The Pinning of Breaking News

news networkCNN is on Pinterest.

Yes.  You read that right.  And they are not pinning recipes or the latest cute shoes.  (Well, actually, there are some cute shoes on the Style board, but I digress.)

We all recognize that social media channels have come a long way.  It’s fascinating to marketing nerds (like me) how the brands that we know, love (and hate) have learned to use the plethora of social media channels to their advantage.  

Back in 2012 (that’s about 10 years ago in social media time), CNN wrote a story about Pinterest.  The writer called it the “hottest website” of the year.  At that time, Pinterest’s unique visitors grew 400% in four months and were driving more visitors than YouTube!  (Breaking news:  Pinterest has remained a hot hit.)

Apparently, it took CNN a couple of years to decide Pinterest was sizzling enough to spend time pinning natural disasters, travel photos, food reviews and exotic animals but clearly someone finally saw a business need. 

Exactly what is that need?  Web traffic?  Brand building?  Audience expansion?  The list goes on – and that is a fundamental question that we are asked every day at our agency.  There seems to be a pervasive feeling that businesses should be here or there in the social media marketing context.  But “where” is “here” and should they be “there”?

#Confused?  You’re not alone.

Ask Yourself the Right Social Media Questions


social media

Instead of asking where you should be as the first question, instead ask:

  1. What are my business goals?
  2. How do I want social media to help me meet those goals?

Social media is a collection of channels that have specific audiences and primary uses.  Do you want to launch a new product?  Enhance your SEO for an ecommerce website?  Build subject-matter credibility?  Until you know the answers to those questions, you are not ready to ask where, here, or there.

The ladies behind the genius daily newsletter The Skimm understand the role of social media in their business.  What they want first and foremost for their fast-growing company is a following.  They want large numbers of ravenous fans that love reading and sharing their curated content.  They are using social media to help build that following to great heights…and it’s working!  This strategy will give them a more legitimate platform to raise significant capital and diversify their products in the future.  From there, their social media strategy may evolve, but for now, numbers of fans sharing their content is their goal.  Period.

popular social channelsSocial Media for Business

If done right, social media can do many positive things for your business.  It can build your brand, create a buzz, establish expertise, engage with customers, drive traffic to another online location and more.  It is crucial not to forget that the purpose of social media marketing is to fulfill a need that satisfies your specific goal by touching your target audience in a way that produces the results you want.

(Note: In the time it took to write this blog, the followers on CNN’s Pinterest page went from 51 to 1,081.)