Pinterest, the popular image-driven social network, is one of the hottest topics du jour. In the past year, traffic to the virtual pinboard site has shot up more than 9,000% (source: Compete). Companies are jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, and your brand, too, can benefit from what is now one of the world's largest social networks.

The following are tips—beyond the basics—on how to use Pinterest to get results.

1. Don't be the dullest kid on the block

After signing up for Pinterest, you might be tempted to hurry through the boring set-up stuff and skip right to the pinning. But you won't be doing yourself any favors in terms of "searchability," both within and outside of Pinterest. Make sure you complete your profile and include links to your other social network profiles and accounts.

The first impression you make should not be one that shouts, "I am marketing at you." Pinterest presents a great opportunity to show a more personal side of your company or brand than what can be found on your corporate website.

Demonstrating a little personality will help you stand out. For example, instead of posting your logo, post a picture of your staff or even an image that presents what you do in a more creative way. You can also create interesting boards on your profile that represent your company's values or aspirations as opposed to just its core products.

2. Keeping it interesting... one board at a time

With Pinterest's recent profile-layout change, you have more control of how boards look on your profile. Boards now feature one large image, which users can select, followed by four smaller thumbnails that appear below it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Medd is social media marketing manager at Emailvision, where he is responsible for managing the company's online presence via social networks. He is co-founder and organizer of Social Media Paris, which hosts networking events where enthusiasts can meet to discuss the latest in social, tech, and the Web.