The virtual pin-boarding website, Pinterest, is one of the hottest social-sharing websites online today.
Based only on the sharing and saving of images, Pinterest is a personalized feed of product images, aspirational dream-life photos, e-cards, homemade arts and crafts.
In the last year alone, the site has witnessed substantial growth. Pinterest is now just after Twitter in 4th place, according to Hitwise.
Like Google itself, traffic patterns indicate that pinterest acts as a link consolidator and drives traffic to other websites. For copyright reasons, Pinterest requires a link to the source of the image.
Note: Of course, these factors change and we may see this drop as Pinterest gets better at retaining traffic. Newly popular sites often “leak” traffic until they start focusing on their longer term revenue.
By connecting their facebook and Pinterest accounts, many users of both services are “cross-pollinating” both services. Images found on Pinterest can be shared with facebook friends.
This opinion is shared by users.
Nicole Dodge Macaluso, an event coordinator at Event Solutions in Houston, uses Pinterest about 30 minutes a day. The new mother of twin boys says it has essentially taken the place of her daily blog.
“This seems to be the best use of my time,” Macaluso says. “It’s so efficient. You get the best of both worlds – blogs and social media. It’s the visual stimulation that can only promote creativity.” 
Demographic numbers from the UK show that 53% of Pinterest’s users are male. US share of men is still under 20%, but growing.
Striking photography, food, fine art, leisure products, DIY and home projects, architecture, and design can be of interest to all users of the service.
Studies show that an overwhelming majority of consumer decisions are affected, either directly or indirectly, by women.
Home is where the heart (and pocketbook) is.
Everyone knows Martha Stewart – her empire brings in around $900 million a year according to Forbes. But even former supermodel Kathy Ireland “is estimated to pocket $350 million off royalties and licensing rights”.
The female-driven market is a good match for products with a personality that can be personalized to match the owner. Similar to Ireland’s motto of “Finding solutions for families, especially busy moms”, your brand might create the same sense of “solution” to fashion-forward, home business running, young professional women with disposable income.
Inc. Magazine cites the following as the number one mistake advertisers make when considering women:
#1. Mistake: Thinking that women are a merely a niche.
Reality: Women are the primary consumers in the United States.
Women represent an economic powerhouse, making over 85% of the consumer purchases (in the United States) and influencing over 95% of total goods and services. Women’s consumer spending is $3.7 trillion and business spending is $1.5 trillion. Women also purchase 50% or better in traditional “male” categories like automobiles, consumer electronics, and PCs. 
Don’t underestimate the purchasing power of fashion-focused women. These are not women who dress in the latest styles, but rather, decorate their homes and home offices with stylish, fun and dependable products.
There is a reason that Target recently signed on design star Nate Berkus as their home collections designer. In today’s economy, the words “throwaway” and “disposable” are verboten… quality and adaptable are embraced by consumers across the spectrum. 
Some Business owners are increasingly recognizing that having a presence on Pinterest, if managed properly, will translate into sales. Who isn’t looking for new ways to market their product or service online?
Like anything else, however, it takes some effort to ensure that you are using Pinterest to its full potential.
If you have a blog that is associated with your business, as every business owner should, get into the habit of pinning images from each of your blog posts.
This also means that you must give careful thought to the images you use on your blog. Be sure that the images are thought-provoking, engaging and visually stimulating.
When you pin the image, be sure to link it back to the related blog post.
You may already be using infographics as part of your marketing strategy, because online users love data in visual format.
Convert interesting company, industry or product data points into compelling infographic and pin them to your Pinterest board. You may be surprised by how much attention they receive.
Like Twitter, Pinterest supports the use of hashtags to make content more search-friendly. When you launch a new campaign, product or service, don’t be afraid to dedicate an entire pinboard to the subject and remember to tag it using the same hashtags you are already using on Twitter and Google Plus.
This will help sync your marketing efforts across varying social media platforms.
While most people think of Pinterest as a photo-sharing website, you can also pin videos. The website’s homepage even has a separate tab just for for videos.
Be sure to add any videos you currently have on your website or on your YouTube account to your Pinterest business page. Just like YouTube, be sure to add links back to your website for maximum results.
Like facebook and most other social services, a substantial amount of Pinterest traffic is mobile, originating from it’s very popular iPhone and iPad apps, plus a very mobile-friendly adaptive web design.
Your visitors want to read more about your compelling image. Don’t make it too hard to do that.
Traffic without conversion opportunities are like no traffic at all. Adding a prominent “Buy Now”, “Learn More”, or “Contact Us” should be second nature, but is too often overlooked.
As you become more active on Pinterest, use your analytics tools to measure your performance and decide which Pinterest posts are working and which ones aren’t. Once you find successful patterns, expand on them in the future.
 “Online Trends – Experian Hitwise.” 2012. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.experian.com/hitwise/online-trends.html>
 “Pinterest Referral Traffic Statistics | Shareaholic.” 2012. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://blog.shareaholic.com/2012/01/pinterest-referral-traffic/>
 “Time spent on Google+ dwindles while Pinterest draws growing …” 2012. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/28/google-plus-time-dwindles-pinterest>
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 “Pinterest vs. Facebook: Whose users spend more? ? Tech News …” 27 Jul. 2012 <http://gigaom.com/2012/05/08/pinterest-vs-facebook/>
 “Pinning: These are a few of my favorite things – San Antonio Express …” 2011. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/article/Pinning-These-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things-1882964.php>
 “Brands Pinning It on Pinterest | Adweek.” 2012. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/brands-pinning-it-pinterest-138405>
 “Pinterest isn’t just for women – Money Markets And … – MarketWatch.” 2012. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pinterest-isnt-just-for-women-2012-04-25-7000>
 “How Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Kathy Ireland Became a $350.” 2012. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2012/02/08/how-sports-illustrated-swimsuit-model-kathy-ireland-became-a-350-million-mogul/>
 “The Six Costliest Mistakes You Can Make in Marketing to … – Inc.com.” 2003. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.inc.com/articles/2003/01/25019.html>
 “Nate Berkus signs on as Target’s next design star | StarTribune.com.” 2012. 27 Jul. 2012 <http://www.startribune.com/business/149903275.html>