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Pinterest's Rapid Rise Boosts Small Business Sales
CNBC.com | March 02, 2012 | 11:19 AM EST

Fine art photographer Carl Christensen, 47, had to be nudged by his wife to use social media to increase his sales. He joined Facebook reluctantly. He blogged uneasily.

“I really approached it kicking and screaming,’’ said Christensen, who operates his own gallery, Integrity Studio, in New Hope, Pa. “I found no intrinsic value in talking constantly and inanely about myself.’’

But recently, Christensen found a social media site that not only suits his nature, but also boosts his revenues. He credits the fast-growing site Pinterest for amplifying his online sales to 50 percent of his current business. On the site, he can let his art speak for itself.

Pinterest invites visitors to set up their own “pinboards’’ and tack up photos they like in categories they invent — from vintage motorcycles to meat loaf recipes. The Palo Alto, Calif., firm makes it easy even for the computer-shy to capture photos from Web magazine layouts, retailers’ websites, blogs, or their own computer files. Each image added to a pinboard is called a “pin." After Christensen started pinning his own photos last year, other users snapped them up for their own boards on Pinterest.

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