It may be addictive and fun, but Pinterest is also becoming a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. In fact, thousands of businesses are using Pinterest to make an impact on the Web, funnel traffic to their websites and blogs, find new customers, and increase sales…all with a solid plan and a few eye-catching images.

I asked Small Business Bonfire members how they are using Pinterest in their businesses, and received some great insight. So much in fact, that this is the first of two posts based on the feedback I received combined with research I have been doing myself.

To get your creative juices flowing and help you explore how you can begin to integrate Pinterest into your marketing plan, here are 10 types of boards you can create for your business. Many of the examples below are boards created by members of the Bonfire, so make sure you click through and give them some Pinterest love!

1. Favorite Small Business Resources

What websites, blogs, tools and resources do you use in your business on a regular basis? I bet once you start a list, it will take on a life of its own. Use a resource board to share your favorite small business resources.


2. Featured Clients

If you work individually with clients, why not create a board to promote their businesses, products and services? Not only does this give existing clients a little publicity, but it also shows prospective clients the depth and variety of your client base.


3. Customer Testimonials

Every business can benefit from having customer testimonials, and now you have one more outlet to display them. There are a lot of different ways to do it, too. You can post photos of your clients with their testimonials in the description; video testimonials; and even photos of original cards and letters. This may be one of the most powerful ways to use Pinterest to give your business credibility.


4. Business Book Reviews

Books are another great idea for Pinterest boards. Create a collection of books you use in your business, or those on your reading list, to kick-off conversations, support your favorite authors and even get the word out about your own books.


5. Business Advice

Have a business blog? Create a board that highlights some of the most popular posts on your blog. Or, use Pinterest to create a massive list of your favorite reads. You can separate pins into category, sources, or even by date to make your pins easier to find.


6. Portfolio of Your Work

If you have products or services that are visual, you can create a board that acts as your portfolio. Take screenshots or photos of web design examples, advertising collateral you’ve designed or written, or products you’ve made by hand to create an image-rich, promotional board.


7. Inspirational Quotes and Sentiments

Colorful and meaningful quotes are some of the best eye candy on Pinterest. You can create your own, or repin some of the gems you have found into your own inspirational board that you can share with others.


8. Collaboration

One of the coolest features of Pinterest is the ability to create a group board that can be edited by a group of collaborators. The possibilities here are endless. From vision boards, to joint projects, to redesign ideas, it’s a great way to collaborate and share.


9. About Your Company

Some businesses are using Pinterest as mini-websites, creating boards that contain information typically found on a business website. One example is having an “About My Company” board that highlights personnel, company history, and other interesting facts.


10. Community Boards

Because it’s another social network, many of us instantly think “global.” But there is a lot of potential when it comes to using Pinterest in your local community, especially if your business is local. You can highlight areas of your community, shops in your neighborhood, and local traditions in order to strengthen and promote your community.


OK, are you inspired? Now, head on over to “20 Pinterest Hacks for Small Business Pinners” to find out how you can make your boards even better!