Pinterest for B2B Companies: Is it Worth Your Time?

May 25, 2016

weidert blog author


Posted by Alex Sobal

pinterest-for-b2b.jpg

As marketers, we all know the importance of identifying new channels where potential buyers might be located. New business means more revenue after all, and if there’s a place where you can connect with prospects and generate sales, you definitely want to know about it, right?

In today’s day and age, a lot of this means finding which websites and social media channels your audience is most active on, and meeting them there with a presence of your own. When it comes to social media for B2B companies, however, Twitter and LinkedIn are undoubtedly the two top dogs for lead generation, content promotion, and brand awareness. Some companies have also found success using Facebook and YouTube as well, but for the most part, B2B social media is primarily driven by these two networks.

As B2B companies start becoming more active online and social media, they’re starting to branch out and consider other popular networks like Pinterest, but the question is: is it worth their time?

The Demographics of Pinterest

Looking at the user base for Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s easy to see why these two networks are the most popular for B2Bs. Not only are they two of the three most popular social networks in the world, but both also have a large base of professional users who share professional, industry-related content. When it comes to Pinterest’s audience, however, very few users use the network for business purposes. Pinterest’s most pinned categories are Food & Drink, DIY & Crafts, Home Décor, and Holidays & Events, with many other categories falling outside typical B2B subject matter (e.g., Fashion, Photography & Design, etc.). The majority of Pinterest’s user base are women, with 42% of online women using the network, compared to just 13% of online men. Likewise, the largest age demographic on Pinterest is unsurprisingly 18-29, with 34% of online Millennials using it. This explains Pinterest’s long-standing reputation as a favorite social media network among Millennial women—not exactly the typical B2B target audience.

When you look at the Pinterest’s Business Success Stories, every story is about a consumer-facing product or service, showing that it’s just not a great fit for 99% of B2B companies. That’s not to say B2B companies don’t have a presence, however, as brands like GE, Oracle, and Cisco all maintain an active presence on the network and have several thousand followers. Of course, it helps that they all have Fortune 500 reputations.

Comparing Pinterest to Other Social Networks

To help show why Pinterest typically isn’t worth the time for most companies, I thought I’d compare the engagement and interaction B2B brands get on Pinterest with the other Big 3 social networks. Using the three brands mentioned above, here’s what I found:

 

GE

Oracle

Cisco

Linkedin Followers

1.18 million

1.77 million

1.21 million

Avg. LinkedIn Engagement

495.8/post

148.5/post

169.8/post

Twitter Followers

418k

412k

556k

Avg. Twitter Engagement

53.1/post

36.9/post

67.6/post

Facebook Likes

1.58 million

554k

785k

Avg. Facebook Engagement

153/post

85.6/post

135.1/post

Pinterest Followers

26.2k

2k

3.5k

Avg. Pinterest Engagement

3.7/post

2/post

17.5/post

As expected, LinkedIn appears to be the most effective network for these companies. Each brand gets hundreds of likes, comments, and shares per post, with Facebook surprisingly having the second highest engagement. Although, once again, the social clout Fortune 500 companies have is much different than your everyday B2B business. Twitter had the least engagement of the Big 3, but it also typically had a higher posting frequency, helping that engagement add up. When looking at Pinterest, you’ll see that most pins only average a few likes or repins, with Cisco actually finding some decent success with their infographics. Even with Cisco’s success, however, it’s easy to see that the engagement on Pinterest pales in comparison to the Big 3. Is it completely unsuccessful? Certainly not, but if you're struggling to maintain a presence on other social networks, you have to ask yourself...

Is Pinterest Worth Your B2B Company’s Time?

After looking at how little engagement successful B2B companies get on Pinterest, it makes me extremely hesitant to recommend it as a social network your B2B should explore. Unless your business has direct tie ins with categories like Food & Drink, Health, Décor & Design, Event Planning, or Fashion, you'd really be much better off spending that extra social media time making the most of the other 3 networks. In fact, I would actually recommend seeing how you can take advantage of YouTube first before trying Pinterest, but that's just me. If you truly feel like you have an audience on Pinterest that's just waiting to get tapped, visual content like infographics, charts, and pictures typically perform the best. However, If you're just looking for something new because you feel the Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook wells are starting to run dry, you'll probably be even more dissappointed with the amount of engagement on Pinterest.

Master the top 4 social networks



Topics: Social Media



whole brain marketing blog author
Written by Alex Sobal

Alex has exceptional writing skills and the ability to learn new industries and their complex processes. While at Weidert Group, he was also an avid social media marketer and wrote frequently on online community engagement and content creation strategies for our blog.

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