In the last few years, Pinterest has transformed from social network lightweight to one of the biggest names in the industry. The scrapbook-like social network has blown up since its 2010 inception, quietly collecting 10 million unique monthly visitors faster than any other social media site in history, while continually adding intuitive features such as the newly-implemented Guided Search. It’s a tool for inspiration and brainstorming, among other things, serving as a means of sharing and exploring visual content from like-minded individuals around the globe. The site’s massive growth is, in part, due to a search algorithm that compiles unexpected results. Pinterest claims that the array of interesting results can inspire users to, say, to make a new kind of martini than the one you’d originally intended. What’s more, according to the social analytics firm, 8thBridge, online retailers now prefer advertising on Pinterest more than other social media sites. Nonetheless, though most people welcomed the popular site with open arms, not everyone has yet to get on board — well, at least not yet.
Here’s our guide to Pinterest, so you can spend less time fumbling through horrendous boards and more time pinning a Grade-A offering of your own. Moreover, check out the official Digital Trends Pinterest page and our suggestions on how to get Pinterest famous using hashtags, popular topics, and your own creativity.
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It should go without saying, but you need to activate a Pinterest account before can use the social networking site. The service is entirely free to use, and moreover, setting up a profile takes less than two minutes of your time — whether utilizing the service’s Web or mobile offering. Follow the instruction below to sign up.
Step 1: Head over to Pinterest — Navigate to the main Pinterest website.
Step 2: Sign up with Pinterest — Choose whether you’d like to sign up using your Facebook account or email address. If you select the Facebook option, enter your appropriate login information and allow Pinterest to access your basic account info, email address, birthday, and other information like you would any other app. If you select the email option, enter your name and email address in the resulting text fields prior to specifying your password and gender.
Step 3: Verify your Pinterest account — Check the email account you registered with Pinterest for a confirmation email. Once found, click the red Confirm Your Email button to verify your account.
Step 4: Tweak your settings — Click your name in the top-right corner of the Pinterest taskbar, and select the Setting option near the top of the resulting drop-down menu. Once there, you can edit various components of your user profile such as your bio, photo, search privacy, and location. Furthermore, you can use the panel to opt out of email notifications and link your Pinterest profile with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other popular services.
Learn the Pinterest lingo
Terminology is key to properly navigating any kind of website. That said, even Pinterest has its lingo you should learn if you’d rather not remain in the dark regarding the site’s various functions and features. Many of them are similar to those you would find on Facebook and Twitter, but there are few exception you should familiarize yourself with before pressing forward. Check out the brief breakdown below for a more information.
- Boards: In a way, Pinterest boards are much like the deteriorating cork boards of yesteryear. The virtual walls, which are typically content-specific, provide a space where you can post various images and articles you’d like to share with others. Boards function in a similar manner to your Facebook Timeline, yet they present content in grid format that’s far more visually engaging when scrolling through.
- Pins: Pins are visual bookmarks detailing everything from you favorite lasagna recipe to popular film trailers. The posts are essentially the site’s namesake and the means by which you share your content. You “pin” something to your board as you would tweet or post on Facebook, except pins take on larger visual element than posts on other social networks.
- Repins: If you’re an avid Twitter user, you can think of repins much like retweets. Repinning content allows you to share others’ pins on your own board, while showing your appreciation for others’ finds and adorning the appropriate board of your choice with something other than your own.
- Comments: As you might expect, comments are merely another way you can provide feedback or respond to a particular pin. Comments on Pinterest work nearly the same way as they do on any other social media site, but unlike Facebook or Instagram, they’re far less pervasive and encapsulate only text.
- Likes: Again, likes on Pinterest are similar to those found on a bevy of popular social networks. If you “like” a particular pin, you can show your interest and refer back to it later without having post the content on your own wall. Unfortunately, there’s no dislike button to show your apparent lack of interest, though.
Understand the taskbar
The Pinterest taskbar is the convenient navigation bar spanning the width of the site, conveniently located at the top of every page for quick access regardless of where you are on the site. The left-hand side of the taskbar houses a menu icon — represented by three horizontal bars — that allows you to filter board results based on a particular category, such as tattoos and history. Options for uploading a particular pin and creating new boards rest on the opposite side of the taskbar, along with a notification button detailing recent activity. The taskbar also features a search bar on the left-hand side for locating more specific inquires, as well as the aforementioned drop-down menu housing your settings and options for following boards and friends.
Link your other social networks
Everything is connected these days. Although Pinterest is a terrific platform on its own, the social aspect of the service works best when you tether it with you existing accounts elsewhere. To link the service with other social media accounts, click your name in the top-right corner of the Pinterest taskbar, and select the Setting option near the top of the resulting drop-down menu. Afterward, toggle the switch directly right of the social network you wish to connect Pinterest with, entering the necessary login credentials and authorizing the app when prompted. Additional options vary depending on the social network, but platforms such as Facebook will also post your Pinterest activity on your Timeline if you choose to let it.
Social networks are all about who you know (to a certain extent). Click your name in the top-right corner of the Pinterest taskbar, and select the Find Friends option near the middle of the resulting drop-down menu. Afterward, choose the social network from which you want to cull friends from by clicking the corresponding tab in the upper-right corner of the page — that is, assuming you previously linked your social networks — and click the gray Follow button beneath the friend you wish follow. As you might expect, you can only follow friends from other social networks who possess a Pinterest account.
Next Page: Engaging with others