When I first joined the social bookmarking website, Pinterest, it took me a few tries to grasp how extraordinary this website really was. Once I got the hang of ‘pinning’ the things I liked, I was hooked. After all, how many times have I bookmarked a recipe, craft or outfit only to forget about it. And even more so, wish my friends could see the things I’d bookmarked without me having to email them the link.

While many are using Pinterest to discover new recipes, crafts, home décor ideas, fashion ideas and places to travel to, others are beginning to use the website to help with their business’ online marketing.

So just what is Pinterest? It is an online pinboard where users pin photos of things they like. Each user can create a variety of boards. Popular boards include fashion, home décor, crafts, recipes, and travel, though the possibilities are endless.

Tips To Help Your Business Use Pinterest

1) First, you have to make sure your business is a proper fit. Realtors are a natural fit. They can pin photos of the area they sell houses in, pin home staging ideas, and even photos of the houses they are trying to sell. Designers and photographers are also a perfect fit with Pinterest. So is a travel agent, restaurant or clothing store. If your business utilizes images or develops unique products Pinterest could be a good fit. But, just because you may not directly sell the things that are popular with Pinterest visitors, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make use of this website.

2) Promote More Than Yourself. Just as with Facebook and Twitter, it takes time and work to build your Twitter following; however, you will not keep visitors if you are only promoting yourself. Pin other products, services, pictures etc. that may be related or simply interesting.

3) Set-up Your Boards. You will want to take the time to really plan out the types of things you want to pin, create boards for each category and then start finding things to pin.

4) Follow Popular Pinners and Pin Popular Items. You can increase your followers by pinning something especially interesting, or re-pinning something popular. Also, watch who is pinning your products and follow them to see if they follow you back.

5) Let Your Clients/Customers Know You Are On Pinterest. Connect your website and social media accounts with your Pinterest board but also be sure to let your clients and customers know they can follow your boards, too.

6) Follow Pinterest Etiquette. As outlined by Pinterest, you should be nice, credit your sources, avoid self-promotion, report objectionable content and tell them how they’re doing.

7) Link Back To Your Website. You can add a link to your website in your profile and you can also add links in pin descriptions.

8) Market Your Content. Your website and blog posts establish your authority in the industry. By adding a photo with each blog post, creating info graphs and visual content, or creating charts, you are giving your readers something to pin to Pinterest to help further market your content.

Pinterest is fun and simple to use which makes it an ideal fit with businesses who do not want to spend a lot of time with another social media account. And with so many people posting interesting things, you are bound to benefit from others, too.