Everyone’s talking about Pinterest, the relatively new social media site that has attracted millions of fans and page views seemingly overnight. For the uninitiated, Pinterest is essentially a visual message board that allows everyday internet users and site owners alike to “pin” (or share) images according to various categories.

While Pinterest is a lot of fun to just browse, many small business owners don’t realize that they could be using the service to generate a slew of new customers.  If you still think that Pinterest is just for kicks and not for sales, here are three key reasons that should change your mind:

1. People buy what they can see

Other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have pictures, too, but they’re usually overwhelmed by text. When people see pictures of your products on Pinterest, they immediately understand what it is you’re selling. They click the picture because they like what they see, and moments later, they’re taken to your e-commerce site where they have the opportunity to buy it. There are no middle steps like reading about the product, visiting your home page or deciding whether to click the link in the first place. They see it, they like it, they click it, they buy it

2. Pinterest moves traffic rapidly and frequently

On most social media sites, people spend a lot of time on the site itself without actually leaving it. Not so with Pinterest. Once somebody sees something appealing, they’re likely to click it, leaving Pinterest and heading to your site in the process.

3. Pins equals natural inbound links

Site owners work hard and often pay good money to ensure that other high-quality sites are linking to their own. Pinterest does this naturally and automatically with the help of people who find and pin your content. Every picture posted to Pinterest that originates from your site will also serve as a direct inbound link to your site. Pinterest users who visit your site will then be even more likely to pin additional images of yours to Pinterest, attracting even more traffic.

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