New Social Media universe, Pinterest, is a pinboard-styled social photo sharing community. It allows users to create and share themed image collections to other users. Its social makeup is similar to Twitter, in that users have “Followers”, and all posts are public and have can have a good chance of going viral.

Its mission statement really sums it up: “Connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”. By everyone, they mean the mostly female demographic – 97% of the sites Facebook likes are from women.

So is it worth your while to put your business up? Well if you sell products, especially aesthetically-pleasing products for women, then the 11.7 million user base (as of January 2012) is a great opportunity for you. In fact, Pinterest is the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark – a trend that will surely continue.

Ground Rules

So let’s set some ground rules, because businesses love to do Social Media way wrong:

1. Sell Your (Female) Products Online

If you sell:

  • Hand Crafted items
  • Fashion & Accessories
  • Photography Prints
  • Art Prints
  • Geeky Stuff

Boy do I have news for you: Pinterest for business is a fantastic place to market and sell your products. Add a price to your pinned item, direct users to your online shop, and your post will automatically appear under Pinterest’s Gifts section.

2. Do Not Overcomplicate Things

Pinterest is not Facebook, nor is it Twitter. One of the main reasons why people are flocking to this new social media site is due to its simplicity: You like it? Pin it to your board. Rinse and repeat.

Co-founder and CEO of Wedding Republic, Hana Abaza, suggests to create boards that are clean and elegant looking, mimicking Pinterest’s uncluttered design, and that link back to your website. Through her efforts, she saw a 75% increase in traffic to the Wedding Republic website.

Don’t try to do too much with Pinterest. Keep things simple.

3. Follow and be Followed

There is a simple rule on Twitter: follow the popular users, and if they follow you back, their followers will follow you.

Pinterest, like I said before, is very much the same concept as Twitter. Find out who is pinning your products and follow them, hopefully they will follow you back.

Futhermore, the Twitter-verse is powered by retweets (RT, resharing posts). Get a popular tweeter to retweet to their audience, then sit back and watch your followers count increase.

4. Weekly or Daily Pin Features

To bring users back to your boards, try creating a daily or weekly pin with a catchy slogan. For example, Sevenly created a board called “Limited-Edition Cause Tees” and posts a new custom-designed t-shirt every week. Users come back to see the shirt of the week. This knockout move up Sevenly’s sleeve (super-pun) is that every shirt helps raise funds for a particular cause.

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