Pinterest is the fastest website in history to hit more than 10 million unique monthly visitor – Faster than Facebook, faster than Twitter and faster than Google. It went from 4.8 million unique in November 2011 to 11 million in January 2012, a mere three months.

While many business people consider Pinterest to be a small site, it’s really not. Its user base is already huge and it’s growing at an astoundingly fast face. Business owners simply can’t afford to ignore Pinterest anymore.

BusinessOver 80% of Pinterest users are women. Pinterest is a powerful tool for interacting with female buyers and decision makers online. Here are ten creative ways to use Pinterest for business.

#1 – Buzz for Your Product with a Photo Contest

Pinterest is a great platform for contests. You can use it in conjunction with another tool like Facebook to organize the details of the contest.

Host a contest for the best pin of pictures of your product or wearing your logo gear being used in the real world. People from all over the world will pin photos of your product in action or sharing your brand, bringing in more traffic and free branding.

#2 – Become an Authority on Pinterest

Much like on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere, one of the best ways to get attention is by providing high quality content.

If there’s an industry you know like the back of your hand, create content-based boards that give other people ideas and help solve problems. Keep doing this until people see you as an authority on Pinterest.

#3 – Shopping Lists

Create helpful shopping lists. For example, let’s say you run a party supply company.

You might create a Pinterest board for each different kind of party: Kids’ party, surprise party, office party, etc.

For each party, create pins as shopping lists. For example, a kid’s party would need a cake, party hats, noise blowers, confetti and so on.

Provide real value with your pins and if it’s appropriate you can slip your own products in there.

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#4 – Add the Price Tag to Suggest a Gift

Have you noticed how some items on Pinterest have a price tag on them? You can do this just by adding the price in the description while using the $ symbol.
For example, if you say “This bowl only $9.99” the price tag $9.99 will appear on the image and it will also appear in the “Gifts” category.

#5 – Market Research

Use Pinterest as a market research tool.

What are your customers thinking? What do they want to buy? What are their hopes and dreams? What products are trending?

Figuring out the answers to these questions has traditionally been quite tough.

With Pinterest however, you have a live feed of exactly what everyone in your target market is thinking about and cares about right now.

#6 – Product Bundles

Use Pinterest to create product bundles. Group several different items together and promote the whole package as a bundle.

You can even put out product bundles on a regular basis. For example, if every week people know that you’ll have four product bundles out, they’ll subscribe to your feed to see if you release a bundle that they’ll be interested in.Business6