According to Experian Hitwise, online pinboarding site Pinterest vaulted into the top 10 social networking websites in 2011, as it reported 40 times the number of total visits it had just six months earlier.
Pinterest may seem like a fairly closed-off genre, as its user base is primarily female. Also, given its relatively recent entrance into our daily lexicon, businesses may not know or understand how to take advantage of its capabilities. However, Mashable notes that Pinterest holds a variety of potential for your company, and now is as good of a time as ever to jump on the bandwagon.
Specifically, your company can use Pinterest for contests, new product approval, to showcase brand personality, display various sectors of your business or create communication between your brand and consumers.
For instance, your business may want to hold a contest that challenges people to design the best pinboard, or reward those who gain the most repins (pictures that have been re-posted on other pinboards). Also, brands can ask users to take visually engaging pictures of themselves with outfits or items bought from specific stores, instantly creating free advertising for your brand.
The news source notes that the comment areas under photos can be used to announce the launch of a new product and receive firsthand feedback. Return on investment can also be more easily determined compared to other popular social networks because metrics aren't as confusing (yet). With every user repin, you can gather intelligence, and "ultimately decide whether (your company) should move forward with mass production."
Because each pin allows for a description and a backlink, your brand can connect with an audience by showcasing its story, mission or future plans via photo. Bloggertone notes that once you or another person pins a picture from, say, your website, it will cite the source and drive traffic back to your company's homepage.
The goal is to have your pictures repinned on others' boards so your reach can expand to more and more people. These repins can be shared on Facebook or tweeted on Twitter, creating an even wider audience base.
Lastly, Mashable notes that Pinterest offers a way to turn users into minor internet celebrities. If you find a photo of a person representing your brand, you can repin that consumer, addressing the person by name and describing what or he she is using, wearing, eating, etc.