In case you hadn't noticed, Pinterest is kind of the social media platform du jour. But just because it's valued at 5 billion dollars and boats 70 million users, doesn't necessarily mean your company should rush over and create an account.
Before jumping on board with Pinterest, there are a few things to think about.
First, consider your company's social media strategy. Whatever your goals are, decide if Pinterest is the platform to help you reach them. Just because a platform has scale doesn't mean it's the right place for your brand.
"One problem with content marketing is... 70% of organizations don't have a formalized documented content strategy," said Altimeter Group analyst Rebecca Lieb. "How do they know if they need to be on Pinterest?"
If you've got visuals to share like infographics or product pictures, you might also weigh Pinterest against Tumblr, Facebook, or Instagram.
"There's more than one place to put a picture up on a social media platform," Lieb said.
Second, don't be afraid of the brides. If you're a tech company, for example, your profile is going to have nothing to do with center pieces and flower arrangements- there's no reason to think that your content will get lost amongst Pinterest boards on weddings or DIY projects, even if there is a lot of that content on Pinterest.
"That's like saying, 'I don't go to Facebook because it's all a bunch of teenagers.' My friends on Facebook aren't teenagers because I'm not one, and I don't happen to have one. Social platforms are to a very large extent, the product of curation," Lieb said.
Third, keep in mind that Pinterest users are predominantly female and the concerns of Pinterest users are generally more consumer than B2B. If you can find a way to use Pinterest that makes sense for your goals, that's fine. Staples, for example, posts pictures of funny coffee mugs and art made from office supplies. It's also good to remember that platform demographics can and will change. That's why your grandmother now has a Facebook.
Fourth, there is no harm in experimenting. Just make sure you've got the metrics to tell if having a Pinterest, or any social media account is bringing you positive returns, Lieb said. Keep an eye on your click rate and compare it to how you do on other social networks so that you can be efficient about where to spend your time and resources.
In the end, no matter what the hype says, no one social media platform is mandatory.
Plus, the last thing Pinterest needs is another inspirational quote in Helvetica.
Erin Carson has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.