pinterest IS NOT.

Pinterest started as primarily a women’s picture board promotional website. Where, mostly women, “pinned” pictures of shoes, and skirts, and kitchen counter ideas they loved. And today, if you listen to the mass marketing pundits, you might think Pinterest is going to drive your web traffic through the roof and make you more money. I beg to differ.

Here is a handy email I got from Pinterest this morning about some of my “activity.”

My promotional "activity" email from Pinterest

Okay, Ben, thanks for that. It looks pretty promising for a newbie Pinterest user such as myself.

I'm a kitty on Pinterest, of course I am

20 followers, 223 pins. And of course I am a cute kitteh.

Okay, so let’s look at the last week of stats and see if I’ve gotten any referrals in the last 7 days of “activity” on Pinterest.

7 Pinterest referrals in 7 days - woot

1 referral per day, average from Pinterest. wOOt! I’m sorry, that’s not much to celebrate. So what are we doing on Pinterest? What value does a PIN or a RePIN have on my business? (Again, I am NOT in Women’s fashion or retail.)

If the value of my PINS is getting RePINNED and potentially followed by all these enthusiasts then I’m not so sure the Pinterest thing is going to work out for me in the long run. If you look at the popular trends on Pinterest you will still see a lot of shoes, skirts, and cute kitties. Maybe Pinterest will get a grip on the other types of categories. I mean, don’t we have enough sites to LIKE BOOKS on?

I am an early adopter, and with that comes my own desire to influence the Pinterest phenomenon. Heck, I’m still trying to get Twitter to do things better.

Bottom Line: Pinterest is interesting to watch. I am participating to see if there will eventually be any “value” in the PIN or the Pin Board of great content. Today, if you are working with a limited budget of time or money I would say Pinterest is of most interest when you are in Women’s retail. Everyone is is PINNING away like made, and nobody is actually going to the site that was PINNED.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Ok…so since this is the second piece you’ve written ‘hating’ on Pinterest, I thought I’d go check out your profile…which for one, you didn’t actually link to…how do you expect to get new followers if you don’t make is easy?

    You are only following 23 people. It’s like Twitter… you need to follow to be followed. Who’s going to see your pins? How many people do you need in your funnel to make sales? I’m guessing more than 23.

    I click through to plenty of websites from Pinterest…in fact, just clicked through to Mashable from one of your boards… so if people aren’t clicking through to your site then maybe it’s your content, not the platform? Perhaps the people who are on Pinterest and enjoying it aren’t interested in the “Why Pinterest Isn’t Kicking Ass for Me” kind of articles?

    For me, Pinterest is just another way to connect with my potential clients…to show them another personal side of me. Maybe they’re only repinning the “fun” stuff on my boards, but somewhere along they way they’re learning more about me, my values, the way I do business. And someone is clicking through to my site…I’m getting more traffic than you (albeit, as I said to you before, not a ton). 

    I’m not Pinning “because” of money. Maybe that’s your problem…maybe you’re expecting too much of the platform? I’ve talked to bloggers who have seen astronomical increases in traffic to their blogs, but it’s a different type of content than you and I are curating. 

    I’m not trying to convince you to love Pinterest…just pointing out that maybe you haven’t given it a fair shake.


    1. Wow, Anita, thanks for your insights both into Pinterest and my seemingly negative view of the phenomenal growth of this electronic scrapbook. I believe each of my posts had links to my Pinterest boards, but what ever. You are correct, I have not spent a lot of time on Pinterest. I do PIN everything, now so that I am able to see when someone REPINS or LIKES something I’ve written. And I don’t need to follow anyone to pop onto the “popular” page and see what’s up en masse. 

      I don’t hate Pinterest. In fact, quite the contrary, I’m trying to figure it out. I may be trying to find a different angle than was the original intent of the service, but such is the nature of social media, once released it becomes social.
      I still believe that retail and women’s fashion tend to be the most vigorously PINNED items. But I do see the Infographic as a popular PIN as well. And that’s where I come in. I hope to curate some of the social media learning that I have been gathering over the last several years and PIN it to a completely different audience.

      We will see where the hype ends and the business of Pinterest begins. Are you okay with them redirecting links to affiliate sites? Or do you think they will have to come out in the open and do affiliate deals that you can see. CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS ITEM ON AMAZON, for example.

      I am watching with an eager heart. I am PINNING with abandon and focus as the same time. I am a newbie, but I am trying to sort through the “business” uses at the same time. If it does not result in some form of business, then it is just playing to me. And that’s fine. I have a lot of things I “play” with, but social media is something I do for a living.

      Again, thank you for your in depth comment. I appreciate your engaging with me in this dialogue about Pinterest.

      1. I see that you were VERY busy pinning away today 🙂 No, I am not ok with them skimming affiliate links under-the-table. If they decide to go that way permanently (which I don’t think they will after the scandal), then everyone will have the choice whether to stay or go. I don’t have any affiliates really, so I’m not affected personally by that (and I can’t remember the last time I clicked on a consumer link like that).

        I absolutely agree that Pinterest isn’t going to directly bring business for everyone. A “brain service” like yours & mine is probably one of the hardest. At least a floor refurbisher has beautiful floors to feature and a home stager can show staged homes. As I said before, the value for me is in being top-of-mind to my followers (at least one follower whom I’ve never met in person has already referred business to me).

        Will it be worth it in the long run? I don’t know…yet. I see so much potential in it, I guess I’m just as equally biased “for” it.

        Glad to see you actually replied…so many times bloggers don’t bother.

        1. I would hope bloggers ARE more responsive than say Facebook business pages. I love comments. And I always try to reply with respect to the commenter. 

          I don’t think I was any more busy PINNING today than usual. But I did cross some funny stuff that had a visual bent to it.

          And I don’t think the affiliate thing was a scandal, I think it was simply an exposé of how they were going to go about, and were going about making money. We’ve all got to make money. I look forward to developments.

          Thanks Again,


  2. I just read about another site like Pinterest called The Fancy where businesses can actually claim items pinned & make money off of them.  If Pinterest was going to do this, looks like The Fancy beat them to the punch.  I don’t know about the whole traffic thing either.  Facebook & Twitter fall flat for most companies & sites.  I guess it could work for some, but not most.

    1. The Fancy. Nice. I’ll go check it out. Yes Pinterest is going to have some competition. And they’re going to have to establish a winning business model.

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