Posted on April 9, 2012 by Kevin Getch By Jason Knapfel Psychologists say that men are by and large more driven by visual stimulus than women. That may be so, but don’t tell it to the millions of women who have fallen head over heals in love with Pinterest, the social media sensation that is all about sharing visually stimulating content. Even a recent popular — and very provocative — pin of an impossibly beautiful woman was mostly being commented on by women. Pinterest may mainly be the dominion of the fairer sex, but when it comes to the power it may wield in marketing a business, that’s something men and women can both agree upon. How Do You Define Success? If you want to incorporate Pinterest into your online marketing strategy, you first need to assess your goals. Marketing success is often narrowly defined as massive viral appeal, bringing thousands, if not millions, of new visitors to your website. While no one would turn away that possibility, not every business can realistically achieve that kind of boon, nor do they need to. Besides measuring success purely by traffic, you may also be looking towards the more nebulous goal of brand awareness — simply getting your name in front of eyeballs. One marketing approach on Pinterest is pinning an infographic related to your industry. Unless you are doing something related to food, fashion, or beauty products, you are not likely to reach viral levels. But, what if you reach a few thousand people who are keenly interested in what you offer? It’s not like a financial advisor needs to be inundated with traffic to their website to define it as successful. Don’t Abuse the Power of Pinterest Maybe the most alluring feature to marketing on Pinterest is that it’s so easy. Given that fact, don’t overdo it by hitting people over the head with a direct or overt commercial approach. That means no direct sales pitches or calls to action. That said, you still want to be active on the site, just do it in the right ways. Comment on other people’s pins. Repin other user’s content (appropriate for your company’s image, of course). Follow other Pinterest users. Since everyone you follow or comment on is notified of your actions, many are likely to investigate who you are. Human curiosity is funny that way. We crave attention, and when we get it, we want to know who is interested in us. If you do all of this, you will optimize your chances of building exposure to your Pinterest content and grow your followers for long-term benefits. Not all companies will find equal marketing value in Pinterest. It’s especially effective for lifestyle companies — think food, clothes, health, etc. But since the website is still in its infancy stage, everyone should keep an eye on how it evolves in the months and years to come. In the meantime, let’s look at some revealing data on Pinterest from Google: It is currently dominated by the U.S. market, with 26 million users in the U.S. and 31 million total worldwide. The gender split is 81 percent female and 19 percent male. It’s a fairly mature audience. The age of Pinterest users is strong between 25 and 54, with more than half between 35 and 54. Fashion is the number one interest, with nearly 12 percent of user interest attributed to “Fashion Designers and Collections” or “Fashion and Style.” Gifts and crafts combined for almost 12 percent of all interest. It was recently announced that Pinterest is the third largest social media site behind Facebook and Twitter. When you consider this has largely come about in the last six months, it has to be considered one of the most fascinating Internet business stories in many years. With that kind of reach, it deserves consideration in many marketing strategies as well.