Thursday, June 14, 2012

10 Ways to Get More Out of Your Pinterest Account

10 Ways to Get More Out of Your Pinterest Account, for users just starting out and see #5-10 for advanced user tips.

Starting Out

1.  Link your account to follow all your Facebook/Twitter friends.

They already know you! Plus, it’s a quick way to really jump in and see what Pinterest has to offer-based on what your friends are pinning. You may quickly start to see what things you are and aren’t interested in, in which case, check out tip #2 and #6.

2. Check out the categories at the top.

Roll your mouse over the word “Everything” in the top tab and instantly the famous Pinterest categories list pops up.  Each category holds a feed of what people are pinning based on each of those categories, and it goes on forever.  Refresh it, and you’ll see that it’s pretty much operating live. You might see things that don’t belong in that category because right now Pinterest is having an issue with people mislabeling their boards and some are possibly marketing scams.  Don’t fret! Just keep scrolling, because soon enough you will find something in the category that makes your mouth smile, your eyes tear, and your heart sing- right next to the obvious marketing scam or annoying miscategorized item.

3. Like things!

Just like on Facebook, Pinterest allows you to like things, but Pinterest lets you keep record of all those items. There’s no proper etiquette for which pins you should “Like” and which you should “Repin”, but if you’re first starting out, I’d recommend exploring and “liking” things first, knowing that you can go back and organize it later. You can see all your like-d items by rolling your mouse over your account at the top right of the page.  It’s a really good way to keep track of the pin you want to organize in the future.

4. Create Your Boards

Pinterest has a default set of boards you can use, or you can scrap them and make your own.   There’s no official standards for how you should set these up, but typically the more specific you get the better.  Let your creative juices flow! Basing them on the categories mentioned in tip #2, is a good idea also, so you don’t contribute to the miscategorization problem :/ Feel free to pin original items using the “Add +” button on the top right corner. “Add a pin” is for linking a website, which is the most popular method. “Upload a pin” is a great way to upload something of your own, like a great travel photo or a successful craft. There’s rumors about licensing, but so far none of the radical claims have been proven true.  To be safe, if you don’t own the material, just make sure the proper link is attached somewhere to the pin. It’s really NBD.

5. Start Pinning!

Once you’ve done your exploring, followed your friends, and you’ve created a rough set of boards, it’s time to start pinning like crazy. You may want to pack yourself a water bottle and a snack, keep your phone close by, and put on some sweats, because most people hardly come up for air when they first get going on Pinterest.  Seriously, it’s addicting.  Again, don’t worry! This behavior is normal. Keep the tab open all the time and eventually you will begin the desensitization process, pinning like a machine, but capable of stopping at your own will. Once you’ve hit this phase, congratulations, you are ready for the last 5 tips.

Advanced Tips

6. Unfollowing Boards

Pinterest is a positive community, you can’t downgrade things or dislike them, but some hardcore pinners-would like to. Everybody has those facebook friends that pin things that annoy us to death, for me it was “thinspiration” pics next to Paula Dean recipes all over my home page.  When I discovered the “unfollow” feature, it made my day probably as much as the “unsubscribe” feature on facebook.  Once you start spotting the boards your friends are pinning to that you dislike, simply click on their account, find the suspect “board”, and simply click, unfollow beneath it.  You can also click “unfollow all” if you want to be super dramatic. They don’t get a notification for it, so why not?  It really cleans up your home page.  Pinterest is what you make it, so be selfish! Also, it’s good to use on those annoying friends that go-or think they go-to your rival school and pin annoying memes about it all the time. Unfollow, and smirk.

7. Editing Your Pins

Another cool feature I’ve started to use is Editing pins. My dream closet board was starting to get large and unruly, so I created a new one for jewelry.  Instead of repinning all your items and invading your friends’ feeds, simply roll your mouse over the pin, click edit, change it to the board of choice, and click save.  You’ll notice the pin is now on your new board and no longer on your old one. It’s a good way to spring clean and really organize your boards.  

8. Find The Best Pinners to Follow

There’s a lot of blogs rolling with the Pinterest wave, making it easier for basic users to go on a following binge with no regrets. For example, and create regular features for creative readers/trade insiders that are great pinners to follow.  Also, never underestimate the power of a good Google search for your specific interest of pinners. Use the search feature to find famous designers, companies, artists, photographers, and blogs themselves that you know from the “outside”, because almost all professional creatives have a Pinterest account nowadays.

9. Labels and the Search Feature

Pinterest has a couple of disadvantages heavy users know all too well about; the categories are a little off, and the search results don’t go back as far as we all know they should. With the growing popularity of the site, these things are bound to change, but one way we can improve the experience ourselves is to label as much as we can. I know I’ve been guilty of pinning things with no text or just symbols and having uncategorized boards. It may not solve the problem completely, but it will help your pins be found more easily, and especially if the search results pages gets fixed.  

10. Get Ideas from the “Popular” section

If you’re looking to gain followers, on top of organizing your boards, labeling things properly, and connecting through other social media, it’s a good idea to take notes on the “popular” section.  It may be too mainstream to be your cup of tea, but still there’s some treasures in the lot. Check out the original pinners and see if they have any boards worth following, click through blogs that may be referenced, and it’s a quick way to see what’s trending amongst the entire community.

Pinterest is a site that helps you connect with the world visually and creatively, so don’t ever hold back!

Bonus Safety Tips:-Make sure you flag all inappropriate pins!
-If a pin claims that you have won a contest, Google that sh*t to see if it’s real!
-Remember, Pinterest is PUBLIC and all pins can be traced back to its original upload, so pin wisely!

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