Pinterest is a social media platform that gets picked on now and again, usually for being centered on interests that appeal to imagined beings who sit in their houses without a lot to do, surrounded by way too many cats.

Though Pinterest is continually shrugging off this reputation as being the social media space for others, it is a happening space of creativity that provides undeniable marketing opportunities for business of all sizes.

The Ubiquity of Pinterest’s Pins

Websites have product pages, and these pages invite browsers to respond to offered products: to like them on Facebook, tweet them to Twitter, add them to Google+, pin them to Pinterest and so on.

8th Bridge,an online marketing firm, conducted a 2013 survey of 872 retailers, and found that Pinterest’s pin button was used by more browsers than was the Facebook like button. Remember, inducing a browser to share, like, tweet or communicate their positive feelings about a product is a highly desirable outcome in online marketing. It is the digital version of old school word-of-mouth advertising.

The Demonstrated Power of the Pinterest Pin

Curalate, a prolific marketing consulting firm, points out that major retailers like Ikea have used Pinterest to connect with over 1 million customers who chose to pin a product or a link to the retailer’s official website to their Pinterest account.

Imagine the power of one million individuals recommending a brand or a specific product to all who view their Pinterest accounts. There are few, if any, marketing tactics that can offer exposure at this level. Small businesses can profit as well – a Lab42 survey showed that 74% of those with Pinterest accounts 18 years and older use it to shop for holiday gifts.

Promoted Pins

Pinterest offers its clients the opportunity to buy “promoted pins” or paid ads that look like regular pins. Companies like Banana Republic and Target are eagerly taking Pinterest up on this offer. With Pinterest users numbered at about 70 million, and the average number of daily pins sitting around 5 million, progressive retailers know that their target markets can be found there.

Bloomberg News recently reported that Joanne Bradford, who works with Pinterest on business partnerships, has stated that the growing social platform is increasing its focus on promoted pins, and that her department has tripled in size in just months!

Follow the Money

Pinterest launched in March of 2010, and is currently valued at $3.8 billion. Robust interest in Pinterest by investors, business partners and users points to a solid business model with staying power. Early in 2013, Pinterest reported that they had received investment dollars in the amount of $225 million, and have developed a comprehensive investment strategy centering around mobile presence and monetization.

So, the bottom line is…Pinterest is a social platform for our times. Clever marketers have a defined Pinterest strategy, as should you. If you’re offering physical products, show them. If you’re offering people a system for making money online like we do, show pictures of your fans, customers, and proof of their success. Pinterest will show them to the world.

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