Pinterest, the social bookmarking site where users “pin” images onto virtual bulletin boards, has been generating a lot of buzz lately. This month, articles about Pinterest have popped up on such notable Web sites as The Huffington Post, and TechCrunch.  And the interest isn’t unmerited. Since its launch in March 2010, Pinterest has gained a following of more than 10 million users.

But should tech companies bother to incorporate Pinterest — a site known for cupcake recipes and fashion tips — into their marketing strategies? Absolutely, said Kayla Varcoe, managing director at digital marketing agency Blue Wheel Media in Troy. In fact, Varcoe said her company spends the majority of its time building, managing and interacting with “targeted focus communities” for its clients on social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon and Pinterest. The value, she said, lies in positioning clients as experts or authorities in their markets.

Pinterest allows users to search for members of their target audience and then interact with them by liking, re-pinning or commenting on their pins. The ability to converse with the target audience is one of Pinterest’s best features, Varcoe said, compared to sites like Delicious and StumbleUpon, which don’t have comment functionality.

“You can shed light on the topics and discussions out there [as] an authoritative presence,” said Varcoe.

Companies can also pin items on their own boards that are relevant to their target audience, including, but not limited to, images representing their own products and services. Take Blue Wheel client Critical Signal Technologies (CST) of Farmington Hills, for example.

“CST distributes personal emergency response systems, medical alert devices, medication management systems and many solutions for the elderly,” said Varcoe.  “We do not promote the products overtly on the page, rather, we interact and engage with their target demographic — parents, caregivers, and those interested in medicine, health and family-related issues — in efforts to increase brand awareness.”

And what about the controversy over users pinning creative content without crediting it to its original source? The site recently added a field to provide attribution to the original source of the image, so that no matter how many times an image is re-pinned, the creator receives the credit.

This article was provided by Automation Alley.