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Esmeralda Lombard asked this question on my Facebook page yesterday: Hi, I’m using Pinterest for my personal use. How will it benefit using it for a business. For example our 3 expo products? If you have a company website, why use pinterest?

By some accounts Pinterest is now the worlds 3rd largest social media platform after Facebook and Twitter. Further, it has been said that Pinterest drives more website traffic than other social media platforms.  A bold statement that is probably arguable.  But it can’t be ignored that it is a phenomenon.  I hope it lasts and builds on its early success.

What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by posting, also known as ‘pinning,’ images or videos to their own or others’ pinboards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme). users can either upload images from their computer or pin things they find on the web.

The Pinterest quick glassary:

  • A Pin: An image or video added to your Pinterest profile
  • Pinboard: The place on your profile on which pins are placed.  These are usually theme-based i.e. “Kitchen styles” or “wedding dresses”.
  • Pinning:  The act of placing pins on a pinbaord.
  • Repin: If you like someones pin you can pin it to one of your pinboards.
  • Pin It Button: A button that can be placed on website to make it easier to pin images from that website.  Pins using this button will link back to the original site (driving traffic to your site).
  • Pinner: The person doing the pinning.

People using Pinterest can browse through other peoples pins and interaction is encouraged through liking, commenting or repinning as with any other social network.

Back to the original question: If you have a website, why use Pinterest? Quite simply: To drive traffic to your website. How does this work?

If you place pictures on Pinterst using the Pin It Button this will link back to the source – your website.  This link will travel with as people repin your pins. Pinterest also provides a means to share pins on Facebook and Twitter further increasing the reach of your pins and, again, exposing your website to more eyes.

Essentially it is another channel, yet another way for people to discover you and then interact with you. Because Pintrest has become so popular it is worth paying attention to.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has used Pinterest successfully (or not).  Good luck!