How to Use Pinterest? (Beginners Guide)

Pinterest has managed to grab 3 million users in a very short period of time. Considering that it’s still invite only, this is an amazing success. Why is Pinterest doing so well, and can you use it to market your brand? Let’s start with how it works. 

What is Pinterest?

It is a social bookmarking site that has branded itself as a virtual pin board. Users share pictures and videos on their boards, which are publicly available to everybody. Besides being strictly for sharing visual content, it differs from some of the other social networks because of the fact that all of the content is categorized and searchable. 

People are using this site to look for ideas, not just to talk with friends. This is one of the reasons why it’s already driving so much traffic to retailers. Here are the basic Pinterest features of the site.

– Pins – This is an image or a video that a user shares with their audience. The content can come from a website, or the user can upload it from their own computer. You can attach a description to the content. 

– Boards – You organize your pins into categories called boards. The site gives you a set of default boards, but you can change their names and add as many as you like. – 

– Following  You can follow another user, or just follow one or a few of their boards. This way, users receive an update whenever somebody they follow pins something on a board that they are following.

– Repin  This allows you to pin an image or video that you discovered on somebody else’s board on one of your own boards. It gives credit to the person who originally pinned it. No matter how many times something is pinned, it still links back to the original image. 

– Likes  If you like something but don’t want to pin it on your board, you can simply “like” it instead. 

– Pin Toolbar – Pinterest has a button that you can install on your browser so that you don’t even need to visit Pinterest in order to pin something to your board. You just push the “Pin it” button and it lets you choose which photos from the page you want to pin. 

– Sharing Pinterest is seamlessly integrated with Twitter and Facebook so that users can easily share pins on either social network. 

Pinterest for Brands

Pinterest can be a great resource for brands for three reasons. 

  1. Discoverability If you don’t make the top ten search results in Google, it’s unlikely anybody will ever find your site. Not so on Pinterest. The entire site is built around the premise that it’s a great way to find out about new things. You can browse Pinterest by topic, and stay current with the people you are following. Things that get repinned or liked on Pinterest can quickly make their way in front of a lot of people. Since Pinterest is always being updated, the “top spot” isn’t always dominated by the same brand. It’s always something new, which means you have a much better chance of getting discovered. 
  2. Backlinks Every pin sends a link back to the page it came from. Every time it is repinned, yet another link is sent. This means that Pinterest can be a great source of backlinks, especially if an image goes viral. 
  3. Brand Loyalty Your biggest fans can show their support by pinning your content or even by devoting an entire board to you. This kind of recommendation is much more powerful than the recommendation you get from an advertisement. Pinterest is a great way to promote your brand if you have a visually oriented website. Pinterest is a very niche site and isn’t appropriate for all brands. Spend some time browsing the site and see if there’s a place for your brand on this site. If so, join in and, as always, become a useful part of the community.