Have you been Pinned Lately?

We mean on Pinterest, of course.

For those of you who are unacquainted with the third most popular social media site next to Twitter and Facebook, think of it like an online shareable scrapbook. This site allows users to create virtual boards and post images from around the Web. Let’s say you find a great hairstyle or recipe that you would like to try. Simply pin it to your Pinterest account and in a weird, virtual, and imaginary way, it’s yours. You can hoard all of the things you love without taking up precious closet space or racking up credit card debt (just as long as you don’t purchase it online afterwards).

From DIY projects to tech gadgets, fitness routines to home décor, this site is virtual consumerism at it’s finest. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can create your fantasy closet, dream home, or car collection, which is what makes it so incredibly attractive – and addicting. Many have fallen victim to the Pinterest vortex, where what started out as an innocent perusing of possible ideas for your next tattoo became three hours of time flown by. You’ve been forewarned: Pinterest is a definite time suck.

However, it can also become a resource to learn about anything and everything that interests you. Plus you can make friends by sharing, commenting, or “repining” a recipe, cocktail dress, or a birdhouse made out of Popsicle sticks and dental floss. (As a side note for all of you bride-to-be’s, Pinterest is your mecca of bridal glory.)

For blogs, brands, and businesses, this is definitely a network that you want to join, as it garnered 119 million visits last month. Users are made up of 60% female and 40% male, so no matter what you are selling, there is someone who should take interest. To get noticed, it’s all about appearances, so make sure your photos are worth a second-look. A great quote or comment has also been known to elicit attention.

But remember this is still a social platform. Resolving to only pin self-promoting photos will get you nowhere, so show some personality. If you own a bakery, don’t limit your boards to croissants and cupcakes. What are you interested in? And moreover, what are your customers interested in? Start pinning home décor, craft DIY projects, or travel destinations you’re dreaming of going to. Remember that sharing is caring, so repin, like, and comment other people’s boards to become a full-fledged member in the Pinterest network.

Oh, and before you ask – yes, there are apps for your Android, iPad, and other mobile devices. So sign-up and start pinning to your heart’s content (and follow your favorite sites like Vancouver Weekly: http://pinterest.com/vancouverweekly).