Pinterest is growing at record-breaking speeds, but is it right for your brand?

Any tool that gives you the opportunity to get more exposure for your brand and develop relationships with consumers can help you build your business. But depending on your industry, your target audience, and your products and services, Pinterest might not make it to the top of your list of priorities.

With a limited number of hours in the day and a limited budget to hire help, most businesses simply can’t maintain an effective presence everywhere in the social media space. If you need to choose between Pinterest and other social media tools, review the following five reasons Pinterest might not help your brand to help you make the best strategic decision.

1. You’re Prone to Self-Promotion

Pinterest’s terms of service specifically state that self-promotion is not allowed on the site. That doesn’t mean you can’t pin your own content and products, but it does mean that self-promotion has to take a back seat to indirect marketing. This isn’t a new concept. Successful social media marketing is all about indirectly promoting your brand to build awareness and loyalty.

Push marketing tactics simply won’t work well on Pinterest. Bottom-line, you can’t use old school marketing tactics and expect to get positive results from the Pinterest audience.

2. You Want Immediate Results

If you’re impatient, then Pinterest is probably not right for you and your brand. You have to commit to the long haul and invest time and effort into creating great content and conversations, or you won’t succeed on Pinterest.

Pinterest should be part of a long-term brand building strategy. If you can’t see the bigger picture of how each social media tool fits into a broader brand marketing plan, then you should consider skipping visual social bookmarking and focus on digital advertising and direct marketing tactics instead.

3. You Don’t Have an Integrated Marketing Strategy

Pinterest is a great tool for amplifying your content but it’s far less useful as a stand-alone marketing tool in its current form. Pinterest needs to be a part of your brand’s fully integrated marketing strategy where one component feeds off the next.

Your goal should be to surround consumers with your branded content and allow them to self-select how they want to experience your brand. Pinterest is just one more way for them to experience it.

4. You Can’t Make the Leap to Visual Storytelling

All brands can benefit from storytelling as it adds an emotional element to the relationship between a brand and its customers.

Pinterest provides a perfect place to tell stories about your brand using a variety of images and videos that evoke feelings about your brand. If you can’t evolve your marketing messages from sales pitches to storytelling, then you should hold off on making Pinterest a priority for your business.

5. Your Audience Isn’t on Pinterest

This isn’t necessarily a show-stopper. If your audience isn’t using Pinterest heavily now, they might be in the near future. Currently, the U.S. Pinterest audience skews heavily toward females between the ages of 25-44, and the audience is most interested in lifestyle content.

Brands in the fashion, beauty, entertainment, design, and other lifestyle categories are a natural fit and have performed well on Pinterest to date. If your brand isn’t in a lifestyle category and your audience falls outside the demographic profile of most Pinterest members, the site might not help your brand or business in the way you need it to at this time.

Is your brand represented on Pinterest? Drop a link to your Pinboard in the comments below and be sure to check out Sprout Social on Pinterest too.

[Source: The Blog Herald; Image Credits: Steven Depolo, Rawku5, julianlimjl, Eastop, Guillermo Ossa, Kafeole]