The Blue Dog Scientific Blog: Introductory Guide to Pinterest.

Introductory Guide to Pinterest.

I often talk about Pinterest as a solution to online Business issues. However, there seems to be a general lack of awareness of just what Pinterest is, how it works or what it's for.

So here I thought I would give a step-by-step "how to" guide, from the beginning.

If you haven't got a Pinterest account it is easy to set one up. This does not mean Pinterest accounts will be required for others to browse and find what you post (or "pin"), as the information is public. Creating a Pinterest account is extremely easy - Pinterest say it takes 15 seconds. You can either set up a user (social) account or a business account (useful if you want to promote your business services and products). 



Let's take a first look at what a Pinterest account looks like:

From the top, moving left to right, we have Pinterest's unique search tool, user menu's, notifications (which will turn red with a number when notifications come in), edit profile button, user tools (cog wheel - which importantly include detailed analytics), profile photo, user name, profile info, links to related social accounts, profile statistics. Below that we see a bunch of images. These are called "boards" - they are where we can collect things we find on the web. Think of each board as a pinboard - one of those cork wall boards which you can pin photos or notes to - or one of the evidence boards we see in cop shows where the detectives stick all the victims, evidence, suspects and case notes to a wall. To see this account in action click here.

Let's look at a board now, clicking on the one entitled LinkedIn Pulse, we open that board to see this:
 

Top down again, we see the contributors to the board (just me in this case), an invite button, board stats, move pins button, edit board details button, a menu button. Below this we see the pin area. In this case, we see I have "pinned" my LinkedIn Publications to this board. We see the cover graphic, the title, and any other further notes I've chosen to include plus #hashtagged keywords. There are actually lots more pins to this collection than you see here and one can quickly scroll down the board to "visually discover" my entire collection. See this board in action here.

If we click on one of the Publication pins we see this:


From the top, left to right again. First we have the Pin It button. Very important, because this means anyone else on Pinterest to pin this same Publication to their own boards. This is how we "share" on Pinterest. Then a "like" button. Then a "visit site" button which will take the viewer direct to the actual Publication on LinkedIn itself. Edit allows you to change the pin's description. Send allows you to email the pin and share allows you to share to Facebook. Clicking on the image will also take you direct to publication itself. A comments area is beneath. To the right of the pin we see the board it is pinned to. To see this pin in action click here.

Returning to the board level view, we can invite other pinners to also contribute to any of our boards. Thus any board can also be a group board.

Let's now look at creating our own boards. Looking back to the board level view, we see a "create board" in the place of the first one. Clicking the + symbol we see this:


This one should be self-explanatory.

The last step is pinning Publications in the first place. The easiest way is simply to install the Pin It button on Chrome or Firefox. Then when we hover over an image when viewing a Publication, reveals a pin it button in the top right corner:

Note that before we select the board we want to pin to, we can edit the pin's description and add hashtags.  Note there is also an option to Tweet the pin or share it to other social networks we have connected our Pinterest account to at the same time, again increasing it's visibility.

That's basically all there is to it. Note that before we select the board we want to pin to, we can edit the pin's description. I suggest best practice is to add in a sentence or two introducing the publication and some keyword #hashtags.

Note there is also an option to also Tweet the pin or share it to other social networks we have connected our Pinterest account to at the same time, again increasing a publication's visibility.

That's basically all there is to it. There is one further advantage however. We can take the URL of a pinned publication and a share it elsewhere, such as on google+ on LinkedIn:



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