There is a new social networking hub that is on its way to becoming the next media power house. At the 2012 Webby awards, the award for best social media website went to Pinterest.

Pinterest allows it’s users to sort, share and interact with pictures, pages and pieces of information found on the Internet. Those with an account can easily ‘pin’ images from the web and organize them into categories, called ‘boards’ for others to see, make comments on and ‘re-pin’ those that they like into their own categories. It’s revolutionized the way people use inspiration to plan and fantasize. Popular boards range from “dream wardrobe” where pinners post photos of fabulous clothes; “dream wedding” where you’ll find ideas, color patterns and rings; crafting projects are stored in “DIY”; and mouthwatering pictures of food are compiled into “recipes”.

So what does all this mean for your business? Phoebe Chongchua's Pinterest boardsWell, for one, Pinterest users who shop online, on average, follow 9.3 retailers’ boards, significantly more than on Facebook, the number one social networking website. Also, according to a small survey conducted by tech marketing firm Converto, Pinterest generates more than four times as much revenue per click as Twitter, and 27% more revenue per click than Facebook.

Knowing this fact, it’s surprising that many businesses are still hesitant to join Pinterest, the third largest social networking platform just behind Twitter. Yet, internet bloggers predict continuous and steady growth among Pinterest users. In order to get an edge on the competition, businesses need to make the transition and invest time into this new social media platform.

With it’s recent growth, Pinterest has turned towards smart-phone users. By downloading the application, those with iPhones or Androids can easily access ‘pins’ and ‘boards’ with the tap of a finger. Not only is this beneficial from the client’s point of view, but it also aids in the development of your company’s Pinterest account due to the ease of updating and sharing information.

After pinning a photo to their board, pinterest users are able to see your pin in an archive of previous pins with similar captions or hash-tags. Just like on Facebook, users are able to ‘like’, comment and re-pin your post. The more users interact with your pin, the more exposure your account will gain. Publicity and exposure are key ingredients in building a loyal following for your business. Simply pinning a photo from your web-page will offer a means for Pinterest users to easily access your website.

By combining the use of video, articles and posts on pinterest, you are increasing your social media exposure and opportunities for free advertising. Remember, though, to be a thought leader, and someone people pay attention to, in the social media world, your content must be posted regularly, be consistently relevant, and offer meaningful information. See an example on pinterest, click here, of a video story offering a discount from the store.

Social media platforms offer great opportunities for businesses and organizations to interact with their clientele and it is vital to keep up with the trends in these growing networking sites. By embracing the digital age, you can take advantage of all the Internet has to offer and gain exposure for your product and your company.