Social Media 101 – What Is Pinterest?


What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an image sharing service that allows members to ‘pin’ visual content to their pinboards from sites across the internet. These boards are theme-based around interests, hobbies, careers, events, etc., and users can ‘re-pin’, ‘like’, and comment on, content from people they follow.

Why is it important?

  1. It is an aesthetically-orientated social media, and its user base is growing rapidly. If someone clicks on one of your pins, it will take them to the source, namely your website with the product you want to promote.
  2. After Facebook, it has the highest ratio of traffic that result in sales or referrals of any of the social media platforms.The six remaining platforms (Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube) only make up less than 2% of total web traffic.
  3. The life of a ‘pin’ can last months, instead of minutes or days. It makes good business sense to take advantage of this longer ‘shelf life’.

Why is it so successful?

Part of Pinterest’s success is because it is so easy to use. You do not have to be a good writer or create content. All you have to do is click a button and add the things you like to your boards. Because Pinterest is image-based, it capitalises on the visual nature of the Internet. We are trained to look at images.

How to set up a Pinterest account

  1. Visit the Pinterest home page at pinterest.com
  2. Click on ‘Sign up with email’. When you do sign up, you’ll have the option to link either your Facebook or Twitter account with your Pinterest account.
  3. Type your profile information into the fields provided, namely your first and last name, an email address, password, and gender.
  4. Click on ‘Sign up’ and you will have a Pinterest profile.
  5. When you create your account, try to stick with a consistent username – especially if you have other social media accounts. This will make it easier for anyone who follows you to find you when searching on Pinterest.
  6. Go through the settings. This is easy to follow and is self-explanatory.
  7. Follow the instructions to install the ‘Pin It’ button in your browser.
  8. Create your ‘Boards’ and start pinning.
  9. Follow this link to set up your business account

How to use Pinterest

If you are using Pinterest for personal use, you simply add the things you love to your boards, and refer to them later. As a business, you showcase your products and services through pictures. Make sure that your blog or website has good images for visitors to ‘pin’. Other Pinterest users will see these, click on them and be guided back to your website.

To succeed on Pinterest

Name boards that are consistent with your brand. (If you visit my Pinterest profile, you will see boards that relate to writing and books.) Update them frequently by adding new pins. Experts say you should add 10 pins every day. Your blog or website must have new, consistently updated content because you cannot re-pin the same content. Pinterest is the perfect way to illustrate the importance of having an active, relevant blog.

Pinterest Tips

  1. Pinterest is great for promoting your brand to a mostly female audience, although more men are starting to use Pinterest.
  2. Name your boards with phrases that will appeal to your customers. If people are searching for something related to your business or industry, create a board or pins around the topic.
  3. When you pin something, Pinterest creates a link back to the original content and website. Always make sure your pins link back to the correct page.
  4. Pinterest is about images and the ones that get pinned look good. Your content is still king, but on Pinterest, a picture is is the key to linking your brand to users. Every blog post, article, or event that you post should have pinnable images.
  5. Pinterest recommends using Firefox or Chrome browsers as both are compliant with the latest Web standards.
  6. Keep personal boards separate from those linking to your company’s website. You may love Gothic fashion and risqué body piercing, but the majority of your clients will not only be uninterested in it, they will also be put off dealing with you.
  7. If you want to pin things privately, you have the option to create three secret boards on Pinterest. These will only be visible to you and any other board contributors you may add.

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course.

 by Amanda Patterson

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