Pinterest. You may have been hearing a lot about it and even more about how your business should use it. Pin this! Pin that! Does this make you scratch your head, or does it describe your latest obsession? I can definitely say around the Skadeedle office, we’re a bit obsessed, and it looks like we’re not alone. As of December 2012, Pinterest has caught up with Twitter for the number of US adults using it, though Facebook is still the number one social site.

And, according to Bizrate Insights, recent statistics reveal that Pinterest is great for driving purchases; in fact 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they’ve purchased or wanted to purchase as compared to only 40% of online consumers who visit Facebook.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social photo sharing online community. It allows you to “pin” anything you find on the web, and organize it into themed image boards that you create. You can follow boards that others on Pinterest have created, find friends who’re already there, or invite friends to join. Anyone can follow what you pin and “re-pin” those images onto their own boards. More and more businesses have started to use Pinterest to showcase not only their products, but other items related to what they do, or sell. And Pinterest has taken notice, recently creating tools to help your biz succeed.

Below are four ideas to help get your business off to a great start on Pinterest!

1. Create interesting boards – Pinterest allows you to create image boards that contain information pertinent to your business. Boards are customizable: you name your boards and select the category they fall under (i.e., apparel, photography, science and nature, travel).

2. Content – This is the fun part! The sky is the limit and all you need to be able to pin something is a URL. If you sell products, this is a no-brainer: Just add images to your boards, of the products you want people to see and share. By adding a price to your pinned images you’ll find it shows up in the Gift category automatically, plus a price banner will be added to the image. Easy marketing! But you don’t have to sell products to use Pinterest. If you offer a service, pin that! Add images to your boards that complement the services you offer. The fun part of Pinterest is that you can pin things that are related to your products or services, not just the things you offer.

3. Share! – Pinterest has a goodies page where you can get a button to add to your site or blog to make pinning easy. Just a few steps will make following your business or sharing your products or services easy.

4. Check the stats – Setting up a business account gives you some nifty tools to help you assess how things are going. The new analytics tools show how many people are pinning from your site, seeing your pins, and clicking on your images. Plus, you can see which pins are repined the most and what else is pinned at the same time. All this info will help you tailor what you’re pinning so your followers get the most from what you share.

Pinterest for your biz stats

Have you noticed any businesses sharing their Pinterest pins/boards in emails or on Facebook? Using a social media platform to advertise another social platform? Awesome! You can give all those followers you’ve cultivated another place to connect with your company. Make sure you include an invitation to follow your business on Pinterest in your next email, and on your website or blog.

In just a small amount of time your business could get a nice boost just from having a presence on Pinterest. We’ve got a free How Pinterest Works for Your Business guide to help you hit the ground pinning. Grab it here.

Are you using Pinterest for your business? How has it helped your business grow?