Pinterest has quickly become one of the most popular networking websites in the world. Pinterest allows users to bookmark interesting internet content by “pinning” visual images and videos to virtual “boards.” The ability to personalize internet content based on personal interests, hobbies and friend referrals has changed the way users connect with the internet and has given Pinterest millions of website visitors.

Naturally, this has caught the attention of marketers worldwide and has once again shifted the mindset of social media marketing. Intermingling with personal boards of mothers keeping crafting or dinner ideas organized are businesses and brands maximizing their marketing opportunities on Pinterest. Since Pinterest is based on the forwarding of visual images, keywords begin to play a different part in order for a product, blog or business to successfully stand out.

According to 2012 statistics, around 68% of all Pinterest users are women. Knowing that women are a majority of Pinterest users, should say something to marketers on how to better attract users to their pins. For example, even men’s products can be pinned by a high number of Pinterest users if the wording attached to a pin is enticing to a female user as well.

80% of all pins are also re-pins, which speaks volumes of the amount of content that is originally pinned versus content that is being forwarded by users. Images inking back to your website is what makes Pinterest so useful for marketers. To make sure your business, blog or product is getting the most out of Pinterest, always make sure to label your pictures with company names, names of products or websites so that pictures (pins) will always link back to your brand.

Hashtags are equally important when it comes to helping users find your pins. Hashtags (#fashion or #beauty for example) can maximize the opportunity for your pin to be found by hundreds of users who may not be following your boards

While Facebook gains new fans with content shares and friend endorsements (every like is seen by an average of 130 Facebook fans), Pinterest allows users to bring in new followers that might not have found your website otherwise. For example, if you were a small hardware store owner, pinning and linking back pictures of new lawnmowers in the summertime might only bring your website partial traffic. Whereas if the store owner got creative and started pinning pictures of inspirational quotes about hard work, articles about home repair or BBQ recipe ideas, the store owner is them maximizing his opportunities to get a wide range of potential new customers. On Pinterest, diversity of boards is always better.

Just like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest has peak times when users are researched to be more active. Pinterest users are generally more active during the “coffee hours” between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., the lunch hour between noon and 1 p.m. and the hours before and during dinner, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

With a little creativity, using relevant keywords and hashtags and finding a way to always link back to your brand, Pinterest can become a great asset for web traffic and a powerful social media marketing tool for any brand or organization.