A recent study shows that Pinterest has become the third most popular social network, behind Facebook and Twitter, just ahead of LinkedIn. Pinterest describes itself as “an online pinboard,” and says that you can “organize the things you love.” But, you can’t simply go there and sign up. You have to request an invite. Once you give them your best email address, they’ll send you a note thanking your for your interest and telling you that you are on their waiting list. They do invite you to “check out some pins,” and give you a link.
Once you do get your invitation, which takes between 24 and 48 hours, simply click on the link in the email. That will take you to the sign up page, where you will be given the choice to sign in with Facebook or Twitter, or to sign up from scratch. Using Social Media for business, you will want to integrate your accounts, so I recommend signing up with Facebook or Twitter — I used my Twitter account. That took me to a page where I was asked to choose my username (donatona), give an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and choose a password (not gonna give you that!). That done, you’ll be taken to a page with many different larger topics visible and asked to “pin” those that interest you. Topics are broad: History, Geek, Technology, Gardening, Kids, etc. This is Pinterest’s way of getting to know you – consider it small talk at a party. Once you pin some things, you will be taken to a page of “people you are now following.” These are people whose interests are similar to yours, and you may “unfollow” them at any time. Pinterest is basically salting the mine to be sure that you are engaged enough to stay with them.
On the page where you meet those you are following, you are also invited to pin some things that interest you. This is where you start creating your own pin boards. A pin board is like a highly focused bulletin board – items in one category only. But, you can have lots of them. So, say you are a Henry VIII buff and a Civil War afficionado and you love Eleanor of Aquitaine. You don’t have to pin all of those as one large category: History. No. Instead, each of those topics gets its own pin board under the topic History. So, you can find all of your Eleanor stuff without having to dig through Henry VIII (which would be a really tough job considering his bulk!) and you can get to that really great Civil War re-enactors article without bowing to any royalty. And, you can keep your Space Flight stuff completely separate under the broad topic of Technology.
Once you’re ready to get started pinning, you’ll be taken through the steps to install a “Pin It” button in your browser. I use Firefox. Installation was as easy as dragging the “Pin It” button onto my bookmarks toolbar. Once there, you can use the “Pin It” button to grab things from the web and pin them to any of your boards. The cool thing about it is that it also grabs the source and author data, so your pins are properly credited. No accusations of plagarism, plus you promote some great sites.
Here is some other information to help you get started:
What is a pin? A pin is an image added to Pinterest. A pin can be added from a website using the Pin It button, or you can upload images from your computer. Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from. Pinterest advises:
To make Pinterest the most useful to yourself and others, follow best practices when pinning:
- Pin from the original source.
- Pin from permalinks.
- Give credit and include a thoughtful pin description.
How do I pin with the Pin It button in my bookmarks toolbar?
- When you see an image you wan to pin, click Pin It on your browser. This will pull up all the images you can pin.
- Select the image you want to pin, choose which board the image belongs on, type a description, and add some tags to help users search for it.
- You can choose to share the pin to Facebook and/or Twitter.
- When you’re done, click Pin It.
What is a repin? A repin is adding an image you find while browsing Pinterest to your own board. When you repin an image, the user who first pinned the image will also get credit. Repins maintain the source-link of the image no matter how many times it’s repinned.
How do I repin something? There are two ways you can repin something
- When viewing a pin in thumbnail-view, mouse-over the pin and click the Repin button.
- When you’re viewing a pin in full-size view, click the Repin button at the top-left corner.
After you click Repin, choose a board. You can edit the description of the pin and choose to share it on Facebook and/or Twitter. Then click Repin.
How do I edit a pin?
- When viewing one of your pins in thumbnail view, mouse-over the pin and then click the Edit button. After you make your changes, click Save.
- When viewing a pin in full-size view, click Edit at the top-left corner. Make your changes and then click Save.
- To add a price to a pin, type the $ or £ symbol followed by the number amount in the description. When you are finished, click Pin It.
What is a board? A board is a set of pins. A board can be created on any topic, such as Cool Posters, Recipes For Dinner, or Wishlist. You can add as many pins to a board as you want.
How do I create a new board? Again, there are two ways, this time depending on where you are when you want to create your new board.
- To create a new board, click Add > Add a Board on the top toolbar on Pinterest. Type in a board title, choose a category, and then click Create when you are finished.
- To create a new board while you’re pinning, scroll to the bottom of your board list. Enter in a new board title and click Create.
How do I comment on someone else’s pin?
There are two ways to comment on a pin:
- Mouse-over a pin in thumbnail view and click the Comment button. Type in your comment and then click the Comment button.
- When viewing a pin in full-size view, you can type a comment in the text box below the image. In this view, you can type @username to mention other users in your comment.
How can I add the Pinterest Follow button to my website? To add a Pinterest follow button to your website, go to our Goodies page. Select the style of button you want, then copy the code to embed on your website
How do I add the Pin It button to my website? To add a Pin It button to your website, go to our Goodies page. Select the style of button you want, then copy the code to embed on your website.
What if I don’t want images from my website to be pinnable? There is a small piece of code you can add to the head of any page on your site:
<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />
When a user tries to pin from your site, they will see this message:
“This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”
There you have it, a complete guide to help you get started on Pinterest. To be fair and honest, most of the material in italics came directly from the Pinterest Help article, “Pinning 101.” So, now when you surf the web, you can stop every now and again to pin something that interests you. Eventually, Pinterest will be suggesting that newcomers follow you!
Have another great day in business!