Pinterest is a fast growing social media platform, and best of all, it’s fun for users and good for businesses. Why you ask? It puts some of the coolest products and photos out there, allows people to share them, and links to the website where the photo came from so you can buy it now or save it for later — fulfilling the “see it, buy it” shopping concept. Pinterest has reportedly raised $37 million in private investment funding and earned rave reviews, including a spot on Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2011.

From my experience with fellow Pinners (the people using Pinterest), it is looking like most Pinners are women. An Experian/ Hitwise Intelligence study confirms the demographics with 59% of the site’s traffic from women between the ages of 25 and 44. It’s also sounding like people are spending hours per day on the site.  Some that we’ve asked use it as a getaway to escape from reality for a moment, while others are saying that it’s the matter of fulfilling the human need to collect things that strikes a chord with them. Yet, more have said that it was ‘instant love’ or ‘magnetic’ and their new favorite social network.

In its basic form, it’s like digital scrapbooking or an online bulletin board:

  1. You, the ‘Pinner’ see a photo or video you like.
  2. You decide that you like it so much you add it, or ‘pin it’, to your own boards, or ‘pinboards’.
  3. You arrange and rearrange your boards in different topics of your naming choice.
  4. Seek new photos, pin, and repeat.

There is the ability to share video on the site as well, but it hasn’t taken off big yet. Plus, you can ‘Like’ photos (similar to Facebook) as well as comment on the things you see, and it integrates with Facebook and Twitter to sign in and share.

One of the arguable downsides is that you can’t create private boards. But on that same point, if everyone’s boards were private, how could you stumble upon the coolest things available over the internet?

How can businesses benefit from Pinterest

There are several hot subjects popular on Pinterest which would compliment businesses who offer products in those same categories.

  1. Fashion & Accessories
  2. Hobbies and Crafts
  3. Home Décor
  4. Interior Design and Remodeling
  5. Travel & Places
  6. Art & Photography
  7. Design
  8. Food/Drink
  9. Hair & Beauty

Do you have products that would fit those criteria? If so, and you have great photography shots of your products/location, then your business may be a hit with the Pinners on Pinterest. Pin them up, add a description, and put them in specific categories so they can be found. Because there is the ability to easily share (Pinterest can also post to connected Facebook and Twitter accounts), there’s a chance that your pins can go viral = huge promotion for your business.

There are already reports out that that state that Pinterest has brought more traffic to sites than Facebook. So what are you waiting for? Start pinning your products!

Not on Pinterest yet? Leave your email address below and I’ll invite you in or go to and sign up. You can follow my pins on Pinterest at @andreakoeppel.