Pinterest is the underdog in the world of small business promotion. It seems there’s a sense that since Facebook and Twitter are where most of the people are, those social sites can handle all the work.

But there’s a growing interest among marketing types in developing ways to leverage the popularity Pinterest enjoys among a dedicated group who absolutely love pinning things. Because it’s not always weddings and recipes. For a car wash business, there may be a lot of possibility when it comes to car care tips, contests, coupons, and other promotions. Because ultimately, these tools are free, and it’s best to try to exploit every channel.

First, a few statistics about Pinterest, courtesy of the blog, Digital Marketing Ramblings:

  1. Pinterest had 70 million users as of the middle of last year.
  2. Eight out of 10 of those users were women.
  3. Half a million businesses had Pinterest accounts.
  4. One-fifth of all social referrals to a commerce website came from Pinterest

Pretty surprising numbers, right? We thought so, too. It’s clear that lots of web traffic is coming from Pinterest, and it’s a great way to generate leads in a particular demographic (women), if that’s what you’re going for. But how do you do it?

Recently, Gabrielle Karol, who covers small businesses for Fox Business, offered a few tips for revving your small business engine. One important message was to make each pin really good. “What you pin today should be relevant six months from now,” Danny Maloney, CEO of a Pinterest analytics and marketing firm, told her. That’s because pins stick around longer. They’re easier to come across than a tweet of a Facebook post, which flashes for an instant on a wall somewhere and is gone.

Another recent post from Social Media Today points out that, interestingly, pinning pictures of cars like this is a popular thing to do nowadays. They also recommend staying active in the community by commenting, etc., etc., we all know that, just like Facebook and Twitter.

So what’s our takeaway? Try using Pinterest to curate your content marketing, your best pictures, and your most fun contests. Engage with a different audience that may not be on other social media as often. And carve out time for your staffers to keep your social media presence current and active. A car wash, like any small business, can’t afford not to be seen.