Pinterest’s popularity has skyrocketed among consumers, so it’s no surprise that brands are beginning to focus their attention on the two-year-old social bookmarking site.

Last December, Pinterest brought in 7.51 million unique visitors, which increased traffic to the site by 429 percent from September 2011. The site is also sending more traffic and has become a top five referer for apparel retailers – coming in behind social giants like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Yahoo.

The marketing optimization firm Monetate found that the same-store referral traffic from Pinterest to five speciality apparel retailers rose 389 percent from July to December 2011. Although it’s still a relatively new site, Pinterest is already driving more traffic than Google+ – which is the ninth most popular driver of retail traffic.

Through Pinterest you are able to “pin” products – whether your own or relevant to your brand – and share with your customers through the site, or through Facebook and Twitter. The social sharing component is interesting as it helps promote your business in a visual way. Additionally, as you’re creating boards, so are your customers, who are helping to spread awareness by repinning your pins and sharing your products with their networks.

Popular retailers like Modcloth, West Elm, Nordstrom, and HGTV have discovered the site’s potential and have been named – by Pinterest – as the site’s top retail pinners. If you haven’t already, create a Pinterest account and begin exploring ways in which this network can be integrated into your social and marketing strategies.

[Via: SocialTimes, Image credit: Christian Rivera]