How social sites change the way we share interests

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Brands are expected to talk with customers nowadays and if they are not doing so in social networking sites, then where are businesses communicating with their audiences?

For businesses, the need to sift through the clutter and find what works best for them has never been more crucial to a brand’s relevance.

There are big players like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+ and Twitter. For the professional networking group, there’s LinkedIn. And like a mosquito that refuses to go away, MySpace is still around and more importantly, relevant.

The latest buzz surrounds Pinterest, the site (invitation only right now) that allows users to pin and repin their interests along with a comment.

According to comScore, which tracks Internet site traffic, there were 245,000 unique visitors worldwide to Pinterest.com in January 2012.

Some call the site a “vision board” of sorts and users love spending time here, browsing, categorizing their virtual pinboards and creating new ones.

Bottom line is that it works great if you are a visual person. An artist, photographer or shopper could essentially pin their ideas and then share with other users in a slick online environment not foreign to social networking site users. You have the all-too-familiar “like” button, and the site’s own “repin.”

Right now, the site has become a woman’s place to hang out. Gentlemint.com or Manteresting.com have popped up to take care of that — same idea as Pinterest, but with a strong lean toward men.

Logging in with your Twitter or Facebook account makes these sites even more approachable to users, who won’t need to remember multiple passwords. Users can also add a bookmarklet, which allows them to pin a picture from any site they are browsing.

If you have a product, someone can pin you under their category of “products I love,” and this is a no-brainer as to how it will benefit your business. That is, if you’re familiar with how people spread word-of-mouth marketing these days.