Is Having a Pinterest Button Really Worth the Traffic and Hype?

It seems that everyone, including my wife, has been talking about Pinterest for the past couple of months. Look at this picture on Pinterest! I bought a new crate that I’m going to turn into a dresser; I got the idea from Pinterest… Pinterest this, Pinterest that, Pinterest Pinterest PINTEREST! But after all is said and done, I can’t really blame her. Technically speaking, Pinterest is a great website. It’s easy to use and people pick up on the concept extremely fast. Their design is A+ and the functionality of the site is easier than a minimalistic blog. But is it worth it?

Pinterest is a great site to share images and infographics, outside of that, you can’t expect to be bringing in traffic to your website, but most importantly, you can’t be using Pinterest to be bringing in traffic to your brand. According to Shareaholic, referral traffic via Pinterest had increased from 0.17% to 3.6% over the span of 6 months.

Already, Pinterest has passed Google Plus, LinkedIn, Youtube, Reddit, and it’s about to catch up to Twitter, but in order to understand HOW and IF Pinterest is useful to your site or brand, you need to pay attention to how Pinterest works.

Could Pinterest be the hidden traffic mine waiting to be tapped? It could be, if you have the right kind of website. Pinterest doesn’t share articles per se, they share images, infographs, pictures, drawings, and any other material that can be “viewed” and instantly appreciated. An article like this one for example, is not going to get the attention of anyone on Pinterest regardless of how much “useful” information it may contain. If your main goal is to brand your company, you may want to stick with Google+, Twitter, and other social websites rather than Pinterest – that is unless you are extremely appealing to the Pinterest market.

Since Pinterest is all about sharing images, certain industries like fashion, architecture, photographers, graphic designers, cooks, bakers, or artists, can really benefit from Pinterest. If you are not part of this tight niche community, using Pinterest may be wasting your time and effort.  In order to reel in people from Pinterest to your site, you have to write articles and post images that are appealing to Pinterest-ers. For example, an article like this would need to include a picture of a cat inside of a crate made from recycled materials to even get the attention of a Pinterest user, then your article needs to back up your image. But at the end of it all, what’s the point of getting traffic to my site when it’s not the kind of traffic that is going to affect my brand?

Pinterest’s demographics are mostly women, while men are more than welcome to use it, Pinterst is full of arts and crafts that are going to appeal to women looking for ideas to decorate their homes, gardens, kitchen, clothing attire, or fill in the next recipe for a quick romantic dinner.

If you have a cupcake website, you found the holy grail of people looking for ideas. If you have a website like Guns Magazine, or Generic Tech Blogs, the chances of women finding guns or iPhone Rumors interesting enough to pin to their account is slim to none. I’m not saying that there isn’t any, but Pinterest is more of an artistic site. Think of Pinterest like the front of your refrigerator, if your article is something people will “pin” to the fridge, then you have good chances of getting traffic from Pinterst. But last time I checked, having a gun pined to your fridge only makes you look like that creep in your building.

Companies like Urban Outfitters, Anthropology, or Fossil are great companies that can benefit greatly from Pinterest, but for all the other industries that don’t sell images, art, or clothing, our content is not worthy of a pin. Until Pinterest changes their user interface, which I highly doubt they would do – why fix it when it’s not broken. We need to focus on different alternatives to brand our company out to the right crowd.