In a recent poll on our Facebook Page we asked: Which social media platform would you like to know more about for your business?

The answer—Pinterest. In fact, 43% of the votes came from customers with burning questions about this popular social network.

I recenty sat down with social media expert, Erica Ayotte to discuss Pinterest and to learn more about the social network that everyone seems to be talking about.

Here’s what she had to say…

What is Pinterest and how is it being used by small businesses?

If you’ve heard anything about Pinterest than you probably know that it’s a very visual social network.

Pinterest is like a virtual bulletin board that allows users to find and curate images and videos. Unlike other photo sharing sites, Pinterest is focused much more on the discovery and curation of other people’s content, not storing your own.

So if a customer or client finds a product of yours that they love, they can “pin” a picture of it and then their followers can like it or comment on it or repin it to one of their own boards.

That’s why it’s caught the attention of so many businesses—big and small. It’s helping them spread brand awareness and is driving lots of web traffic.

On the Constant Contact Pinterest Page you will find plenty of marketing help and inspiration.

What’s behind Pinterest’s surge in popularity?

Well first of all, Pinterest is actually a lot more familiar to people than they might expect. The actions they take on Pinterest: follow, repin, like, comment—really aren’t anything new for the average social media user. So it’s not like they have to relearn a whole new process or a bunch of new pieces of social lingo.

It’s also really easy to navigate and find the content you’re looking for—whether it’s searching by different categories or using the search bar.

And it’s well integrated with a lot of the other social networks. You can actually “like” something right from Pinterest and share it with your friends on Facebook or send a tweet to tell your followers to check something out on Twitter. You can even integrate your Pinterest with Facebook to share your activity with your friends.

Pinterest is right on trend with social media’s continued emphasis on rich media. People love looking at and sharing pictures, and that’s why we’ve really seen all of the other social networks making changes to become more visually-oriented. But the difference with Pinterest is that people are approaching it with more of a shopping mentality and they are using the site as a source of inspiration—and really aspiration.

Each week we “pin” our Ask an Expert videos to Pinterest and users can like, repin, comment, or share them on their other social networks.

Why is Pinterest unique from other social networks?

The biggest thing that makes Pinterest unique from other networks is that users can sort content based on topics with “boards.” This is important for organizational purposes, but also allows you to deliver much more relevant content to your followers. For example, we have different boards for each of our products, but we also have different boards for things like how-tos and social media tips or humor and motivation.

What’s even cooler is that users can pick which boards they want to follow. Think about your fans on Facebook choosing to only receive updates when you share a certain type of photo or your followers on Twitter when you tweet about a specific topic—that’s how Pinterest works.

And I think the fact that you can actually co-curate boards with multiple pinners is also pretty unique. So you can actually work with multiple Pinterest users—maybe they are employees, colleagues, or people you have a trusted relationship with to pin content onto one board.

Have questions about Pinterest that you want answered? Visit our Facebook Page today at 2:00pm and join our live Pinterest Q&A!