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Leveraging social media websites beyond Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is one way for a small business to further grow customer lists, increase website traffic and build brand awareness.

As the adage states, a picture is worth a thousand words. Unlike social websites that rely on a limited number of characters to increase brand awareness and product availability, newer sites like Pinterest and Gentlemint focus instead on graphics rather than explanations through words.

According to Pinterest, the public is strongly responding to the visual pinboard concept. Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has grown to over 10.4 million members and daily users have increased 145 percent since the beginning of the year.

Campaigner®, an email marketing service and brand of j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) that empowers companies to better attract and retain business, offers several time-saving tools to add visual imagery to email marketing campaigns.

Now photos and graphics referenced from online sources can be used for additional value on sites like Pinterest and Gentlemint to engage and generate new leads. Visual content boards are an effective way for browsers to discover pinned content and seek out more information, making it a powerful referral platform for a small business.

Customers and website visitors that share content become product advocates and their followers will be more likely to subscribe to an email marketing program or at least have more opportunities for engagement with a business and its brand.

Campaigner suggests the following tips for making the most out of new visual social platforms:

Find the right audience- Pinterest membership is female dominated. Top pins are about crafts, gifts, interior design and fashion. Gentlemint has a smaller base and is primarily comprised of a male readership. Try one social platform before diving in based on the audience. If targeting both sites, keep the audience in mind when choosing photos to add to boards.

Get the news out- Once the account is set up, include the board link in all new email marketing campaigns. For example, add a ‘Follow us’ button on Pinterest within a campaign email alongside the links to pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Captivate and capture- Make it as easy as possible to subscribe to an email marketing program. Include a sign-up form in a prominent position on every website page, on Pinterest and/or Gentlemint boards and pages on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. To increase the number of new opt-ins, consider including a targeted incentive offer to sign-up. A dedicated sign-up form is another easy method to track the impact of this sign-up source.

Make new friends but keep the old- Don’t neglect other tried and true social networks. Additional reach can be gained if those pinning a business’ content are also linked to Facebook and/or Twitter accounts.

Content shared on one social platform may be shared on another; thus extending the exposure while increasing customer engagement and driving people to a company’s website.

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