44% of advertising and marketing execs have no interest in using Pinterest (the social network for photo sharing) for business purposes. That according to survey results from The Creative Group (TCG), a creative staffing agency. Just 7% reported they are already using it, and another 10% said they intend to join the online pinboarding community.
Photo-sharing sites are having a tough time selling their value to marketers as well. A just-released SEOmoz survey named 10 common social media tools. Facebook and Twitter topped the list of ones marketers used, while four photo-sharing applications (Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Flickr) were at the bottom. They were not valueless: Pinterest was used by 21% of those marketers, but Facebook was used by 88%.
Perhaps they should have more respect. Pinterest users outdo Facebook users when it comes to the number of companies they follow and the likelihood of purchasing an item they see on their respective sites, according to a pair of studies released from May 2012. Data from a joint study between Shop.org, comScore and the Partnering Group indicates that US online consumers follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on Pinterest, compared to 6.9 on Facebook. And results from a Steelhouse survey show that 59% of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on the site, compared to 33% of Facebook users who have bought an item they saw on their news feed or a friend’s wall. (Neither TCG nor SEOmoz offered a breakdown as to which respondents used Pinterest. Presumably, use was higher among consumer goods marketers.)
TCG asked advertising and marketing executives "Which of the following statements best describes your agency's/firm's attitude toward Pinterest?" Their responses:
- We love it and already use it for business purposes: 7%
- It's caught our eye, and we plan to start using it for business purposes: 10%
- It's caught our eye, but we're still hesitant about using it for business purposes: 17%
- We have no interest in using it for business purposes: 44%
- Not aware/never heard of Pinterest: 18%
- Don't know/no answer: 4%
So TCG (which conducted the more scientific of the two surveys) found 17% adoption of Pinterest by marketers and agencies, while SEOmoz found 21%. Respectable; still a laggard.
The TCG survey also revealed differences by organization type and size: Advertising executives at large agencies were more active on Pinterest than those at smaller agencies and their corporate marketing counterparts. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of advertising executives at agencies with more than 100 employees reported they are already using Pinterest as part of the marketing mix, and another 6% said they plan to create an account.
"With so many potential social media opportunities for businesses, marketers must carefully invest their time and resources in those that best match their demographics and brand personality," said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. "Pinterest has attracted a huge following quickly, but companies may be waiting to see if its popularity will last and what the potential business uses are in order to determine if a presence there makes sense."
More Useful To Creative Than To Brands?
Farrugia added that the visual nature of Pinterest makes it a useful self-promotion vehicle for creative professionals. "Designers can use Pinterest to showcase their work and curate images they like. This approach can be especially helpful for those just starting their careers as it allows hiring managers to get a sense of their aesthetic and style despite having a limited portfolio."
The Creative Group offers three tips for using Pinterest to display creative work:
- Organize your boards wisely. If you want people to peruse your pins, you have to make it easy and intuitive for them to find what they're looking for. Carefully consider what content you want to showcase, whether it's a collection of your own print and web work or fascinating infographics you've seen, and create a clear, concise title for each board.
- Create captions. Make sure viewers understand the context of your pins by labeling personal portfolio samples with the client's name (assuming you have permission), project objective, your role and any positive outcomes. When repinning, comment on why you found the image compelling.
- Build your following. The best way to attract more eyes to your Pinterest page is to engage with other pinners. Follow boards and users with similar interests, and then like, comment on or repin images you find inspiring.
The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 500 telephone interviews, approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.