I have to admit, the so-called ‘thought leaders’ in the Social Media space really do send out some contradictory advice at times. We tell companies to focus not on the social media tools themselves, but HOW our customers are using them. We tell companies to let their markets dictate if we should even be using social media, and how we need to approach social media as a whole as just another tool in our marketing belt.
And yet…every few months, another social media site gets ‘discovered’ by the social media bubble, and we hype the tool to the skies. Now, the same group that’s preached avoiding the Shiny Object Syndrome is telling every company that they MUST be on Pinterest. It’s too big to ignore, and will only get bigger.
Just like every company needs to be on Plus, and Quora, and Indenti.ca. The same ‘social media experts’ that were hyping their Quora profiles this time last year, are all over Pinterest doing the same.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I am nothing close to a Pinterest expert. I’ve only spent a few hours with the site, but I can see where the emphasis on visuals and pinning could definitely benefit SOME businesses. In fact, I feel like Pinterest has more potential for companies in general than most of the other Socnets Come Lately that the bubble likes to tout.
But as is always the case, as a company you should never let hype drive your social media strategy. Should Pinterest be a part of your social media strategy? That’s for you and your customers to decide, not the ‘expert’ that hypes every new social media site as a ‘must-be-on’ site for companies.
And BTW, in case another thinks I am slamming Pinterest, I gave the exact same advice when the hypefest was touting Google Plus as the site that all companies HAD to be on.
For now, my advice is to be aware of what Pinterest’s functionality is, and to monitor how your customers and competitors are using the site. If you see that your customers and competitors aren’t there, that’s a good sign that maybe its not the best place for you to spend your time. On the other hand, if your customers are there, it’s a very sharp sign that you probably should be as well.
Remember, don’t focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate.