Is the social media hype train over now that Facebook is going public with a valuation bigger than Ford Motor Company, which actually produces something?

Maybe. Pinterest, the social image bookmarking site that lets users "pin" their favorite images from around the Web, has been experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity among Internet users; it recently topped 4 million visitors per day. But until someone is exploiting it for marketing, it really hasn't arrived. FairWinds Partners, a digital names strategy advisory firm, recently examined which major fashion brands have reserved their brand names as Pinterest usernames - the first step in creating a Pinterest marketing strategy. And it doesn't look good.

Of 285 major fashion brands, which include apparel and footwear, plus retail brands that sell apparel and footwear, only 75 (about 26 percent) have even registered their brand names as Pinterest usernames. Only 40 of these 285 names are still available for registration, and nearly 60 percent of these 285 brand names have been registered by third parties with no relation to the brands in question.

What does a squatted Pinterest page look like?  Like every other Pinterest page, mostly cupcakes and wedding dresses.  Here is the Prada Pinterest page. Even Prada knock-offs couldn't be bothered to acquire it first.  It's pretty funny that the pictures include Prada competitors like Ferragamo and Elie Saab. 

In order to compare these figures across a wider array of industries, FairWinds also looked at the top 100 brands according to Interbrand's 2011 list of Best Global Brands. The trend demonstrated by fashion brands held true: only 28 of the Interbrand top 100 brands have registered their brand names as Pinterest usernames, while 68 brand names have been registered by unrelated third parties.

"As Pinterest grows more and more popular, it will become harder for brand owners to secure the best usernames on which to build their marketing strategies. Whether it is on Pinterest or any other social media site, registering usernames that correspond to their brands enables brand owners to reach the widest array of consumers while protecting their valuable brands from infringement," stated Josh Bourne, FairWinds' Managing Partner. "Since registering usernames on social media sites is nearly always free, brands should proactively register as many usernames as necessary across new and emerging platforms. You never know which is going to become the next big thing."

Science 2.0 has a Pinterest page. Sort of.  They don't allow 2.0 in the username.