It's official. Everyone’s gone Pinterest mad.
Analysts are debating its long-term value, retailers are seeing increased referrals (suggested to be at higher levels than Facebook) – and even the Metro is getting involved, with a full page spread in yesterday's paper.
But at a practical level, what’s the best way to get involved? Should you? Is there any best practice yet?
The site is (relatively) young, so people are still learning, but we’ve compiled some of the best ways to use Pinterest as a brand - with examples of those already doing so in each case.
Just five of the world’s top 50 brands have claimed their profiles on Pinterest, the latest social platform to claim the hearts and minds of the digerati.
I looked through Interbrand’s list of 100 brands, stopping at the halfway mark, to see whether social media marketers were adopting Pinterest in their droves. On the face of things, they’re not.
Of the 45 brands yet to create official Pinterest accounts - assuming that they do - only one is still available. The rest have been claimed by individuals with a bona fide claim to the username, or have been bagged by brand squatters.
Thanks to the sheer size of the audience alone, it's clear that f-commerce has potential for retailers, but some brands are now deciding that the returns aren't worth the effort.
So, does this mean f-commerce won't work for retailers or are they simply not trying hard enough?
I've been speaking to some retailers using Facebook, as well as looking for examples of f-commerce working for small businesses.
Google+ is growing rapidly: business pages are taking hold, and the platform is becoming a viable marketing channel for larger brands at least.
It's definitely short of room to manoeuvre when it comes to how your profile looks however. Each page is locked down to the same structure (for now), and so at the moment there's not a lot you can do.
Thinking creatively is therefore tough, in fact, it focuses almost solely around the photo strip that resembles Facebook's Timeline banner. I'm not talking features (rich content, engaging conversation and hangouts galore just about cover that), I'm talking design.
As such, we've compiled 20 examples of brands that have managed to stand out from the crowd with the little they have to work with.
Major CPG brands spend eye-popping sums of money every year across multiple channels trying to convince consumers to buy their products when they walk into the supermarket.
When it comes to how that money is spent, you're probably more likely to think about high-profile television campaigns than you are to, say, websites. After all, a funny television ad for a cereal probably seems more appealing than a cereal website.
In the world of social media, many brands are doubling down on their investments. And when it comes to those investments, much is being focused on a few popular services.
One of those popular services: Twitter.
Twitter's strategy around monetization can be summed up in three words: "take it slow."
Thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, Twitter has been able to do something many digital media upstarts can't: explore new ad models at what often seems like a snail's pace, working primarily with a select number of brand advertisers and agencies.
For major brands, Facebook Pages have become increasingly important. In an effort to be 'liked', many brands are promoting their Facebook URLs in television and print ad campaigns, and are enticing users with coupons and other promotions.
But those investing significant amounts of time and money into creating 'engagement' on their Facebook Pages might want to consider what they're getting in return.
That's because according to a study of 84,000 links posted across more than 5,500 Facebook Page operators in October conducted by Edge Rank Checker, Pages with more than 100,000 fans deliver a paltry CTR of 0.14%.
If Google+ is ever going to compete with Facebook, it's clear that Google will need to attract brands and celebrities to its social network.
After all, brands and celebrities have become a fixture on Facebook, with some racking up millions of fans.
Perhaps wisely, Google launched Google+ with a focus on individuals. The logic seems sensible: to build a social network in which individuals can connect with brands and celebrities, you need individuals.
Those individuals, of course, aren't interested exclusively in liking Coca-Cola or posting messages on Lady Gaga's wall; they primarily want to interact with real people.
In the past, some search industry observers have suggested that Google has increasingly favored brands in its SERPs.
Supporting the arguments that Google has a brand bias were quotes like those made by Eric Schmidt, Google's now-former CEO, who once stated that the internet was becoming a "cesspool" and that "brands are how you sort out the cesspool".