Pinterest is social media’s rising star — and now has the traffic stats to prove it.

The darling network of brides-to-be, fashionistas and budding bakers now beats YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic in January, according to a Shareaholic study.

Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic, while Twitter just barely edged ahead of the newcomer, accounting for 3.61% of referral traffic. In July 2011, Pinterest accounted for just 0.17% of referral traffic, proving the site’s blockbuster growth.

SEE ALSO: Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Facebook reigns king of referrals, accounting for more than one-quarter (26.4%) of traffic, 4.3% of which comes from Facebook Mobile. After Pinterest, Facebook is experiencing the most referral growth, gaining almost one percentage point in December.

YouTube also saw more referral traffic in January than December, rising from 0.98% to 1.05%. Shareaholic suggests the Sh*t Girls Say meme may explain this increase in referrals.

Despite the increased integration of Google+ into Google products, the social network lost some referral traffic in January, falling from 0.24% of referrals to 0.22%. Google — encompassing search, news, images and Gmail — also saw its referral traffic decline from 3.69% to 3.62% in the past month.

Given Pinterest’s monster growth, who do you think can benefit most from the social network, brands, news sources or someone else? Let us know who you think will win big with the rise of Pinterest.


BONUS: How to Improve Your Pinterest Experience




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http://beta.socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/0d80e_1_Nina%2520Garcia.png

Just as you would curate your personal brand across other social networks like Twitter, decide what topics you’re most interested in, and then dedicate yourself to those spaces. People will be more likely to follow rich, full Boards than sparsely populated Boards.

If you have time to dedicate your Boards to a super specific niche, go for it! Fashion director for Marie Claire, Nina Garcia, separates each spring 2012 fashion trend into its own Board.


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Drag and drop Pinterest’s Chrome browser extension onto your Bookmarks bar. That way, every time you come across a cute pair of shoes or a kickass motorcycle, you’re able to click “Pin It,” choose an image (left), attach a description and add the Pin to one of your Boards.


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When you create your Pinterest account, you can choose to connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with your personal website. Not only do the account widgets appear below your profile bio, but you can also choose to share your Pins across the networks, or to embed them onto your website.


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You have the choice to add contributors to your Board by editing a selected Board and then adding a Pinterest account. Keep in mind, however, that you have to be following at least one of the user’s Boards before adding them as a contributor.


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When you choose to Like a Pin, it will appear in a separate feed from your Boards. You may choose to keep a Like list for several reasons.

I keep a folder of Likes for those random Pins I encounter that make me laugh or pique my interest, but to which I wouldn’t dedicate a whole Board. For instance, I don’t have Boards for tattoos or kitties, but I Like them nonetheless.

You may also choose to make your Like section an unofficial wish list that friends or family members can browse for gift ideas.


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Similar to Twitter, mention users you follow by typing “@” in front of their user names. Add the mention either to a Pin/Repin description or to a comment. The user will receive a notification.


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Add a “$” or a “£” to the Pin description and Pinterest will automatically add a price banner to the photo. The Pin will then appear in the Gifts category. Within the Pin, remember to link to the website where fans can purchase. Just remember to remove the Pin once you’ve sold out!


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Along with the basic Pinterest Pin and Board functions, you can also take a picture with your iPhone, add a location and Pin via mobile.


http://beta.socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/1134a_9_Find%2520pinners.png

To find Pinners with similar taste and interests, seek out the users behind your favorite pins. Then look at the users that Pinner follows. As of now, Pinterest doesn’t have a suggested users tool, so in the mean time, you have to do your own heavy lifting.


http://beta.socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/a4989_10_Popular.png

Another way to find interesting Pins or Pinners is by going to the Popular category to discover trending Pins. However, be prepared to encounter a wide variety of Pins. (A fork bracelet next to a bubble project?)

Or to narrow down the search, go to the Everything category and search by topic (i.e. Women’s Apparel or Geek). When you see a Pin you like, view that Pinner’s other Boards, who they follow, and so on.


http://beta.socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/92266_11_Follow%2520All.png

One of the curious but potentially awesome things about Pinterest is your ability to follow a Pinner’s specific boards, instead of her entire content output. Most of the time, I take a quick survey of a Pinner’s taste and decide which Boards I relate to best. Then I only follow those Boards, so as not to get bombarded by irrelevant Pins.


http://beta.socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/92266_12_Repeats.png

Once you start combing the Pinterest feeds, you’ll encounter repeat Pins that have gone viral. Currently, there’s no way to filter out repeats just yet.

Therefore, the best way to get more eyes on your profile is to add new Pins as often as possible. Fresh content is guaranteed to get more original Pins.


http://beta.socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/92266_13_Mashable.com%2520source.png

Go to pinterest.com/source/mashable.com to discover all the Pins that originated on our site. Once you’re done taking a peek at our content, type in any website to see whether anyone has pinned from it.

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Just as you would curate your personal brand across other social networks like Twitter, decide what topics you’re most interested in, and then dedicate yourself to those spaces. People will be more likely to follow rich, full Boards than sparsely populated Boards.

If you have time to dedicate your Boards to a super specific niche, go for it! Fashion director for Marie Claire, Nina Garcia, separates each spring 2012 fashion trend into its own Board.


Drag and drop Pinterest’s Chrome browser extension onto your Bookmarks bar. That way, every time you come across a cute pair of shoes or a kickass motorcycle, you’re able to click “Pin It,” choose an image (left), attach a description and add the Pin to one of your Boards.


When you create your Pinterest account, you can choose to connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with your personal website. Not only do the account widgets appear below your profile bio, but you can also choose to share your Pins across the networks, or to embed them onto your website.


You have the choice to add contributors to your Board by editing a selected Board and then adding a Pinterest account. Keep in mind, however, that you have to be following at least one of the user’s Boards before adding them as a contributor.


When you choose to Like a Pin, it will appear in a separate feed from your Boards. You may choose to keep a Like list for several reasons.

I keep a folder of Likes for those random Pins I encounter that make me laugh or pique my interest, but to which I wouldn’t dedicate a whole Board. For instance, I don’t have Boards for tattoos or kitties, but I Like them nonetheless.

You may also choose to make your Like section an unofficial wish list that friends or family members can browse for gift ideas.


Similar to Twitter, mention users you follow by typing “@” in front of their user names. Add the mention either to a Pin/Repin description or to a comment. The user will receive a notification.


Add a “$” or a “£” to the Pin description and Pinterest will automatically add a price banner to the photo. The Pin will then appear in the Gifts category. Within the Pin, remember to link to the website where fans can purchase. Just remember to remove the Pin once you’ve sold out!


Along with the basic Pinterest Pin and Board functions, you can also take a picture with your iPhone, add a location and Pin via mobile.


To find Pinners with similar taste and interests, seek out the users behind your favorite pins. Then look at the users that Pinner follows. As of now, Pinterest doesn’t have a suggested users tool, so in the mean time, you have to do your own heavy lifting.


Another way to find interesting Pins or Pinners is by going to the Popular category to discover trending Pins. However, be prepared to encounter a wide variety of Pins. (A fork bracelet next to a bubble project?)

Or to narrow down the search, go to the Everything category and search by topic (i.e. Women’s Apparel or Geek). When you see a Pin you like, view that Pinner’s other Boards, who they follow, and so on.


One of the curious but potentially awesome things about Pinterest is your ability to follow a Pinner’s specific boards, instead of her entire content output. Most of the time, I take a quick survey of a Pinner’s taste and decide which Boards I relate to best. Then I only follow those Boards, so as not to get bombarded by irrelevant Pins.


Once you start combing the Pinterest feeds, you’ll encounter repeat Pins that have gone viral. Currently, there’s no way to filter out repeats just yet.

Therefore, the best way to get more eyes on your profile is to add new Pins as often as possible. Fresh content is guaranteed to get more original Pins.


Go to pinterest.com/source/mashable.com to discover all the Pins that originated on our site. Once you’re done taking a peek at our content, type in any website to see whether anyone has pinned from it.


On Pinterest? Follow Mashable to check out our favorite infographics, tech news, internet memes and digital culture!

Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/8J9cqoMJj-Y/