How to Use Pinterest and Why You Should!

How-to-Use-Pinterest-and-Why-you-Should

In the short time that this blog has been up I’ve mentioned Pinterest an inappropriate number of times. In case there was any doubt, I’ll just say again that I love Pinterest.

There is actually a verb, Pinteresting, which means to pin images to the popular social network known only as Pinterest.

I know many of my friends still do NOT use Pinterest or understand it. The site has grown exponentially in it’s popularity for a few reasons.

It is simple, inspiring, fun, & useful.

So all you friendly readers who do not understand Pinterest, here is my take on the basics of using Pinterest as well as why you should.

What is Pinterest?

Very simply, Pinterest is a website that allows you to bookmark images that are linked to websites. That sounds just lame and boring, not at all getting to the heart of what Pinterest is so let’s break it down…

(Throughout this post I’ve capitalized and bolded the terminology for Pinterest in the hopes that it will be helpful for those new to Pinterest. If it’s annoying or distracting I’ll remove the formatting to make it easier to read – please let me know if I should change it)

Basics of Pinterest

*Pins*

Instead of text bookmarks that are saved through your browser, a PIN is a photo bookmark on the Pinterest website.

*Pinning*

This is Pinteresting or the act of saving a PIN photo/website to a BOARD you’ve created on Pinterest. You can PIN all sorts of content throughout the internet, as long as there is an image. (Note: There is a workaround but really Pinterest is about visuals so I’m going to stick with the basics.) There is a Pin button you can install in your web browser that makes it easy for you to PIN any image from any website with the click of the Pin button.

*Boards* 

I think of BOARDS as notebooks or bulletin boards. I have a different BOARD (notebook) for various major topics like “Recipes”, “Homeschooling”, “Exercises”, “Organization”, etc. If you want to PIN anything, you have to create a BOARD (or have one existing ) to put your PIN onto. BOARDS make it easier for you to find the PIN later on.

My advice to you is that if you have a fairly complex topic such as a home remodel or recipes, you may want to break your BOARD up into several separate BOARDS. Given the home remodel example; one BOARD could be “Bathroom Remodel”, “Bedroom Remodel”, “Entry Remodel”, you get the picture.

I made the mistake of NOT making enough categories for my recipes. I have over 1,000 PINS for different recipes and I really want to straighten up that board specifically but I’m kinda sorta scared to tackle that monster. Someday I’ll do it, I really will.

*Secret Boards* 

A few months ago, Pinterest introduced secret boards. All the PINS you PIN on your regular boards are public. But your SECRET BOARD is for your eyes only. A SECRET BOARD may be useful for gifts that your don’t want your followers to see or an upcoming surprise party that you want to keep to yourself. As of now, you are limited to 3 SECRET BOARDS.

*Following*

Just like Facebook, you can follow your friends or random strangers and see the content they PIN and in turn REPIN their PINS. There is a wealth of information being shared on Pinterest and it’s so nice to get to see what those of similar interests find useful (or pin-worthy).

You can FOLLOW an individual 2 different ways,

  1. Follow all their BOARDS.
  2. Follow only select BOARDS with topics that interest you.

You can NOT stop people from FOLLOWING you. Not that I think it matters honestly, just so you are aware though. And it’s totally NOT weird to FOLLOW someone you don’t know on Pinterest.

*Repin*

This is when you click on someone’s PIN that is already in Pinterest and REPIN it onto one of your own BOARDS.

*Sharing*

You can share your PINS via Facebook and Twitter if you want. You have the capability to post all of your PINNING activity to Facebook. I do NOT recommend doing this. If I want to SHARE a PIN that I’m PINNING, I simply select the little toggle box on the actual PIN to share them individually as I choose.

To check and see if all your Pinterest activity is posting to Facebook automatically, you simply need to click on your name in the upper right corner of Pinterest when you are logged in and click on “Settings”. Once there you can select to post all of your activity to Facebook or not.

So now that you have a basic understanding of Pinterest…

Why You Should Use Pinterest

  1. Most people are visual and seeing a picture instantly lets someone know if they want to save that site.
  2. It’s an easy way to bookmark sites.  Not only that but the PINS are easily refresh in your mind because you have a visual to go with the content.
  3. You can explore over 30 different topics on Pinterest such as “DIY & Craft” or “Food & Drink”.  To do this, you click on “Categories” right under the Pinterest logo when you are logged in. This brings up the latest PINS of people you more than likely do not know but are in the subject matter that you choose.  It can end up being a rabbit trail as you may really like a PIN and want to see what other PINS that person has pinned in the category.
  4. Through the site, you get exposure to tips, ideas, recipes, crafts, inspiration, etc that may have never occurred for you to search for in Google.
  5. Your PINS (bookmarks) are never lost when your computer crashes.  They are also easily accessible from any internet connected computer or phone.
  6. It is simple to use, especially with the free mobile Pinterest apps that are available.

I use Pinterest so much on a weekly basis, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite PINS or failures from Pinterest from time to time. If you want to follow me on Pinterest, you can do so by clicking the “Pinterest” banner on the upper right corner of this page or you can click here.

Pinterest is a wonderful tool that has simplified things for me. But beware, it will suck you in if you are not disciplined with your time.

All you Pinterest fans, did I forget any important basic information? I’d love to hear from you if I did!

Bye for now,

Julie-Signature