A typical Pinterest Board

Is Pinterest the next greatest thing to happen to affiliate marketing? Or is it just the latest in what’s going to be a long line of social networking contenders that may, or may not, be a relevant force this time next year?

Answering those questions is tough because many of us aren’t very familiar with how Pinterest works in the first place. If you’re trying to figure out how, or even whether, to add Pinterest into your social media strategy you’re not alone. So before you make any big moves, let’s take a look at some Pinterest Basics and how affiliates can use this new social media space.

Pinterest 101

At its core, Pinterest is like a community bulletin board that’s posted on the Web instead of the break room at work or in the staff lounge. Users can pin images and links of their top interests onto virtual boards that are shared with other Pinterest users.

So far, Pinterest has found a very receptive audience amongst women. Estimates vary, but anywhere between 67-97 percent of all the people on the site are female. If you ask around your own friends and social networks, chances are you’ll find the power Pinterest users are, indeed, women. (There’s a host of imitators catering the same idea towards men, but none of them have seen much success.)

That means that while it’s not necessarily the best means for reaching sports bettors, it could be a great method for amping up a bingo site.

Looking to boost page rankings through social media? Check out Getting an SEO Boost from Social Media.

How Affiliate Can Utilize Pinterest

So how can affiliates take advantage of Pinterest?

For starters, getting active on the site and building lots of shares is going to be great for SEO purposes. It’s well known that Google will be relying more and more on social media signals and the those inbound links generated by Pinterest users will be very helpful.

(To see what a gaming affiliate Pinterest board looks like, check out this one by CAP community member Rmeeuwsen.)

A recent New York Times article suggests that Pinterest may be receiving as many as 18  million unique visitors a day. That’s a huge chunk of the social media pie so, whether you really get it or not, Pinterest is a social media option worth exploring.

Join the conversation about how affiliates are using Pinterest on our Who’s Into Pinterest? discussion thread.

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