Why Pinterest is A Fad

Consumer attention is finite, but so is your marketing department. Pinterest reached scale quickly, and I commend it for its 10 million users, but are those users so invested that the next “thing” won't become just as hot by rising 50% faster? How much of your social media team's time are you willing to bet?

Have you started working on your Spotify strategy? A Quora strategy? A GameMaki strategy? I just heard about GameMaki this morning, but that doesn't mean I should brainstorm a strategy around it. Though maybe I would if I'd only been asked this question on Quora. Life — and marketing — moves pretty fast and so do users. How long before the next big thing races to the top of Mashable?

Remember that client meeting when someone said something like this: “If you don't get your brand on Pinterest ASAP, your competitors will win, and you'll lose!” Did your client ask you for a “Pinterest strategy?” Then you need to run, because Pinterest is a fad.

Ultimately photos as content generates high newsfeed engagement for Facebook pages. Mobile channels accentuate this engagement. Pinterest is only the white foam cap on a big, big wave. Marketers and clients need to worry about the tide, not the foam. After all, if Pinterest is your only reminder that consumers share images, where have you been while the social Web has been scraping images for social sharing?

However, if Pinterest is only a fad that doesn't mean you can't use it successfully. Be sure to manage your time investment, stay focused on your objectives and embrace your customers by listening to them. A fad can drive results, particularly if it means immediate consumer attention. But it also means they can vacate the premises pretty quickly. Pinterest, or any site, shouldn't be the first page of your social and online marketing strategy, but it also doesn't have to pass without your notice.

If your team can't stay focused, you have bigger problems than Pinterest. Being agile enough to jump on Pinterest, disciplined enough to stick with it and humble enough to jump off again when users inevitably wander is a very tall order. The fear of missing out certainly applies to marketers. Focus is the antidote. Listen to your customer. Serve your customer. Profit.


[Note: This post was originally published in DM News, here.  You can also read the opposing position, from Noah Mallin, VP of social marketing at Digitas.]