Of all the social media sites to have rocketed into the most heavily populated regions of cyberspace over recent years, Pinterest is without a doubt my favourite. If you don’t have it – you’re missing out. Big time.
Pinning has become a daily activity for me. I fire up the Pinterest app on my iPhone whenever I have some down time – usually on public transport or in some hideously long queue at the bank or post office. To onlookers, I expect that I look rather foolish as I scroll down my homepage, gaping at all of the beautiful images on display.
As someone who adores colour and design, this site is simply perfect for me. However, Pinterest is not just a place for pretty pictures. In fact, it is blossoming into quite the multi-functional social media tool that can, and should, be used by all. Let me tell you why.
The great thing about Pinterest is its sharing prospects. If I pin something from my home page – or ‘pin feed’, as it’s called – all of those following me will see the image on their feed. They may in turn pin the same image to one of their boards, and so the process continues.
The whole point of pinning an image to one’s board is for future reference – the site essentially works as a portfolio of ideas and inspiration. Thus, someone will pin your ‘greatest brownie recipe ever’ image to their ‘baking ideas’ board and, when they feel so inclined they will click on the image and be taken directly to your website (provided you have set up the pin correctly) for your ground-breaking recipe. True to your word, your recipe was so fantastic that when their friends ask where they got the recipe from, they point them in the direction of their ‘baking ideas’ board on Pinterest. Hey presto, your site has more traffic.
However, it goes without saying that the effects are not, as my enthusiastic ‘hey presto’ may have suggested, instantaneous. As with all social-media tools, it takes a little time – you need to be actively uploading your own pins, and repining others, as well as following as many other pinners as possible, in the hope that they will follow you back. But eventually, once your pins have been shared enough times, your site or blog will start to see the benefits.
For businesses of any size, the prospects of Pinterest are vast and ever changing. Today I am making a pin board for ‘baking ideas’; tomorrow I may create a board for ‘places to eat in Manchester’. If you own a restaurant in Manchester, you’ll want your pin on my board. Alternatively, take the opportunity to capitalise on trends – during my time spent working at a PR agency, I assisted with the upkeep of a the Pinterest account for a client in the food industry. It was decided that creating a ‘Great British Bake Off’ board of pins would be a great way to gain followers who in the future may be attracted to content more focused on the company and its products.
The general rule for creating pins is to opt for a portrait image – as this works best for the format of the site – as well as engaging text to draw in potential pinners. Using two fonts, and two or three different colours in your text will create an exciting and professional-looking image. There are plenty of websites (such as picmonkey) or editing tools (such as Adobe Photoshop or Pixelmator) that will allow you to edit images in the required way.
For Personal Use
Fashion and beauty fixes
There is simply an array of images on Pinterest to aid you with all of your fashion needs. You can build up a fashion board full of pins, and scroll through for outfit or shopping inspiration whenever needed. You could even have multiple boards, for example: ‘casual’, ‘workplace’, ‘winter’, ‘evening wear’ – whatever suits your needs.
The same goes for hair and beauty. I simply searched ‘mid-length hair styles’ for some ideas before heading out to a party last weekend. The results were abundant, and clicking on the actual pins took me to tutorials, either in the form of a blog, web page, or video. Perfectly convenient.
Home décor ideas
I so want a pantry. When I eventually get round to having my kitchen refurbished, I will ensure that a pantry is in the plans if it is the last thing I do. So I have, of course, used Pinterest for pantry ideas, and it didn’t disappoint. There were so many wonderful pantries, in so many weird and resourceful locations (under the stairs, for example!) that I ended up spending a good twenty minutes looking at, and pinning images of pantries to my ‘kitchen ideas’ board.
As a lover of design in general, scrolling through the home décor images is probably one of my favourite things to do – it’s like reading a glossy magazine for free.
Next month I’m hosting a barbeque for a group of friends, and I’ve already started to add pins to my ‘styling outdoor space’ board, in preparation for turning my small back yard into an outdoor sanctuary of lights, lanterns and cushions.
The travel pins on the site are simply to die for. When I recently went for a long weekend in Paris, I created a whole board dedicated to the city, and when I was there I was able to look at my pins and remind myself of all the things I wanted to do. There were pins about specific bakeries, restaurants, sites, shops, hotels, and more.
I also have a more general board full of pins containing new travel ideas, as well as travel advice that I want to be able to revisit next time I’m leaving the country. Sometimes, when I’m in need of some motivation to get myself out of bed and into work in the mornings, I scroll through my ‘travel the world’ board, just to remind myself of where my hard-earned salary will eventually end up.
Other popular board ideas on the site include recipes, weddings, exercise ideas, arts and crafts, photography, drinks, and more. In short, Pinterest is simply the best thing since sliced bread, and I’m not exaggerating one jot. An online scrapbook of ideas to make those precious hours spent outside of work just that little bit more Pinteresting (see what I did there?).