To some people, Pinterest www.pinterest.com is the most esoteric of the four major Social Networking sites. Maybe esoteric is not the right word. What would be a better way to put it? Okay, some people just don’t get Pinterest at all.
On the other hand, according to www.ebizmba.com an estimated 85 million users absolutely love Pinterest. They have earned this position by surpassing upstart Google Plus and the pioneering MySpace. They have achieved this impressive milestone in just a little over 3 years of being in business. While avid users may love it, some may still wonder what is the point to all of this “Pinning”. Well rather than offer my personal opine on this point, let’s hear from the people at Pinterest about what it means to be a pinner.
Pinning, Re-Pinning and Liking
A “Pin” is simply an interesting image or video. According to the Pinterest powers that be, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.” These beloved pics and clips are collected, organized and shared onto “Boards”.
There are 3 ways to add a Pin to a Board:
1) You may upload a Pin from your computer
2) You may add a Pin from a website by copying and pasting a link
3) You may install the “Pin It” button to your browser to Pin directly from a website
Pinners access the Pinterest main page and scroll through pins that have been pinned by their “Friends” and onto boards that they follow. Pins are displayed chronologically as they are pinned. You may also perform keyword specific searches for pins. The way that you share pins of other users is by either “Re-pinning” them onto your boards or “Liking” them onto your page. There are two ways to expand the number of people that you share your pins with:
1) Finding your friends from other social networks who are on Pinterest.
2) Following the boards of other random Pinterest users.
Pins are then “Re-pinned” and/or “Liked” by other "Pinners" and vice-versa.
Now with all of that having been said, some people (including regular users) still have no idea how to use Pinterest effectively. However, for most people this is irrelevant. For most people Pinterest is just a place to look at pretty things. In my opinion this isn’t the worst thing in the world. However, if you do want to use it more strategically you must devise a plan. This plan should consist of the following 3 steps:
1) Strategically create boards that showcase your “Personal Brand Portfolio”
2) Strategically pin images and videos that best tell your “Personal Brand Story”
3) Strategically follow boards and pinners that Enhance your on-line “Personal Brand Network”
Showcasing Your Personal Brand Identity on Pinterest
Pinterest is an excellent way to display your professional portfolio and accomplishments. You can pin videos that you’ve created, covers of books that you’ve written or images of infographics and images that you’ve designed. You can pin them to Boards with straightforward names like “My Books” or give your boards eye-catching or though-provoking names that showcase your creativity. Some examples of other ways that you can use Pinterest as a personal branding tool are as follows:
1) Create a shareable online Brand Identity Package by pinning images of your logo, business card, brochure, etc.
2) Create a shareable On-line Resume. (You might do this by sharing an image of each school that you've attended and job that you’ve had, along with explanatory text for each pin in the “Description” field)
3) Create boards that tell your unique “Personal Brand Story” (The potential ways to use Pinterest to do this are unlimited)
Adding Friends and Liking Boards
If you choose to use Pinterest solely for the purpose of building your personal brand, you may want to be more selective about the friends that you add and boards that you follow. If you’re only adding pins and creating boards that tell your Personal Brand story, then you should try to be more selective than on other social networks. Much in the same way that you add connections on LinkedIn, you should try to share your pins with people that you are trying to build a professional relationship with.
The primary gateway for adding friends is via your existing FaceBook network. You already share images with those people on that platform. Therefore it would be more effective to select only some of these friends to be a part of your Pinterest network. It is worth mentioning that most people on Pinterest will just be sharing pictures of gourmet food, beautiful people and nice clothes. The good news is that you can still pin these images to the “Your Likes” page by clicking on the “Like” button found on each pin. So you can still participate in the social experience of Pinterest while working to promote and build your on-line Personal Brand Identity.
Happy Pinning! – To get started visit www.Pinterest.com