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If you have been on Twitter or Facebook recently, then I am sure you have crossed someone’s tweet or status about Pinterest. This new social phenom has skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of weeks. I got on the bandwagon and made myself an account- the annoying thing is I still don’t get it- how does it work and how has it become so popular?

To break it down simply- Pinterst is like a bulletin board, or Pinboard. When you have made an account, you can post pictures from sites that you have traveled to on your pinboard. You click a button on your browser that will select the picture and “pin” it to your pinboard. You are then able to select a category for this picture and organize it among the rest of them. For example, if you are stumbling upon a food site and see a picture of a nice cupcake you can then pin that picture onto a pinboard that may be labeled “baking.” So what makes it a social networking tool? well its the ability to follow others through Facebook and Twitter and comment on the pictures that the user may have pinned. You can even “re-pin” (like retweet) other people’s pictures if you like them that much. So in conclusion, Pinterest is like you personalized catalog/magazine of things that you like, desire or want to make.

I find this site useful for its social marketing network- it is brilliant in a way, a better marketing tool than Facebook. Instead of having advertisements for products pop in your face, you get to search for the products you do care about using Pinterest. If you come across a recipe you find scrumptious, you can click on the pin and it will launch to the site with the information. Think about it, what better marketing could you ask for your company? Clothing lines, designers, restaurants, appliances you name it – should allow their pictures to be pinned to get more drive to their sites. Think about it- the interest of one user will influence the interests of another user in a beneficial way to your company.

According to a post on Mashable, “Food is one of the major niches or shared interests on Pinterest. In fact, food lovers were among the first on Pinterest; they saw the benefits of pinning instead of clipping recipes. These foodies used boards to plan dinner parties, collect holiday baking ideas, and create their own virtual cookbooks.”

Check out the 8 best practices for Food Brands on Pinterest