Understanding and using Pinterest
in an effective way.
By Jen Stott
What is Pinterest?
Great for collecting recipes, decorating ideas, crafts, quotes,
vacation information, activities for kids, gift ideas, articles, etc.
What is a pin?
It’s the link to the source that makes a pin so useful, and it’s the
picture that grabs our attention and makes it memorable.
What is a board?
You can title your board anything at all, and pin whatever you want
to your boards. You decide what is important to you.
Secret boards are seen only by you.
Group boards are used by many people, making it easy to
collaborate or share ideas.
STEP ONE: Creating Boards
When you join Pinterest, they give you a few boards to start with, and assign a few
people for you to follow. You can choose to keep, edit, or delete these. You can add
new boards by clicking “Create a Board.”
Give boards as specific or general a topic as you
want. Create as many boards as you want.
Scroll to the bottom
to create secret
boards that only
you can see.
See your boards by clicking “boards” in the drop
Click and drag boards
Arrange by frequency of usage,
group like boards together, make
them alphabetical, or anything
that suits you.
Group boards are a great way to collaborate or
add pins to a very specific topic.
Click the “EDIT” button to change the name of the board, add or change the
description, choose a category, make it a group board, or even delete the board.
STEP TWO: Pinning
The easiest way to start pinning whatever you
want is to install the “Pin It” bookmarklet or
button on your browser.
Do this by going to: about.pinterest.com/goodies
And clicking on “Install Now” next to “The Pin It Button”
Pinning from Websites
Now that you have the Pin It Button, you’ll be
able to pin great content from around the web.
When you find a
website you want
to pin, hit the “Pin
It” button and a
pop up box will
appear. You can
then choose a
picture, add a
board to pin to.
Sometimes it’s even easier
Some sites have a “Pin
It” Button built in.
Often (not always)
these will choose the
picture and description
You can always change
Pinning from Pinterest
Your news feed will show all the recent pins to
the boards that you follow.
If you see
want to pin to
your own boards,
hover over that
pin, then click
the “Pin It”
button that is on
that pin. You can
then add a
board to pin it to.
This is called a
If you don’t want to pin…
You may want
to “like” by
You can also
Find your “likes” later in
the drop down menu.
Others will not be able to
see your likes.
STEP THREE: Pinning Etiquette
Where does a pin come from?
Pins can come from anywhere on the web. If it has
a url and a picture it can be pinned.
(You can also upload your own photos directly to Pinterest,
and then there will be no linking website.)
Many companies and blogs work hard to produce content that will look good on
Pinterest, and encourage people to repin.
When people click on these pins, they are taken to the corresponding website, so
Pinterest is an important source of traffic for many
businesses and blogs.
It is considered bad form to edit the url, or pin from a source other than the one
that created the content.
Double check the url of the pin’s link.
Most websites have multiple pages. Many of
them have a home page, and then other more
specific pages or posts.
so you may
Navigate to the specific page or post.
The URL’s of specific posts or pages rarely change. Be sure you have
navigated to that page or post before pinning.
Write a good description.
Pinterest cannot search the photos, it can only
search the descriptions. To find your pins, use
what is in
Tips for Descriptions
You can tag your friends with the @ sign. Start
typing their name, and Pinterest will bring up
a list of your friends to choose from.
You can add prices by using the $ or £. This
will show up as a banner on the pin.
Use # hashtags to make pins more searchable.
Do not add the entire recipe or DIY instructions
in a pin description. It hurts the person who
created the content in the first place.
This pin will most likely be repinned by others,
so avoid using personal information.
Click the pencil to edit your pin.
Choose a Board
Edit the description
Edit the url
Delete the pin
Open the pin by clicking on it.
STEP FOUR: Finding Good Content
When you find someone to follow you can click “Follow All” to follow all their boards, or
just pick and choose individual boards to follow. You can also unfollow the same way.
Find content by category
Find similar content
This shows you the
board it was originally
This shows you other
pins from the same
Using the search bar
Remember that Pinterest searches words in the
description. It cannot search what is in the photo.
Enter a search term in the
Choose whether to search
PINS, BOARDS, or PINNERS.
Choose whether to search
through just your pins, or all
See what’s trending
Look for popular people
Find famous or popular people or businesses, and find out who they are
following and what they are pinning.
Connect with friends
The top left corner of your
news feed is where you will
find friend suggestions, often
from your facebook friends.
You can also use the search bar
to search for friends.
Often your friends will have
similar interests, so by
following one another you can
share great content.
STEP FIVE: Manage your account
This button is
It tells you when
you get new
tags or comments.
Also, look for
the mobile app,
so you can pin
on the go.
Have fun collecting quotes and recipes,
cataloging vacation spots, re-reading your
favorite articles, or planning your bathroom
Keep in mind that Pinterest is a dynamic and
changing place, and it will most likely have small
and large changes during the coming years.