As a follow-up to my other post on Pinterest, I would like to update my progress in regards to both my usage and my opinion of the site. It is safe to say that I visit Pinterest several times on a daily basis — although I only spend about 5-10 minutes at a time. Unlike Facebook, you can survey many pins quickly; and like Twitter, if you are following a lot of other users, your homepage can change very quickly.
For me, Pinterest’s strongest feature is its casual nature. I do not feel the need to personally know or even like the people I follow on Pinterest. Rather I connect with their ideas and their admirations — like a great big brainstorming session. Pinterest’s board feature is genius in this aspect; in that you can effectively tune-out of the ideas and admirations that you do not share with another pinner without tuning them out completely (more on this in a bit).
With that being said, my point of attack with Pinterest is to follow many pinners….often. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t blindly follow fellow pinners for the sake of following someone. I will go to their actual profile and scan to see that a good majority of their pins are of things that I find interesting. However once I follow someone, I keep an eye on the pins that are populating my home page. Very frequently, I’ll see a group of pins that I’m not really interested in, and if they are coming from the same pinboard, then I’ll go in an unfollow the board. By doing this, it is not a personal slight against the person. In fact, Pinterest does not notify you or any other pinner whenever you have been unfollowed, so it’s unlikely to even be noticed. In my opinion, I am on Pinterest in frequent, but short periods of time. I do not want my home page cluttered with pins that do not pique my interest.
But wait, maybe I jumped the gun here. You may be wondering, “How do you find people to follow in the first place”? Well what I do is search all pins for a topic that strongly interests me; like ‘ska’ for example. You’ll quickly get a screen full of pins relating to your topic, like this:
From here you can start visiting the profiles of the folks who pinned these pins (by simply clicking on their names). Or you can start re-pinning and/or commenting on pins. You may want to check out either this blog post or this post for more details on the proper way to repin content on Pinterest.
In addition to make an effort to re-pin pins that link back to the original source, I also look at the number of comments and repins that a pin has. For example, a search on ‘Young & The Restless’ brought up these pins:
When you click on the pin that I outlined in red, you’ll see this:
From here, you can easily follow the pinner, follow their board, or find others who liked or shared the same pin. 😀
Feel free to re-pin content without feeling the need to follow the original pinner. Even without an ongoing connection, both parties benefit in that the original pinner gets their content spread out to a larger audience, and the person who re-pins leaves a link of their profile out there for others to find.
A few final thoughts about using Pinterest. I mentioned previously that connections can be very casual on Pinterest. However, if you wish to utilize the opportunity to connect and engage (which is the big point of social media, even though many, myself included, fail to utilize its full potential in that regard), then start to comment on pins. The habit of commenting on Pinterest is not nearly as popular as people’s tendencies to comment on Facebook or blogs. However the benefit here is that when you do say something, you become memorable. Also, while it is quick and easy to repin pins on Pinterest; you should also strive to pin original content to Pinterest as well. You can do this by uploading images, or by installing a button on your browser toolbar that lets you pin web images quickly and easily.
So in conclusion, my approach to Pinterest is to be diverse in my pins and to build a broad, but well-selected group of pinners that I follow. Comment and add unique content — that is what will make your profile stand out in a place where the pins themselves occupy the center stage. And finally click on other profiles and search for your passions. Follow and repin accordingly, and your Pinterest experience will definitely benefit.