As Pinterest rockets onto the list of most popular social networks, you recognize that something is different about Pinterest. It isn’t like the others. The appeal to women and their families, the explosion of visual images instead of blocks of text, the showcase of aspirational lifestyles… this is no Facebook or Twitter.

Pinterest is a completely new model not just for the users, but also for marketers. Don’t let the lack of overt advertising on Pinterest fool you. Marketers who understand this new model are already building brands, communicating with affinity groups, and driving sales and traffic. They’re tapping into a window of opportunity – and so can you.

But in order to make Pinterest work effectively, you have to know what brands and products work well on Pinterest. You need a strategic plan that’s appropriate for an environment of rapid change. You’ll also need specific tactics for board organization, pin selection and copy, getting followers, and tools.

With this information, you’ll have a great head start on the network that is quickly becoming an essential marketing channel for anyone working in or using social media for marketing.