The promotional products industry is a sensory-overload industry. Logoed items touch all the senses—touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. So it only makes sense that the newest social media craze—Pinterest—is the perfect channel for promotional products businesses. Pinterest allows you to create a visual online bulletin board, organized by topics or categories and featuring images of your products, places or other favorite items.

Pinterest, the online social-driven bulletin board, is the latest trend in social medial channels. Seventy percent of the site’s visitors are women ages 25-44, and they spend an average of 15 minutes looking around the site. This alone should make your business pay attention, not to mention how much and how fast the site has grown.

Here are a few stats:

  • Launched in March 2010, Pinterest has grown 4,000 percent in the past six months.
  • It has 17 million users a month and is the 60th most visited site in the U.S.
  • Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.

So how can a business owner take advantage of this dynamic channel? Take a look at these tips for using Pinterest to promote small businesses.

1. Turn your content into infographics and data charts. This is a user-friendly (and visual) way to showcase information useful to your audience, unique to your industry or business and on point with your expertise.

2. Promote user-generated content with a guest pinner board. Allow visitors to add videos and photos that fit in with your niche. You may also want to consider running a contest for the most interesting, unique, useful, etc., pins on a specific topic. Offer a juicy prize and drive traffic with the competition.

3. Don’t just pin pictures, pin videos. Think segments from speaking engagements, news clips, interviews and YouTube videos that are highly relevant to your Pinterest boards.

4. Use strong visual images with all your blog posts. The more captivating your images, the more likely they will be repinned. Adding an image to every blog post you put up gives you the opportunity to pin it and drive traffic back to your site.

5. Pin cover images of your e-books and traditional books. If you have a series of e-books, or traditional books you have authored, make a board featuring your work. Consider offering a free chapter or download of the entire e-book to add value.

6. Put your presentation materials on Pinterest. Are you giving a speech, leading a webinar, conducting a class? If so, why not create a Pinterest board for that specific presentation that you can share with the attendees as supplemental material after the session is over.  Attendees can be directed to the board and others who weren't there or didn’t have the opportunity to attend can be exposed.

7. Introduce the members of your team. Although Pinterest is primarily an online platform for showcasing your interests, hobbies and lifestyle finds, it can also serve as a way to let customers in on the inner workings of your company by featuring members of your staff. In addition, look for ways to pin photos of your company’s behind-the-scenes scenarios such as conferences, speaking engagements, company events and actual production of your products as appropriate.

8. Create customer boards. Much in the same way that introducing your customers to your staff creates a more intimate business relationship, highlighting your clients to the world has similar benefits. Use Pinterest to tell your clients’ stories and highlight hot case studies. Just be sure to check first before making their mugs public.

9. Create a coupon graphic. In order to give potential clients a promotional discount on Pinterest, create a coupon graphic that can be pinned to an appropriate board. Use the description section to further detail the goods and services being offered at a discounted rate.

10. Create an FAQ for working with you. Think of this as the owner’s manual for your business. How can clients work most effectively with you? What are the most frequently asked questions people have about your business, products or expertise? Perhaps a glossary of frequently used terms in your business would be useful. Once up, you can use this board as a place to send potential new clients for suggestions on how they might best take advantage of what you offer.

Finally, add a Pinterest icon to you website so that it’s easy for your web visitors to share items they discover on your web pages. Happy pinning!