Every now and then a new social platform emerges and becomes popular to some extent. Not a long time passes when internet marketers all around the globe get excited that it’s the next big thing and that everyone should use it.

Sometimes it is the case, sometimes it isn’t. In the end, time always tests every new startup, and actually most of them fail without seeing any significant success. There are, however, some gems that end up in the big leagues. So is Pinterest the next big thing? Can it go hand in hand with Twitter, LinkedIn, or Flickr?

It’s difficult to tell at this point, but Pinterest has surely aroused some initial interest and it’s experiencing one of the biggest growth characteristics in the internet’s history. No matter what the future holds for Pinterest it surely is worthy of some attention.

What is Pinterest and Where to Start With It?

Pinterest is a new social media site focused around sharing interesting stuff from around the internet. What differs this from StumbleUpon or Digg is that everything is presented in a nice, pinboard-like style. Each entry gets a screenshot and a short description, along with user comments if there are any.

Pinterest is used mostly to showcase different types of graphical content. Things like pictures, videos, infographics, visual tutorials, CG graphics, and so on. But traditional, text based content can also be submitted and accompanied by a screenshot.

The site is still a pretty new thing, and it doesn’t let you sign up just like that. It’s an invitation based platform. You start by requesting an invitation and then wait patiently until it arrives, which can take a while.

Find Out What’s Popular

The best place to start with Pinterest is their Popular pins section. It presents everything that’s receiving the most publicity on Pinterest in any given moment.

As a marketer, you should take a look at those things and figure out how you can submit something similar. That way you can hope for a similar result. The simple rule is that if something works, it works for a reason.

Place Pin It Buttons on Your Site

A Pin It button is simply a retweet button for Pinterest. You can place it anywhere on your website to make it easier for visitors to submit your content to their boards.

If someone submits your content there’s a good possibility that someone else will see it and click through to your site for more.

Create Relevant Boards

Every user can create their own boards containing any content. Also, people search Pinterest to find interesting content, and the searches are done via the traditional way – by using keywords and keyphrases.

The wise thing to do, then, is to create some boards containing a number of popular keywords. Of curse, the boards should incorporate relevant content and preferably some interesting offers as well.

For example, if you’re an affiliate for a range of different products from the same niche you can create a board showcasing “best products for X.”

Brand Your Boards

If your affiliate site is a brand on its own you can create an additional board focused on showcasing what’s new/popular on the site.

Pinterest provides a really great way of displaying anything in a graphically attractive way. Even if you use text content for the most part, you can still have it displayed very neatly on a Pinterest board.

Create Contest Boards

If you want to run a contest or a giveaway then you have a lot of possible solutions to take advantage of, and Pinterest provides its own unique way too.

You can start by creating an open board that lets users pin their own stuff. The board can be called “10 best guitar solos” if you’re in the guitar niche, for example. Users can submit their entries, and in the end, you select the winner. This is just one of many possibilities, and we’re sure you’ll come up with your own spin on it.

Use the Native Source Data

If you go to http://pinterest.com/source/mashable.com/, for example, you’ll see everything on Pinterest that has originated from Mashable. You can do a similar check for any domain.

If you already have some Pinterest presence and you check your own site this way you’ll get some insights on what kind of content works best, and what doesn’t work at all. If you’re serious about Pinterest make sure to publish more of the former and less of the latter.

Tune Your Profile

As in every social media platform Pinterest lets you create a custom profile page. This page has a unique URL address and can be very well used for SEO.

Important details to focus on:

  • Set your name. It will become the SEO title of your profile (displayed in your browser’s title bar).
  • Set your website. Right now Pinterest displays a link to your website as a dofollow link (!).
  • Craft your boards’ titles. These are all H3 headings. They have some serious SEO juice when it comes to ranking the profile itself. Having relevant keywords there is a very good idea.

In the upcoming months a lot more Pinterest traffic getting techniques are sure to sprout, but for now, this small set of things to do when you’re starting out should be enough to get you going.

Finally, what do you think about Pinterest? Do you find it being the next big thing?