Pinterest Tips, Guide for Beginners
Currently the social media buzz words, Are you part of the Pinterest craze yet? It’s all the buzz in social networking. We have been using it since last autumn of 2011, (thanks to an invite from my friend, Don Crowther). Pinterest is growing at a seriously rapid speed; in 2011, it grew from 425,000 users in May to 7.5 million in December. The addictive nature of Pinterest to those that are new to it.
What is Pinterest?
Their promotional tagline: “A place to organize and share things you love”
Pinterest is both entertaining and useful. It gives me a place to store images and links to every yummy little thing I come across on the internet. Plus, it opens a huge, new world of ideas and links via other participants in the Pinterest network. It’s become a great source of information and inspiration. It can do that for you, too. No matter your interests, hobbies, or events you may be planning, Pinterest can help you organize, share, and grab lots of great ideas.
On a personal level, it took me forever to get struck by Pinterest and really get stuck in to it. It was not until a friend of staff showed me a few tips and tricks that they knew would be of interest to me. Perhaps like me you joined and haven’t really gotten in the Pinterest groove yet. Or perhaps you have not joined and want to learn more. Either way, through this post we hope to give you a few tips and tricks as always. We are going to give you both basic information that we picked up along the way and a few tricks for the avid Pinterest users out there. By no means do we claim to be experts as there is always somebody, somewhere that knows more than us.
How to Join Pinterest.
It’s simple. Just go to Pinterest.com and click on the prompt to JOIN. (You used to have to be invited to join, but that no longer is the case.)
Learn the Lingo.
Pinterest can be a bit overwhelming at first. Just dive in. You will soon discover how intuitive it is to create boards, add pins, and browse the unlimited pins elsewhere on Pinterest.
1. It has to go without saying that in order to make the most of this platform, you really want to get the Pinterest “Pin It” button installed on to your browser tool bar. Once it’s there, it is unbelievably easy to pin images from any website: products you might want to buy, decorating ideas for your home, recipes, etc.
2. Browse around other Pinterest boards to get a feel for this. If you have friends who are on Pinterest already, look at their boards and get ideas for categories that will work for you. You can check out my boards here.
3. Set up your personal Profile & Boards page. (see a sample below)
4. Start pinning. (WARNING: You have entered a time suck…once you start, you may not be able to stop!)
Universal Top Bar Features
These appear at the top of every Pinterest Page so you can easily navigate around the site from anywhere.
How to Create Pins from Websites
How to Create Pins Using Personal Photos
Maybe you’ve got your own ideas to share on your Pinterest board. Take photos of how you’ve organized, decorated, or created something in your home, or share scenic photos from a favorite places. Transfer the photos to your computer and upload them to your Pinterest boards. Here’s how:
Click the Addon the top right of the Pinterest page
Click Upload A Pin
Click Chose a file
Select an image file from your computer
Choose a board and title for the image
Click PIN IT
Keep in mind that Pinterest is a place to display images, not paragraphs of content. So only upload photos that are self-explanatory (along with your brief title/description) or link to a website with a full explanation, recipe, instructions, etc.
Navigating Your Profile Page
Pinterest has moved a few features around recently, causing as always a little confusion. Many people believe that your Profile page is in fact the Pinterest Account landing page, however this is not the case. As with all profile pages, it contains private and public information about yourself/business. In order to update and modify your Profile Page, firstly click on your Pinterest User name in the top right of the screen, then just below your basic Profile Image is a Edit Profile Button, click this button to gain access to to your profile. Here’s an image of my profile page and boards with the various features identified.
As with all Profile it’s important to have all of the relevant information there, through Pinterest Profile page, you can add a private e-mail address in order to receive updates. At the time of publishing this the e-mail address you provide is private and not viewed by publicly. You can also change your various other option including, your password, your default language and gender settings. All of the above information is considered private on the Pinterest Platform.
For public display we have the following sections:
First and last name, depending on your intended use for your Pinterest account, will depend on what information you put here. If it is a personal account, obviously you will want to put your personal name there, however if it is a business account and being used for branding, you will want to put your business name or Brand ID.
User Name, just like most other social networks, you are able to set/request your own Pinterest Url. Simply add the name you would to the text box and as long as it has not already been taken you will have your custom Pinterest Url.
Image, This is your Profile image, again depending upon what you are using the Pinterest account for depends what kind of picture you would like to put here. A personal picture for a personal page or a business logo/brand image for a business page.
About, A brief description of what your Pinterest page is about and the expected content browsers/customers might expect to see. By default Pinterest allows 199 characters within this section. We would advise you to use as much as possible, but not to go over the 199 limit as it will not be seen by the public/customers. Keeping in mind that and space or full stop, commas etc are all classed as a character.
Location, Fairly self explanatory, simply state which country/county or state you are based in.
Website, This can be a little tricky for those who may not be fully computer/online literate, but in order to connect your website to Pinterest, you need to simply type in the website Url, click the test button. This will open a new browser window which will request you to download a basic Pinterest HTML file. Download the file, (noting where it has been saved to). Open your FTP program and upload the file to your web directory. The file must be within the Url root and not hidden within a folder somewhere. Once you have uploaded the file, simply click the verify link and Pinterest will verify the link and add it to your Profile.
Search Privacy, by default Pinterest allows search engines such as Yahoo, Google, Bing etc to search and add your Pinterest page to search results. Although for SEO reasons we would suggest that you leave this function as active, you do have the option to turn it off.
Social Networks, A nice and simple method of connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts to your Pinterest page. Personally a function from a marketing perspective that Pinterest have seriously got right. Through creating your social media connection up, you are able to post directly to those profiles and Pinterest creates shortcut icons within your Personal page for other users to see and connect with. You can also set the options to auto post any Pinterest activity on your account to be posted directly to your Faceook page.
It is also worth noting that you have the option to connect and find any friends that on your Facebook account who also have Pinterest accounts. Therefore enabling you to send out invitation to create further connections within your Pinterest & Facebook pages. Unfortunately Twitter does not offer the same options. This function is something that you might run every few weeks or month just to ensure you have all the connection you can.
Save, in order save all of the changes you have made to the above, simply click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
Navigating Your Pinterest Home Page
Here’s an image of my profile page and boards with the different features identified. To get to your Home page from anywhere on Pinterest, simply click on your profile name in the upper right corner, then simply have a play around with the various options.
It’s easy to add & delete boards, edit their titles, and add and delete pins. So, don’t sweat having every board perfectly defined and titled from the start. Just get going. You can go back and do some house cleaning later. I’ve reorganized my boards several times already.
Navigating Your Own Boards
From your Profile Page, click on any of your boards to view everything you have pinned on that board. Here’s an example from our board of Only Good News Here. It is also worth pointing out at this time that each board has its own unique Url attached to the Url you created within your profile page.
A Closer Look at A Pin
All pins that you create have several unique option within them. In order to view these options, simply click on any individual pin/image from you board and review the various options. Making note of exactly how you can use these options to best market/promote your image.
There are only minor differences between viewing images pinned by you or someone else.
Navigating The Pinterest Home Page.
Click on the Pinterest logo in the top bar to get to the Pinterest Home Page for your account. The premise behind how this page works is the same as Facebook or any other Social network. Displayed here will be any pins/images that your followers/following connections have added. Whenever a new pin is added, it will be shown in this page. Through this page you can view all pins that have been added, in order to view everything simply scroll down to the last pin that you saw and then move up the screen, whilst you are browsing all the latest you are able to use the normal “Like” & “Repin” options.
You will also notice that down the left of your screen, a small navigation panel that shows any activity that has been on your account, repin’s new follow’s, likes etc. Through here you are able to connect up and view other Pinterest profiles and boards.
Browsing and Following Other Boards.
When you browse another Pinterest users boards, you have slightly more options than on other Social Media networks. Most networks currently only allow you to follow everything a user does and all of their updates. However on Pinterest you have the option to’s to either follow all actual or only follow the boards that you find interesting. Once you have created the Follow connection the new pins in that board will show up on your Pinterest Home Page. You may return at any time to your connections and change follow/unfollow settings at any time.
Repinning from anywhere.
Whether you’re viewing new pins from those you follow or pins from browsing the Pinterest network, it’s easy to repin images to your own boards. Simply hover your mouse over the pin’s image and choose to REPIN, LIKE or leave a COMMENT. If you REPIN something, you will be prompted to assign it to one of your boards. If you LIKE something, it doesn’t show up on your boards; however you can view everything you’ve liked from your Profile Page.
As always please add questions or perhaps even additional tips in the comments section of this post. Pinterest is growing at a rapid pace and we can all learn from each other by having an ongoing Pinterest-ing conversation.
The tips above are generally aimed at beginners of the Pinterest platform. In the coming weeks we will also be sharing some more advanced tips and tricks. Please do watch this space and any of our Social Networks for updates.