Pinterest is one of the newest heavyweights on the social networking scene. Unlike on Facebook, MySpace, or Google+, however, individual users do not chat directly or communicate through status updates and related comments. Rather, Pinterest operates as a digital corkboard, allowing users to “pin” images of interest on various “boards.” Users frequently have many boards organizing areas of interests, such as a board for health and fitness, a board for fashion, or a board for humor. The images that are pinned may be simply photographs or may be posters, allowing some written words to provide context, humor, or information.
The pins can operate as links to other sites, with only a photograph or image, rather than a URL address, appearing on one’s “boards.” Beneath each image is a brief description provided by the user who posted the pin. The image and the description are the hooks that draw in Pinterest users to click on your pins and, hopefully, drum up additional viewers for your website, blog, or other digital realm. Additionally, Pinterest has an invaluable feature that allows users to automatically report posted pins on Facebook and Twitter, thereby cutting down on the time needed to spread a digital creation throughout one’s social media spectrum. By becoming a first stop for posting digital media, Pinterest has secured a lasting presence on the Internet. Many users who might not be sold on Pinterest may be won over by its ability to post links directly to Facebook and Twitter, saving time while expanding digital clout.
Pinterest’s growing popularity makes it a necessary addition to anyone’s social media repertoire. To gain a sizable Pinterest following one must become proficient at choosing images that are appealing and convey the messages depicted in his or her promoted materials, be they blog, news, prose, poetry, art, or otherwise. One must also be able to develop short, catchy, interest-piquing captions or blurbs to describe the material depicted in the image. While mastering these concepts, a new Pinterest user should begin following other users, particularly users who share similar interests. When following other users one can follow boards individually, choosing to only receive updates when another user has pinned to his or her “poetry” board, “politics” board, or “art” board.
When a user clicks on another user’s pins they have the option of “repinning” that pin to his or her own board, thereby allowing a Pinterest user to add to his or her own material. Repinning other user’s materials encourages reciprocal behavior, allowing a new user to develop a following. Similar to Facebook, users on Pinterest can also “like” other users’ pins. Liking another user’s pin does not repin it, preventing one’s boards from growing cluttered.