I first heard about Pinterest over a year ago from a friend who offered me an invite. It was deep in Beta and I believe in those days you could only log on with a Facebook account. The new social media site appealed to me as a bookmarking site where I could keep ideas for my first apartment, recipes and the like. For those of you who are not familiar, users curate bulletin boards of their favorite images from around the web, which link to the original page the image was found on. Users follow others’ boards and can browse the entirety of content being pinned at that moment. I barely followed anyone because only a few of my friends were on Pinterest and I had no idea that there would be big businesses and brands with accounts and boards to follow.
These days I follow dozens of friends, bloggers, and brands and my Twitter feed is all a buzz about the potential this social media service offers. Every day it seems there is a new article popping up about how to use Pinterest.
One of the first reads I would recommend to new pinners is this article from Mashable on the top 10 brands on Pinterest and this article on the most-followed users (not just brands) also from Mashable. Both provide some great examples of brands to follow and will help users get inspired for boards of their own.
Another find from Mashable is this article on cool hacks, or tricks, for boards, like how to turn the thumbnail of a board into a mini-mosaic. These neat tricks will help new users master their boards and turn their account into more of a showpiece. Many people, including me, have started creating boards as part of their online resume. I have pinned articles I wrote for my school newspaper, other online work I’ve done, and ideas and articles about topics in the field I’d like to work in. It’s a great way to show social media-minded employers what you’ve done and what ideas you can bring to a position.
One of the latest trends is for businesses and nonprofits to curate their own profiles on Pinterest. Individual products lend themselves well to marketing on Pinterest, and an article from LinchPin SEO gives some ideas of how this can be accomplished. For more general marketing ideas, SproutSocial has an article of their own. Nonprofits can have their own marketing challenges and their own approaches to social media marketing, but still have found ideas for using Pinterest for their causes.
But like any new platform, there are always risks. An article on TechFlash highlights some of the precautions that businesses should take when starting their account on. When used prudently and creatively, Pinterest can be a great tool in any person, business, or nonprofit’s toolbelt.