Just like a real-world Pinboard, Pinterest allows you to pin things you love and then share with others
Just like a real-world Pinboard, Pinterest allows you to pin things you love and then share with others

Oh no! There’s a new social network in town. If you’re still trying to get your head around Google+ then this one is simplicity itself.

Not only that, but in January, it drove more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Reddit & MySpace combined. And, it’s growing its percentage share of total referral traffic faster than any site other than Facebook.

If you’ve not guessed or come across it before then Pinterest is now all the rage.

It describes itself as a Virtual Pinboard, which “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”

How is Pinterest different from other social sites?

Pinterest is based on shared interests. You setup any number of boards based on your interests. You then pin images and videos to your boards. Each pinned image links back to a web page. You can follow other peoples boards and they can follow yours.

You follow interests instead of people.

It’s all very easy to use, visual and addictive. Hence the meteoric growth rate. So far it’s been more popular with women than with men but could well change.

What’s this got to do with business?

So why are we talking about a virtual pinboard on a site about business?

Well, the fact is that Pinterest offers enormous potential for any small business to drive referral traffic to it’s own website. It’s also a great way for people to spread the word about your business on your behalf.

I keep coming across more and more stories about how small businesses are benefiting directly from being on and using Pinterest. Start with the Pinterest blog for some examples.

How best to use Pinterest?

The trick for doing business over social networks is to not be pushy. With Pinterest, that means re-pinning others, commenting and sharing.

Pin up images of your own stuff with links back to your site. You can display prices by just adding a $ or £ in front of a number in the description.

If you own a small business that could benefit from people sharing pictures and videos then you should be actively experimenting with Pinterest right now.

If you’re already on Etsy then Pinterest is another great way to attract more custom. Craft, fashion and home decor type images are working really well at the moment.

If you’re still in doubt then perhaps Gary Vaynerchuck can convince you:

One last thing. For now, Pinterest is invite-only. I still have a few left so let me know if you want one. Otherwise simply go to Pinterest site and request an invite there.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Have you tried Pinterest yet? Please share your experience in the comments below.

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