There is this amazing place I like to frequent. It’s open 24/7, totally free, conveniently located no matter where I am, and custom designed just for me. I love that I can pop in any time I like — for fun, to relax, for information, or for no reason at all. Its doors are always open and the welcome sign beckons.
Where is this special place, you ask?
Welcome to Pinterest – wonderland on the web!
At this point in time, I’m sure there are very few who haven’t at least heard of it, but I’m always surprised by those who don’t use it and often.
How to explain Pinterest…
It’s such a broad resource with so many uses that a short definition is next to impossible, however, CEO, Ben Silbermann, puts it best. “Pinterest is a “catalogue of ideas” that inspires users to “go out and do that thing.””
And, “that thing” is just about anything you want it to be. What is your thing and how does Pinterest actually work?
Pinterest is a gigantic collection of visuals – photos, illustrations, advertisements, infographics – with each linking to an outside website, blog, or business and where further, more detailed information can be found. It’s searchable, much like a digital card catalog and designed to hit on keywords, hashtags, and descriptions in order to filter results.
What can one find there?
In a word – E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!
Do you like collecting recipes? Look no further. After Pinterest, I can’t imagine why anyone would consider investing in a traditional cookbook ever again. A single recipe search may result in hundreds, if not thousands of hits, but it doesn’t end there. I recently started compiling recipes for Instant Pots. Not only did I find more recipes than I’ll ever use, but also how best to clean it, maintain the seals and internal coils, and even how to repair and replace basic parts.
Do you enjoy gardening? For fun, for farm and homestead, for survival? Flowers, orchard, vegetable, potager, herb, water? It’s all there and more. Want to learn how to graft a fruit tree – which veggies grow best together – organic fertilizers and pest controls – best tractor or tools for the job? How about canning peaches, aquaponics, building raised garden beds, or keeping bees?
Maybe you are an artist, craftsperson, woodworker, designer? Pinterest is overflowing with examples, ideas, instructions, and tips for everything you can imagine.
Are you an avid history buff? Is genealogy your thing? Join an endless circle of folks who enjoy the same things and share in their findings.
Do you find fashion exciting, not just current, but from every era? Makeup? Reviews, tutorials, retail links? Health & Wellness? Exercise and Weight Loss?
Actually, you would be hard put to find a topic that ISN’T available on Pinterest! Travel. Outdoors. Sports. Business tips and practices. Employment opportunities. Animals. Cars. Home décor. Family and kids. Weddings. Seasonal & Holidays. Photography. Architecture. Education. Organizational Tips. Music. Beauty. Technology. Motivation and Inspiration. Science and Nature and much, much more. Whew!
While having access to all of that is awesome, who wants to go searching for something every single time it’s needed? It’s great to discover recipes or tips, but it’s not very convenient if you don’t have a way to save and organize all of those wonderful finds. Not a problem!
Pinterest has a fabulous organizational system. You create the equivalent of digital clipboards – plain old “Boards” in the Pinterest world – labeled for each of the topics/categories you choose to collect. A recipe that catches your eye, a gardening tip, a tutorial can all be added (called “pinning”) to your individual boards so as to keep them organized and easily accessible.
Boards can be added (or deleted) at any time and as your collection of pins grows, you can move them around to make searching easier. I started with one gardening board several years ago. Because it grew so large and finding individual pins became a challenge, I broke that board into smaller, more specific categories – Flowers & Herbs, Beautiful Settings, Outdoor Décor, Fruits, Tips & Ideas, Potager/Kitchen Garden, Vegetables, Trees & Shrubs, Yard & Garden Hardscape, Yard & Garden Storage, and Ponds & Water Gardens. It may seem like overkill, but when your pins for a single category reach into the thousands, searching for one is much easier when your boards are not so general.
Accumulating pins over time allows for you to build a wonderful collection of things you enjoy, available in a single place, and offering more every single day. Following others with similar interests also broadens the field. Pinterest helps with that too. As you grow, Pinterest algorithms suggest additional and/or similar topics it thinks may be of interest, allowing for you to expand your pins and boards exponentially. Depending on your interests, it is easy to create an extensive collection in a very short time.
What else does Pinterest offer?
In its early stages, it existed as a resource for personal use – for the sharing of ideas among users. In recent years, however, it has also become a significant advertising tool for large and small businesses alike. When marketed correctly, a single pin can ultimately reach millions of people! It is an international forum with huge visibility potential. Pinterest even offers the opportunity to upgrade to a business account which allows the user to view and track analytics and demographics on each pin, providing an invaluable tool for performance and strategizing. While there are some paid options, most all of this is free!
Another fabulous resource for those looking to promote business endeavors is “Groups.” Pinterest groups exist to help people with similar interests connect and promote their businesses/agendas. Groups are usually by invitation, have specific criteria to be met and guidelines to follow, but can be exceptional marketing tools when utilized consistently.
Groups generally work like this. You save a marketing pin of your own to a group board. (and save a pin of someone else’s to a board of yours) Perhaps ten people from that group who each have 25,000 followers choose to save your pin to their boards. Now, those ten people who have saved times the 25,000 people EACH who follow them equals 250,000 people who have just seen your original pin. But, that’s just the beginning! Now each of those 250,000 people also have followers who have followers who have followers. And, in most cases, these followers have similar interests so it’s not just random. See how this works? It’s very specific marketing with great potential.
There are also software programs designed to help with the consistent pinning required to generate a strong online presence and to be visible in search engine rankings. These programs offer automatic programming that allows scheduling of pins on chosen days and at specific times, streamlining the whole process. Buffer and Hootsuite are just two of these, but Pinterest actually offers one of its own – Tailwind. I love this service and rely very heavily on it. It helps to plan and organize a pin strategy, minimize the time necessary to consistent pinning, and provides analytics on the performance of each and every pin. Tailwind even has its OWN group boards – called Tribes.
Are you beginning to see that Pinterest is far more than a website full of pictures? From a business/search engine perspective, it is a remarkable and far-reaching marketing tool. For those who just love to browse great recipes, research gardening tips, or discover a fun DIY project, it’s a comprehensive, ever-ready, ever-growing resource. No matter your level of involvement or need, Pinterest has a vast offering.
I have been with Pinterest for a very long time. It’s my go-to for almost everything these days because it is so extremely diverse. At the present, I have 198 boards – some are business, some are personal, some are the group boards I’m a part of, and some are set to secret. (another neat feature Pinterest offers for boards and pins you don’t want out there for all the world to see) These visible boards contain 24,497 public pins, 3,777 secret pins, and 4,760,993 pins on the group boards of which I am a part. Add several thousand more for the Tailwind Tribes and you can get a rough idea of the reach Pinterest has.
Even knowing this, however, and using it heavily for business, it is far from my favorite part. I’m still back there pinning ideas to my gardening boards, beautiful holiday decorations, and farmhouse décor. I’ll always grab a pin for that perfect quilt pattern, inspirational quote, or soup recipe and know that I’ll find exactly what I’m looking for and lots more to boot. That’s what I like about Pinterest the most. It’s like a never-ending encyclopedia, library, database, sage, classroom, offering a well-spring of information from which I get to pick and choose and create a customized collection all my own.
I absolutely love it and, if you’ve not yet taken the plunge, I encourage you to do so. If you already have, then you’re probably not reading this anyway because you’re over there pinning away.
If you’d like to see what my Pinterest boards and pins look like and get an idea of what kinds of Group boards I’m a part of, click HERE. Following is as simple as clicking the red FOLLOW box at the top. Thanks! Hope to see you there!
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works — Hebrews 10:24