In the last few years, social media has evolved from a cutting-edge technique to an essential aspect of any company’s marketing strategy. Companies in today’s business climate can no longer afford to ignore Internet marketing strategies that help them interact with their clients and listen to their feedback online. Businesses need to embrace the world of social media, or they will not survive.

This is the marketing scene that spawned Pinterest, a social networking tool that allows users to create and share images or videos by creating digital pinboards—a collection of so-called pins, usually with a common theme.

Pinterest launched in 2009 and initially gained some traction with women in the United States. Although people were using the tool, it seemed as though Pinterest was a closely guarded secret that only a select few individuals—mostly, people planning weddings or weekly recipes—were utilizing. Pinterest had not yet reached its tipping point.

Even though they were still in closed beta, invitation-only mode, Pinterest hit its stride at the end of 2011 and started growing at an extraordinary rate. The web was aflutter with news of celebrities, politicians, and other high-profile users who seemed to love Pinterest as much as their beloved In-and-Out Burger.

The site reported more than 10 million unique monthly visitors in January 2012, and social media sites jubilantly published Pinterest stats proclaiming that Pinterest had reached the 10-million-visitor mark faster ...

Get Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.