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Pinterest_logoPinterest is evolving as more than a pinning site for wedding inspiration, recipes and crafting. As of 2012, 25 percent of Fortune Global 100 companies had Pinterest accounts, according to the Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-Up 2012. If you’re launching or growing a startup, leverage the power of Pinterest for marketing, customer engagement and intelligent branding.

Exponential Growth

From 2011 to 2012, Pinterest’s share of all Web visits in North America grew by over 5,000 percent. The platform’s growth in countries like Australia, Hong Kong and the UK was also meteoric, offering companies of all sizes the chance to grow global audiences without the enormous price tag of traditional marketing. Small businesses and startups can partake in Pinterest success as well. Take a chance at an easy marketing win, and share product pictures, videos, how-to articles, or any other type of content that has interesting visual appeal.

Power of Visual Content

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it’s also worth shares. Pinterest expert Bob Gilbreath studied the site’s public analytics tool to figure out how Pinterest was making such viral strides. He notes that 80 percent of all pins are re-pinned. Unlike other social media sites, exposure goes beyond your follower’s followers. Pins are passed along throughout Pinterest communities and continue to be shared.

The categorized and virtual pinboard layout of Pinterest also helps brands connect with consumers or industries visually and even personally. Pinterest users can develop their own viewing preferences and see pins in a succinct and organized format. Then they gain insight into your business, whether a user wants to be alerted about product updates or a user is drawn to an image associated with a company blog post. For example, the NYC iAcquire Pinterest account shares company photos to express the company’s culture, motivational sayings and SEO tips and tricks for the industry. The digital content marketing company brands itself on Pinterest and provides insight into the world of social media, content strategy and SEO through visual pins.

Consumer-Driving Marketing

Leverage Pinterest for consumer-driven marketing strategies and campaigns. Creating compelling content and images promotes products and services. Socially and digitally share your content, and let consumers take it from there. Online retailer Zappos noticed that users were much more likely to share products on Pinterest than on Twitter or Facebook. While users share good content, you can also include a “Pin This” button on all your webpages, product listings or blog posts. By having a Pinterest account, you can link to Pinterest from your website, link to your website from Pinterest and cross-promote content on all your social networking sites. The goal is to spotlight your brand, services and products. A comScore study indicates that Pinterest users make more and higher valued purchases than users who are directed to other top social media platforms.

(Pinterest Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)

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