What’s All This Fuss about Pinterest?

If you’re a home-based or other small business opportunity or franchise owner, chances are you’ve heard about the newest social networking option that has all of Silicon Valley talking. Cited by TIME Magazine as one of the best 50 social media websites of 2011, the final word on Pinterest is no longer speculative. Pinterest is here to stay.

So what is Pinterest, and what’s all the fuss about?

Often referred to as the visual equivalent of Twitter, Pinterest is a social networking site where users create online scrapbooks that feature the things that interest them most. More specifically for entrepreneurs, it’s a forum for them to feature photos and enticing descriptions of their newest and most popular products. Embedded links can also then direct consumers to a website(s) or to an order form. Additionally, users are able to follow other users, increasing the likelihood that a product’s appeal will “go viral.”

Look no further than a recent study by Shareaholic for proof that this very scenario is a likely one. The study’s findings reveal that Pinterest drove more referral traffic to other sites last month than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. In fact, it is poised to unseat every other social media platform other than Facebook within the next few months.

Pinterest is rapidly becoming the place to see and be seen, that’s for sure, especially among women.

According to a number of current analyses and surveys, the site is catching fire with females at an unprecedented rate. Case in point is a recent Ignite Social Media study, which found women between the ages of 25 and 54 who are middle class and living in Midwestern areas of the U.S. are among Pinterest’s most loyal followers. These and similar findings have been echoed by comScore (as cited exclusively by TechCrunch) as well.

Although the finer points are still being argued to a degree within the industry, there’s no question that Pinterest is one of, if not the fastest growing standalone site in history when it comes to monthly unique U.S. visitors. In fact, an estimated 11.7+ million unique visitors used Pinterest in the U.S. just last month, representing an unprecedented achievement in the history of social networking sites.

While Pinterest is certainly the next big thing for many, it’s not for everyone. Businesses that rely on visual appeal to market their products and services are perfectly suited to this newest social networking tool. However, if images and graphics aren’t logically suited to what it is your home-based or other small business is offering, you may be better off seeking out other alternatives, of which there are many.