Over the Summer, as we all bathed in the Olympic glow, the marketing world rumbled with news that Pinterest was proving ineffective at converting the massive traffic it was attracting into sales for participating brands. The upstart cousin of Facebook and Twitter appeared to be losing its lustre in the eyes of marketers. However, this week I stumbled across a startling infographic from the Fast Company on the Power of Pinterest. The stats it contains contradict these gloomy assertions and reveal why brands have persisted with this platform. The infographic shows that 80% of the top 15 Pinterest categories are related to commerce. Moreover, a converted Pinterest user’s average order value is $179.36 versus $80.22 for a Facebook visitor. Other reports suggest that visitors to a brand’s Pinterest boards are twice as likely to convert into sales as those on brand Facebook┬ápages. There seems to be something addicitve in the intensely visual, categorised and ordered character of Pinterest that drives an extraordinary level of consumption in its users.

So it seems Pinterest is now a key item in the B2C comms toolkit, outshining the behemoths of the social world, but how can it be harnessed to drive B2B marketing? Indeed, does Pinterest have any use in this category at all? There are some B2B companies who seem to have adopted effective approaches to this new medium. For example technology company AMD has a great presence on Pinterest, with 33 boards, out of which only 3 directly promote AMD’s products. The rest showcase related points of interest, such as new gadgets and technology innovations. These position the company as interested, knowledgable and passionate about their field. They encourage user interaction and nurture trust between the company and their clients. Whether they have seen increased sales from this activity I do not know, however it strikes me as an extremely effective and engaging brand awareness exercise.

Even if you don’t have physical products, but like Make Happy provide profesional services, AMD highlights some approaches you can take to promotion via Pinterest. As well as product and industry related boards, the company also have ones which allude to their culture. Boards such as’must reads’ reveal something of the character of the people who work for the company, whilst one entitled ‘work hard, play hard’ suggests a young, dynamic workforce. If your business is about selling your people, then showcasing the positive aspects of your organisational culture, introducing visitors the expertise and personalities you have within your company and expressing the qualities which make your people unique are powerful ways to raise awareness of, and engage visitors with, your brand.

Serious ROI for business to business on Pinterest has yet to be demonstrated, however with 1.9 billion Pinterest page views worldwide monthly and counting, we would be foolish to ignore its potential.