There’s no doubt that Facebook and Twitter are the big hitters in the social media game that everyone (yes, you!) should be using, but there are other social networking sites that are well worth a look this New Year.

Pinterest is one of the developing social networks that I’ve just discovered. Using Pinterest, you can ‘pin’ your ‘interests’ using the ‘online pinboard’ interface. This works like a virtual pinboard and is great for making and sharing collections of anything you are interested in. Once users gather their pinned items together they then group them into categories and share them with others, who can then comment and share accordingly.

Pinterest’s main users are women between the ages of 25 and 44. 58% of Pinterest visitors are female and the most popular ‘pinned’ topics are fashion, lifestyle, homes, weddings and food.

If your target customer fits into this demographic, then Pinterest could help to boost your social media engagement in 2012. Think about your customer – would it be helpful for them to be able to collect and save your products in this way? I think back to when I was choosing a wedding dress last year… I collected images of dresses I liked online and then contacted suppliers to track down what I wanted. If I had used Pinterest back then, would it have been helpful come across wedding dress shops in my area? Absolutely!

Although Pinterest is mainly about social networking, it can also double as a workflow tool. If like me, you constantly bookmark websites just because you like one picture on the page, or save interesting images to your desktop, Pinterest is the way to get organised. Sharing this process with your potential customers is a sure-fire way to engage them with your brand.

Pinterest is now in the top 10 websites in social networking and forums – so it’s definitely one to watch in 2012. I’m pretty much sold on the idea, but the downside is Pinterest is still invitation-only (which makes me want it all the more!). I’d better start looking for an invitation – I’ll keep you posted!

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