Just about everyone searching the internet has probably heard about Pinterest, the fastest-growing social media network at the moment. CIO points out that in the past few months, Pinterest has driven more traffic to online stores and brands than most big names in social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+), and holds a keen grasp on the Women age 25-34 market.

CIO surveyed Pinterest pros and has posted a list of tips to help get your business off the ground using Pinterest. We’ll summarize a few of these tips to try to help you decide whether Pinterest is right for your company and how implementing these tips could help your business succeed on the budding social media network.

  • Consider your company. The first recommendation is also the most obvious: Make sure your brand/business fits with what Pinterest is trying to do. Pinterest is all about clean, easy-to-share visuals and minimal text. If you don’t think your brand is very visually appealing or don’t think you can devote the time into making it so, Pinterest is probably not worth the time and effort.
  • Get invited. If you aren’t already on Pinterest, get an invite! The site is still invite-only, but the good news is that it’s easy enough to be invited through a friend or by simply requesting to be invited when you sign up. After joining, be sure to add “pin it” share buttons to your products/webpages, Pinterest follow buttons to your pages, and install the Pin it button to your toolbar to pin interesting images or content that you see on the web.
  • Branch out. Create pin boards that fit with what your customers want, rather than just sticking with your own brand/products. After all, potential customers want to see that you understand them. Also be sure to categorize your boards accordingly, as this will help with searching and drawing more followers to your page.
  • Tell a story. Pinterest pros also recommend telling a story with your pages by carrying a universal theme or mood through your products. Describe your pinned products accordingly and find other products that are similar but not necessarily yours. Pinterest users aren’t interested in seeing advertisements only; they want the whole package.
  • Visuals, visuals, visuals. A big tip for Pinterest users is to be sure that your photos and graphics are both interesting and eye-catching. Try for vertical images first rather than horizontal, as they work best the site’s layout. Also create content specific to Pinterest, since there’s no reason for customers to visit your page if they can get the same information on Facebook, Google+ or other sites.
  • Other recommendations may be obvious, but are often overlooked. Things like including URLs and descriptions of your products (without overadvertising) and staying active by following, liking and pinning items from other users and similar companies. Expanding your Pinterest community shows that your business is there for more than just advertising. Another important piece to the social media puzzle is to engage when your customers/fans are online, hitting peak hours of the day like lunchtime, after work, and the evening.

Armed with these tips, a company with a visually-minded product and the dedication to invest in a booming new social network can not only get off the ground, but make great strides in advancing their brand online.

Are you thinking about getting your business started on Pinterest or have your own personal page? Let us know if any of these tips help make for a more successful Pinterest experience, or if you have any of your own to add to the list!