How Pinterest Is Becoming the Next Big Thing in Social Media for Business.

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Facebook, Twitter , Google+ and other social media site is stepping up as a valuable marketing tool for businesses. Pinterest, an online bulletin board specially for pictures was launched in 2010 and is already experiencing growth. The site registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December, up from 1.6 million in September. In a recent report from Cambridge, it is shown that Pinterest is driving more traffic to the company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.

Pinterest allows you to organize images. When you “pin” something new, your followers will see it. They can like, comment or re-pin it to their boards. Like Facebook content, your Pinterest pins can go viral.Brides can pin pictures of different wedding dresses to review, and people shopping for a new car can pin images of their options.

Pinterest already is driving buyers to some websites. In the last six months, the retail deal site ideeli.com has seen a 446 percent increase in web traffic from Pinterest and sales resulting from those visits have increased five-fold.

The site does have some drawbacks for businesses. If your product or service isn’t particularly visual, your images may not tie directly back to your brand. Pinterest also doesn’t offer business-oriented features, and its search function prioritizes pin and board subjects ahead of “people,” the category that brands would fall into.

One thing is clear whether you’re on Pinterest for personal or business reasons: the best images — be they funny, beautiful or thought provoking — attract the most attention and followers.

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