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It’s official: social media has a new sheriff in town. With as much as 10 million unique monthly visits, Pinterest has become the latest addition to the social media world.  With only Facebook and Tumblr ahead of it with average time spent on site, Pinterest is gunning for that number one spot.

Despite a recent fear of copyright infringement, Pinterest continues to grow engaging users through an addictive and beautiful user interface. With the main market being 18-34 year old upper income American women, Pinterest is en route to be one of the best marketing tools for online retailers.

Pin What? Pin How?

Pinterest allows users to quickly and easily “pin” a product or image they find online and share it on one of their boards (think an online inspiration corkboard) which is in turn, shared with their followers, and followers of their followers, and followers of those followers. In fact, the reach can be almost endless. Once a product is “pinned,” other users are able to repin it, like it, or comment on it. Not a bad past time for the online audiences.

The markets to show the most success so far on Pinterest have been the fashion, wedding, home design and home development industries. The power behind Pinterest is the ability to share and showcase merchandise through visual imagery—all of which highlight the aforementioned categories.

A Pinterest Strategy

When it comes to social media, one of the easiest keys to success is to get involved early. For retailers, the best marketing strategy has always been about finding the best way to engage customers. With the advent of mobile marketing and social media, that engagement has only become easier to establish.

The first step is to make your site and products available for pinning. If your audience is on Pinterest, so should your products be. Pinterest is shaped to give consumers ideas on what they want to wear, design, or even eat. Think of Pinterest as a best-laid plan to reach audiences that might not have gone to your site or store beforehand, but after seeing a few pinned items are now eager subscribers and shoppers.

Next, get involved yourself. Create boards and highlight other brands—surprisingly, this is a highly effective technique. By sharing products other than your own, consumers are more eager to trust you and other companies are quick to return the favor.

Take Risks, See Results

The instant, and consistent, growth of Pinterest has given yet another reason for why retailers should have their social presence and eCommerce brand messaging in line. A retailer should take risks to be where its audience is. Regardless of whether Pinterest has yet to prove its longstanding merit, this investment is well worth the time and effort—and could be what places your store in the forefront of the next wave of online retailing.

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