Many of us in the internet advertising industry have been praising up and down the supposedly limitless potential of Pinterest for months now. As an up-and-coming social network with millions of followers on Facebook alone, the social media site has come up in many discussions since it went into its beta phase. Yet, while it has quickly become a popular talking point for social marketing conjecture, Pinterest is still a relatively unknown website for many business owners.

What’s Pinterest?
At its core, Pinterest is all about a single idea: the posting (or “pinning,”) and sharing of images. The website allows users to take photos they find on nearly any site (with a few exceptions) and then upload them to the network. Images can then be shared between albums, categorized and commented on by other users. All this is made quite simple through an intuitive interface and a readily available “pin it” toolbar button supplied by the site itself.

Why is it such a Big Deal?
Quicker than any other social network around today, Pinterest has already earned a strong user base and sees regular activity from a large majority of its members. Due to the website’s ease of use and casual approach to content generation, Pinterest experiences constant traffic and has been growing rapidly month by month. Recent surveys have also shown that the social media site has a very strong female user base that is extremely active.

What can Pinterest Do for Me?
The big thing about Pinterest that many search engine marketers focus on is that large female audience. Since most social networks have a very diverse demographic of users, it can be quite difficult to lock down users when marketing through these sites. Although social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter get tons of exposure, advertisers often have a difficult time getting the attention of the users they want.

Between both its constant user activity and core demographic, Pinterest has the potential to deliver marketing directly to active female users. This means that advertisers who specialize in the products or services women want will see better results out of their work.

How Do I Use Pinterest?
Despite the fact that Pinterest is still in a closed-beta phase, getting on the site is as easy as registering on the homepage and waiting a day or two. Although the team at Pinterest disallows active advertising efforts (at least until they get their own ad program up, no doubt), that doesn’t mean that a company can’t use the site for improving its brand recognition. The following are just a few ways businesses should use Pinterest:

  • Upload your original media assets. A while back, I went over some excellent techniques for obtaining original visual content. I recommend that businesses take a look at that blog post and use the tips found there-in to get some great shots of their company and staff.
  • Become involved with other users. One shouldn’t openly market or advertise his or her company, but interacting with potential followers will help build connections between various members of the site. This helps ensure that image uploads relating to a company will get the exposure they need.
  • Place “pin it” buttons among your company’s social media share options. In the past few months, major online retailers Amazon and Ebay actually added Pinterest share buttons to their product pages. This allows users to immediately post photos to their Pinterest account along with links going back to the product page. Other companies can do the same for their sites or purchasable items as well.

These tips aside, it’s important to remember that Pinterest is still very much a new site. Since it has yet to go fully live to the public, there is always the possibility that the phenomenon that is the site’s popularity may dissipate well before it breaks into the mainstream. Should readers have any additional questions regarding the matter, I can be contacted at jwersits@webimax.com.