Pinterest is a pinboard-style social network focused on photo-sharing. Users can create and manage theme-based image collections and "pin" images to those "boards" by uploading photos, linking to images/content online, or by re-pinning images from other users' boards.
Individuals and Businesses can create their own profiles on Pinterest to collect and share images. Users can "Follow" other users on Pinterest to view a newsfeed of the most recent images pinned by those users. Like Twitter, Following does not have to be reciprocal.
Who's on Pinterest?
Pinterest has a much smaller user base than Facebook at this time, but it is growing quickly. As of September 2012, Pinterest had 50 million users and was one of the fastest growing independent websites ever recorded. In the United States, Pinterest users are dominated by women - nearly 70% of users of the site are female. The type of content most commonly found on Pinterest - fashion, food, decorating, wedding styles, craft projects, etc. - seem to be a result of the large number of women who use the site.
Most of the users are between 26 and 54 years old. Users spend a lot of time on the site. In May 2012, a study showed that the average Pinterest user spends over 400 minutes/month on the site, equaling the time the average user spends on Facebook.
Compared to other social networks, Pinterest users are also the most likely to make a purchase based on viewing information on the site. Pinterest drives more direct purchases than any other social network.
How does it work?
Users create a free personal account at pinterest.com. If you want to create a Business account for your organization, you can do that here: https://pinterest.com/business/create.
Once you create an account, you can do three main things:
- 1) Search Pinterest for images ("pins") you might be interested in.
- 2) Create your own pinboards and pins that others will be able to find and share from your profile.
- 3) Find other users on Pinterest you know or would like to connect with and "Follow" their pins.
After you've created some pinboards and posted some pins, your profile will look similar to this profile from URJ Camp Harlam:
When you follow other users, you'll receive a customized newsfeed of the most recent pins those users have posted on their profile. It will look something like this:
You'll see this real-time newsfeed each time you login to Pinterest.
Connecting your Website Content to Pinterest
If you have images that you'd like others to share on Pinterest, you can make it easy by adding a "Pin it" button to pages on your site that have those images. The following page on Etsy.com shows how this "Pin it" button can be used to allow others to share your content on their own pinboards:
If others share your content, their pins will act as links back to your website. This is a great way to build interest and awareness in your organization in Pinterest.
Ideally, lots of people will be sharing content from your website on Pinterest, driving new traffic to your site. To find out if any pins have been posted from your website, simply type in the following URL in your browser: www.pinterest.com/source/ <YOUR WEBSITE URL>
If anyone has pinned content from your site recently it will display; below is an example from searching for content from www.ranchcamp.org:
If you find someone sharing content from your site, you may want to find out who they are. You can Follow them on Pinterest and potentially reach out to them personally.