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Pinterest: Are online pinboard sites the newest social network?

Brands are always looking to capitalize on the latest trends, hoping to be one of the first companies to etch their name[s] in the landscape of a popular social phenomenon.

So is it time to get on board with Pinterest?

The online pinboard site has gained significant steam in the past six months, reaching 5 million unique U.S. viewers as of November, Search Engine Watch reports.

Basically, Pinterest is an online, shareable scrapbook. You can create a customized pinboard using online content and images found across the internet. Followers can view your pinboards, make comments and even add to them if you give them permission.

Its popularity can be seen in its acceptance into the general user lexicon. At least 900,000 people searched the term "Pinterest" in October 2011 more than 2.4 million times - impressive considering the term didn't even exist one year ago. This sort of movement can be a sign of viral brand acceleration.

What the news source also found was a propensity for Midwesterners to use the site. Specifically, users in that region are 102 percent more likely to visit Pinterest than the average U.S. user. This may be due to the general popularity of scrapbooking in that area of the country.

While this does represent an opening for Pinterest to examine paid local internet marketing tactics toward East and West Coast regions, it remains to be seen if it will catch on with enough vigor to improve a brand's overall awareness the way social networks Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus have.

The news source suggests in a separate article that brand marketers take time to analyze their current positions before taking the plunge into a new social network.

For example, is your target audience represented by the network? If the majority of your user base is located on the coasts, Pinterest may be a more risky endeavor.

Also, do you have the resources available to devote to a new community? Will you be able to successfully build a legitimate brand page and employ a team member to constantly update it and keep track of ongoing trends?

Lastly, do you understand how you plan to utilize the new platform? Will it be for promotion of a product or business, or maybe a brand builder to extend your reach? If you're not able to showcase your brand effectively through images and ideas, Pinterest may not be for you.

Content Writer: Mike Cook Mike Cook Senior Director of Sales Support & Marketing

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