Pinterest is the newest craze to sweep the social media scene and with more than 13 million users it’s fast becoming an addictive way to organise and share all the things you find ‘Pinteresting’.

Describing itself as a ‘virtual pinboard’, Pinterest is a space to collect ‘all the beautiful things you find on the web’. Whether you’re redecorating the house, organising a wedding, planning a dinner party or researching a holiday destination, Pinterest gives you the space to centralise all your ideas in one simple, accessible location.

However, while consumers are increasingly engaged with Pinterest what’s its value as a business promotion tool?

First, decide if your business is a match for Pinterest. Recent studies show that some of the most popular categories on Pinterest include home, arts and crafts, holidays and travel, style and fashion and kids. Pinterest also attracts a larger female demographic than male. If your company caters for these markets then it might be the perfect fit.

Once you have an account up and running spend the time adding content that will appeal to your target audiences. Include boards that best represent your company, its products and the brand.

As Pinterest is a visual site, it is also a good idea to use professional, stylish or quirky lifestyle images, rather than deep etched product images. Plan ahead and build up a bank of colourful, bright, on trend images of your products, projects, programs, events or recipes so you can pin them on your boards. Not only will this make your company’s board attractive, but it will increase the chances of being repinned by your followers.

It’s also important to be interactive and to contribute to the Pinterest community. Don’t just fill your boards with your own products – find projects, pictures or blogs of people who share the same style and flair as your brand. This will create interesting and informative Pinterest boards that will encourage your followers to visit your site, engage and repin.

Finally, remember Pinterest is not designed for companies and does not yet offer business related features. Although Pinterest’s business potential is great and it’s already driving more online traffic to retail websites than other social networks, it’s still a social media platform for the general public so avoid being too promotional or corporate.

If you’re trying to decide if Pinterest is right for your company, perhaps just start slowly and continue to assess if it’s a viable strategy.