Pinterest is fast becoming a fantastic source for both inspiration and promotion opportunities. It's a great outlet for showing off things you love or have created yourself. I love Pinterest from the designer perspective but I can appreciate the opportunity to use Pinterest as a tool for business promotion as well.
I'm not going to go too deep in the details of using pinterest as there are already some great articles out there sharing the information (see below for links). Instead I'm going to share an overview and ideas of how you can use Pinterest for both personal or business use.
At the core of Pinterest's concept, think “pin” as in pinning something to a bulletin board on the wall in your office. Things you pin can be blog posts, articles, favorite sites, recipes, whatever. The item you actually pin is a photo from the url you are wanting to save. You pin these items to “boards” which represent groupings of pins. So you can create categories and save all kinds of things in whatever groupings you'd like and then share with anyone. Let's dig a little deeper…
The key is the image. Sharing ideas via visuals is an amazing source for creativity. Each image shares something different for different people, so with Pinterest you can “pin”, basically save, an image to whatever grouping you deem appropriate. When you pin an image, the web address associated with that image is tacked on, the association of image to url is included wherever that pin goes. This url/image combo is the key especially for marketing. It's one thing to save an image to share with friends… we've been doing it for years via Flickr, Facebook, etc. However, when someone shares images, usually the url doesn't follow so our images end up all over the place with no real record of where they came from. Through Pinterest images and their original url travel along happily. This makes it easy for viewers to locate the original content associated with the image… brilliant!
When thinking of “boards”, envision a cork bulletin board with thumbtacks holding various notes, photos and other items all in place. This is similar in concept to Pinterest. You can create “boards”, which are like groups or categories, organized however you like. Then when you “pin” an image, you choose a board to tie it to. Group images together however you like, by theme, subject matter, color, whatever you want. My favorite board for my own account is called “Color me happy”, I pin images of color that inspire happiness for me.
You can pin the same image to multiple boards (creating a new pin each time). You can also add notes when you create a new pin. Tag another user in the notes to call attention or give credit to other users. There really is no limit on how you can save images in your personal catalog.
The image/url combination adds great value because you now know where the image is from and hopefully can easily reference whatever else is relevant. When combined with your ability to group images, you can essentially catalog ideas and information in a visual format while guiding people to the information they are really looking for.
You can also interact with other users of Pinterest. Build a network of followers or follow other's boards. You can choose to follow all boards, a sampling of only some of the boards or a single board of a user. You can “like” pins from others and you can also “repin” pins from others. Repinning is my favorite feature. “Repinning” gives the opportunity to not only share what others are pinning, but to see who shares things you've shared. You can also follow the stream of pins that your followers/friends have saved. Then comment on pins, comment on your own pins or pins shared by others, which in turn is shared with your friends as you go.
So go forth, pin and be merry!
Pinterest takes the concept of “a picture is worth a thousand words” to the next level. Share images and share what they mean to you, how they are important to you and why you want to save them, then let your friends, fans and followers do as they will with the photos, sharing in their own unique directions. This is taking social interaction to an even more intimate level. It's amazing to see how many different places the same image can go and how different people hold dear their differences… together.
Whether you use pinterest for personal use or want to use it to promote something, just remember that visuals are much more intimate and special. Pinterest users value their pins and boards and don't want to see a bunch of spammy image sharing. Add great visuals that will inspire something special and you're sure to find others will love what you pin as much as you do.
More great Pinterest related infos: