Do you really need to be on Pinterest?

At least once a week, someone asks me whether Pinterest is really that important. Maybe, maybe not. Does your business rely on a lot of visuals?

Pinterest is an image-driven social network. Users create "boards" around specific topics, and "pin" images to them. They follow other users, some of whom they know in real life, some of whom they don't. (This makes it more like Twitter than Facebook or Foursquare.) The boards can be named anything, and can contain any type of image, but there are a few categories that are far more common than others.

When a user pins something from your site, Pinterest will show the image and will also include a link back to your original page. Women make up a large percentage of users, but men use it too, and their numbers have been growing.

You should definitely consider it if you're in any of the following categories:

  • Fashion
  • Travel
  • Home/office decor
  • Food (recipes)
  • Anything involving events, particularly weddings. Pinterest is an ideal way to gather images of items that will end up in one room in order to see how they all look together.
  • Life coaching. This one might not be as obvious. However, a lot of inspirational images are passed around on Pinterest.

You might want to give it a whirl if you're in:

  • Food (restaurant)
  • Real estate

You can use it if you really want to if you're in:

  • Finance. Not an obvious one, right? But depending on your target market, infographics and inspirational content could do well here.

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