With the recent buzz about Pinterest, you may be asking if the hot new image-sharing social network is right for your company. Many businesses are finding Pinterest is a good place for their brands since the site is getting major traffic. Jason Keath on Social Fresh points to 250 brands that have flocked to the new network. You’ll find the usual suspects like Coca Cola, Gap and McDonald’s. What is surprising is that sports teams, colleges, nonprofits, government agencies and NGOs are on board, too.

Intuit has developed a decision tree to help you decide if Pinterest is right for your business. It divides companies into B2C and B2B and takes you through a series of questions. (Spoiler alert: if you are burned out on social media and unwilling to pin items not solely about your business, try something else.)

Plantronics products posted on Pinterest

If you decided Pinterest is what your business needs, here are some tips:

  • Keep your customers in mind: Your boards should be about the wants and needs of your customers, not just about your products/images. Spend time getting to know what the pinners of your brand like and who else they follow to understand their interests.
  • Convey a story: Create boards that tell a story and capture the personality of your products. You also can provide current industry charts and graphs and other visual information.
  • Keep it simple: Boards should be simple, elegant and clutter free.
  • Make images eye catching:  Vibrant, attractive and aesthetically pleasing images will encourage others to re-pin your items.
  • Show people how to use your products: Show pictures of people interacting with your products; if items are apparel, show people wearing them.
  • Link back to your own sites: Add Pinterest links to your website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Check traffic: See what is getting attention and then tailor your pins accordingly.

Keep in mind that you don’t even have to have your own Pinterest board to find images of your products already being pinned. I was surprised to find that my own search on the Pinterest search bar turned up a whole range of Plantronics products that have been pinned http://pinterest.com/search/?q=Plantronics. Since your products may turn up on Pinterest, it’s a good idea to think about the quality of images you post elsewhere online.