Pinterest is the sizzling hot, new social media website that is everyone’s new guilty pleasure. Well, OK, not everyone, as the audience tends to skew towards women, but Pinterest is a great place for businesses that are based on a visual image, such as fashion, food, furniture, design, etc, to generate lots of interest, exposure and traffic and build your brand.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an online pin board where users can collect and ‘pin’ images that they find online. Once the image is on a user’s boards others can see it, ‘Like’ it, and comment on it. The people in your network can also ‘re-pin’ an image that you’ve pinned to their boards. If you take a look around you will see that some images ‘go viral’ and get pinned hundreds and even thousands of times.

After you create your profile on Pinterest you’ll have the opportunity to add a bookmarklet widget to your browser’s toolbar. The next time you are browsing a website that has an image that you’d like to save, you just click the ‘Pin It’ button, and the image is taken into Pinterest and you assign it to one of the various boards that you can create according to any category you choose.

It’s easy to get started with Pinterest because it links either your Facebook or Twitter account, so if you’ve got a good following on either network, those who are on Pinterest will automatically be brought into your network.

How Pinterest Helps You Drive Traffic

Pinterest sounds like a lot of fun, but how is it going to help my brand? That’s a great question. Along with each image is a link to the page that it came from. Some of these are no follow links, but when human visitors click on them they bring traffic to your website. So, the more people view, pin and share your images, the more traffic and exposure you can get for your website.

Profiting from Pinterest
  • Pin Your Images

Actively ‘pin’ images that you like, re-pin the images that your friends pin and comment on images. There is a little image avatar beside every comment that you leave, which is an opportunity to share your thoughts about the image.

  • Pinterest RSS WordPress plugin

Download and install the free plugin to your WordPress blog, and you’ll get a sidebar widget that displays images of your latest pins.

  • iPhone app

The Pinterest iPhone app lets you pin photos of what you see in your daily life. You can also browse the recent pins of the people you follow and you can add a location to the photos you take.

  • Follow Me & Pin It Buttons for websites

You can easily add the ‘Follow Me’ button by cutting and pasting a bit of code where you want it to appear. The ‘Pin it’ button will allow your readers to pin your product images to their Pinterest boards.