It seems that every few months the social media world is taken by storm with a new site.

Replacing Google+ on the minds of most social media folks, Pinterest, a startup last year, has exploded in recent months to be the latest social networking rage.

If you have not heard of this social site, well, don’t feel like you have been living under a boulder for the last few months. Perhaps living under a rock, but there is still time to get caught up on the latest craze.

For those unfamiliar with Pinterest, the essential deal is you get together online with others based on common interests, viewing what is essentially an online scrapbook of information and imagery.

If you were to go to a store, business, post office, or other operation that has a bulletin board with a bunch of listings from different people, i.e. sales, help wanted signs, photos of lost pets, etc. this would essentially define what Pinterest is. Individuals post images or videos of items they love (pins). With the items posted, other individuals can then add them to virtual pin boards (pinning).

There are two ways to essentially pin something – Use the “pin it button” on the site or “repin” something that others have already pinned.

As recent data suggests, there appears to be a lot of pinning going on.

A recent Shareaholic report states that Pinterest currently drives more referral traffic than the likes of LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined.

Other analysis indicates that Pinterest (okay, maybe they could have come up with a better name for this site) is obtaining more than 7 million visits monthly. Women between the ages of 25 and 44 appear to be the bulk of users on the site, something small businesses would be wise to make note of when it comes to pitching their brands.

For small businesses wondering whether or not their time would be well spent on the site, consider these factors:

  • Pinned to success – You can use the site to begin pin boards of items potential and current customers would be interested in. You are essentially getting free advertising here, allowing you to post items for sale, and receive feedback from those viewing the items;
  • Networking opportunities – You can use the site to network for your business and your employees. Let people know about upcoming events involving you and/or your employees, i.e. specials your company is running, conferences your company will be represented at and more;
  • Show off your industry knowledge – No matter what your industry, use the site to post information to company releases, white papers, blog posts, studies and more;
  • Driven to success – Best of all, the site can assist in driving traffic back to your company’s site. In the event your site has been a little low on the visitor traffic end, this is a great way to spread the word about your company.

In the event your small business is intrigued by Pinterest, start an account, proceeding to follow users who demonstrate interest in items much like those your company offers for sale. It is also advisable to search for individuals in your geographic area to potentially do business with.

At the end of the day, forming a connection with your audience on this social platform is a great means by which to share common interests, meaning you have a better chance of selling someone on your business.

AvatarDave Thomas

With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers business topics for a variety of websites.