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Pinterest is quickly climbing the charts in membership and popularity. Here are five easy tips on how to use this site to your company’s advantage.

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, don’t worry! We’ll get you caught up. Pinterest is the latest craze in online social media and it’s making quite the splash. It’s great you have your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ bases covered, but for further traffic, leads, and conversions, you need to get on Pinterest today.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a “self-expression engine” which lets users post online images of almost anything they want onto a virtual “pin board.” In the beginning, Pinterest’s users were typically female arts and crafts enthusiasts. But in a matter of months, millions of users with all sorts of interests joined in, pinning everything from fashion ideas to outdoors equipment on their individual boards.

Pinterest has changed website design by creating, as former NYTimes.com design director Khoi Vinh puts it, an online “window-shopping” experience.  The outline of Pinterest allows users to interact at many different levels with the grid layout and design. This layout isn’t new, but it’s the first time a website with this design has become mainstream. Although a few copy cats have begun to emerge, Pinterest still holds the top spot on “board” sites.

This latest social media trend receives more traffic than Google+, and users tend to stay on the website longer than YouTube and LinkedIn combined. It attracts over 11.7 million unique visitors each month and has a rapidly increasing membership. Right now, while Pinterest is in its growing stages, is the perfect opportunity for you to claim your space on this site.

Taking Advantage of Pinterest

Get a step up on the competition and take advantage of the blooming social media giant. After you create a Pinterest account of your own, follow some of these tips to make your brand more visible and connect in a powerful way to your audience.

With a little creativity, your company can use these 5 starter tips, originally shared on Mashable, no matter what products or services you sell.

  1. Contests: Using the pin boards of your profile, you can host competitions for users. You can create a contest where users compete to see who has the best profiles, most creative pin boards, decorations, recipes, etc. You can use your product or discounts as incentives and prizes for the winners of the contests. If you hold regular contests or drawings, followers will regularly check in on your profile, helping keep these followers engaged. It’s also a good way to distribute your product and to spread the word about your brand.
  2. New Product Approval: When you come out with a new product, design, advertisement, or business idea, pin it! Pinterest can help you get constructive feedback from your followers. Data you collect through comments and feedback can be easier analyzed on Pinterest and can help you tremendously in your marketing solutions.
  3. Show Off Your Personality: This tip is especially useful for companies who rarely see the faces of their clients and offer more of a service than an actual physical product. Using the Pinboards, you can post pictures of employees, corporate events, and community outreach projects, anything that will show the faces behind the logo. It’s your opportunity to share the story, the mission, and the destination of your company. Pinterest offers a safe and casual platform to do just that.
  4. Take a Tour of the Company: You can also use the pin boards to take followers on a virtual tour of your company. Organize the boards in a way that guests can see the employees from certain departments, show off various operations, and take pictures of certain parts of the complex. You can post anything you would like potential clients to see if they were taking a physical tour of the premises. This can save you time, accommodates a wider variety of guests than physically taking people on tours of your company, and it puts your organization in the best light possible.
  5. Reach Out to Customers: In your profile, you can create pins with testimonials of customers. You can show all the creative ways some customers are using one of your products or post success stories of clients using your goods or services. This tip can be helpful in spreading the word on how great your products are. It also makes customers feel good. It shows them that they are vital to your company and you value what they have to say.

Now That You’re Caught Up

Social media has become the best way to connect with people socially, which is an invaluable opportunity from a marketing perspective. Social media offers you a cheap, easy-to-use platform where you can supplement your Google Search battle and become increasingly visible to your targeted audience. Pinterest is the latest and one of the most popular forms of online social media; by following these tips, you can further establish yourself as a modern, mainstream business and start finding the clients you want now.