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Written by The Mezzanine Group
on April 27, 2012

There is a lot of buzz right now about Pinterest and how B2B businesses should jump on the bandwagon. But I’m not convinced – at least, not yet.

I can’t argue that in January 2012, Pinterest drove more traffic than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google + but if your target market isn’t pinning or browsing on Pinterest, then so what? The way to stand out in today’s market is by doing something that sets you apart from your competition so take a look at your marketing strategy to figure out if Pinterest supports what you are trying to accomplish before investing countless hours to a social media site that might not be right for your company.

From what I’ve seen, Pinterest works best for individual use, B2C and for particular types of B2B businesses who have strong visual content and businesses who directly target women. According to Wikipedia, “Most of the site's users are female, with 97% of the site's Facebook "likes" being made by women.”

In some cases, companies aren’t able to claim their names as their own on Pinterest because individuals are using them as their initials or nicknames. IBM, Cisco, Dell and UPS are some good examples of companies that don’t own their profiles on Pinterest. What is a company to do if it can’t create a profile under its own name?

Another thing to be aware of is that there is a lot of talk right now about Pinterest’s copyright infringement and what that means for individuals and businesses. Pinterest contradicts itself by putting the onus on the user to make sure there are no copyright or licensing violations yet under their “What is Pinterest” tab, you will find this statement; “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web”. Isn’t that the whole point? Pinterest might be protected under its policies but does that mean that individuals and businesses that “pin or repin” are potentially opening themselves up to a lawsuit?

Furthermore, in their “Terms of Use” section, it says by sharing content on Pinterest, you “grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content..." Are you willing to grant Cold Brew Labs that right through your use of Pinterest?”

As a B2B marketer, right now I have more questions than answers about using Pinterest. On a personal level, I quite enjoy the site for its beautiful DIY projects and recipes (I did make an amazing soup the other day). But when it comes to the clients I work with, I’m very cautious about adding Pinterest to the marketing plan. Over the course of this year I’ll take a look at the pros and cons of using it, but it’s unlikely I’ll make a move this year.

I would love to hear stories from B2B companies who are currently using Pinterest and whether or not it is working for you.

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