I was a pretty early adopter of Pinterest and have been in love with it from day one. So in love with it in fact that I considered applying to work for them. You think I’m kidding but I seriously almost applied. I decided I needed to stay in Phoenix so I didn’t but there were many, many days where I sat there looking at that job listing.
Nonetheless, I’ve found that over the years as the site has added new features that there are a lot of fantastic things on there that some people never pick up on. Since I love some of them so much I thought I’d point them out, as well as share some general tips that fit in with this topic! So here we go…
+ Look for good pinners to follow, not just good pins
I used to only use Pinterest to follow people that I knew and to browse my favorite categories. I would rarely follow other random people or boards. The biggest turning point for me came when I realized that if I found people who pinned really good stuff and followed them that I would constantly have a good stream of stuff to check out on Pinterest without ever needing to go to any of the category boards! Duh!
I obviously still enjoy browsing the category boards, but it is nice to have more awesome stuff coming through in my feed. Especially when I’m just taking a few minutes to browse from my phone when I’m killing time. And usually the stuff in my feed is more tailored to what I care about than a general category board can be because I’m following people who have the same tastes I do.
+ Utilize the ability to follow individual boards instead of individual people
When it comes to friends…feel free to unfollow specific boards of theirs that don’t interest you. For example, all the teacher idea boards that I hate seeing. Instead of not following that person altogether, I just unfollow that one board. Clearing some of these boards out of my Pinterest feed has made such a huge difference for me.
The best way I’ve found for deciding if I want to follow a pinner (ie all their boards) or just some of their boards is by viewing their recent pins. If I like everything I see then I’m more inclined to follow the pinner, otherwise I just select a few boards that interest me. Examining a pinner’s recent pins can tell you a lot about what kind of pinner they are!
+ View related pins and boards for a good pin
This has become the most useful way for me to find quality stuff on Pinterest. When I see something I like I take a look at the related pins. Sometimes that pin is pinned on other boards that would interest me so I check out other boards with that pin. This is sometimes how I find new boards to follow. But more often than not it’s the “related pins” down at the bottom that are the most interesting to me.
Here’s an example…let’s say you see a headboard you really like and you’ve been wanting to update your bedroom by getting a new headboard. Chances are the pin is just on a general “home decor” board so looking through that board won’t help you with your headboard inspiration. But when you scroll down to the related pins suddenly you have 50 more headboards to look at! I find this gets me much better results than simply using the search feature on Pinterest.
Or another example…you see an outfit you really like, and while the related pins are also cute clothes, the real jackpot occurs when you check out a couple of the related boards and realize that you share the same taste in clothes as those pinners. New boards to follow!
How to view related pins
Click on a pin to open it up, either in it’s own window or as an overlay on the page you’re currently on. Here’s a pin of an office setup that I like.
The “Related Pins” section is one of my favorite features on Pinterest!
+ Differentiate between inspirational pins and practical ones
I have a tendency to create two boards in the same category if I can differentiate inspiration pins from practical ones. For example: home decor pins are oftentimes things that I like the look of but they aren’t actual how-to articles. I have a separate board where I pin things that are actual projects I might want to attempt someday (usually they link to instructions for the project). I like doing things this way because it’s fun to look at my fashion board or my home decor inspiration board and just enjoy browsing through it. If I’m trying to find a practical pin that I know I have somewhere it’s easier to find it quickly since it’s only floating around with my other how-to pins.
+ If you’re pinning travel things for a trip, consider creating a Place Board
In fact, if you’re planning a trip I’d highly recommend specifically searching for Place Boards for your destination! I could go into a lot more about how to utilize Pinterest for travel planning but that will have to be another post for another day. To view place boards just search for whatever you’re looking for then switch to viewing boards instead of pins. And finally select “Place Boards” instead of “All Boards”.
+ Pay attention to the description when re-pinning
I think this is just a personal pet-peeve of mine, but I find it weird when looking at the pins in my feed and I see a description that makes no sense. As in there’s no way that person would be saying that. And then I realize… they re-pinned it without changing the description. A description of “These tips have been so helpful to me!” on a pin about first trimester pregnancy advice might freak someone out if you’re single and not actually pregnant. It’s great to file those tips away for future use but be careful for heavens sake.
Regardless of my pet peeve there really is a practical side to this tip as well. The text in the description is what gets utilized by the search bar so helpful descriptions help everyone out. I try to make sure the descriptions match the pin first and then add any commentary after.
+ Try to avoid pinning bad links
While we’re on the topic of pet peeves, I’m sure the most common Pinterest annoyance is when a pin doesn’t have a valid link (or it has a spammy one). Some pins, say a picture of beautiful granite countertops or a stunning picture of Ireland, don’t really need to be more than just a pretty image. But for a lot of things on Pinterest it’s the content behind the pin that holds value. I try to never re-pin something without first checking out the content behind the pin first unless the pin isn’t meant to be practical (ie clothes or granite countertops, etc). Nobody wants to click on a beautiful image of “The best pumpkin bread ever!” and find that the link is bad.
Those are my initial tips and advice for using Pinterest. If I think of anymore down the road maybe I can do a Part 2 post. What about you guys? Any Pinterest tips?