Pinterest has proved amazing for some businesses. I started experimenting with it for marketing long before large agencies and other marketing blogs started blowing up about it. I've since seen a direct correlation with Pinterest and web sales for my clients, not to mention the insane traffic flow it brings regardless. But the keyword here is for some. Traditionally, I've said if you have an online store, you're going to have more success than those that don't have a product for purchase online.
Most photos lead to somewhere, and if you're using Pinterest correctly (or others browsing the web pin your items), they will lead to your website. So naturally there is a greater chance of seeing direct ROI with online stores who use Pinterest.
Additionally, the photos have to be aesthetically pleasing, or have a great caption. Since Pinterest is visually driven, you really could have the best recipe in the world with the worst photo, and not see much action. Conversely, you could have an amazing photo staged to perfection that leads to a dead end link, and the repin rate will be through the roof.
With that being said, it's clear people indeed do bookmark things for a later date, filing them away on their vitual pinboard for when they need the product, service, or idea. If everyone was acting on their pins right away, you would not see so many things getting repinned that don't lead anywhere good.
I recently read an article about how Pinterest users are taking their pin information to brick and mortar stores to make buying decisions.
"Recent data distributed by Vision Critical and highlighted in the Harvard Business Review found that 21% of Pinterest users had bought an item in a store after pinning, repinning, or liking the item on the site. Vision Critical describes this as part of a wider phenomenon it calls "reverse showrooming," in which consumers search or browse products online and then enter the physical shop to make a final purchase.
(This contrasts with showrooming, which implies handling a product in stores, only to price-compare and buy it for less money online.)"
So this is good news for some who don't sell online but like the idea of a Pinterest presence. Will it be worth your time and energy however? If it's a platform you love being on yourself, absolutely. No harm can come of it. But if you're signing up your business simply because someone told you that you just simply HAVE to be there, give it some good thought first.
I would love to write pages more on this topic, but it's a holiday weekend after all, and I have a redbox waiting for me! Be on the lookout for more in depth articles on the topics of Pinterest.