Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Pinterest 101

Pinterest is a well known social media platform that can be used by anybody. You may be an artist trying to showcase your work or looking for new ideas on how to build a business empire. You may be a hobbyist or artist in search of new project ideas or solutions.

Pinterest is mentioned often on this blog. It's a great resource for finding creative reuse ideas, but it can be intimidating for those who've never used it.

Welcome to Pinterest 101!

I should warn you, you may become addicted instantly!

I think of Pinterest like a giant scrapbook that allows me to keep all the ideas, recipes, and DIYs that I want to do in the future, in one place. This virtual scrapbook is easily organized so that with just a few clicks, I can find what I was looking at months ago. 

Pinterest is different from your regular internet bookmarks bar, because it allows you to attach photos and descriptions for quick reference. It is also shared on the internet, so you can see what other people have saved as well.

Did you know that the City of Edmonton is on Pinterest? There's even a Reuse Centre ideas board.

Setting Up Your Account

Your home feed will look something like this.
After you have signed up for an account, you will see a couple of things on the home page. There is a search bar at the top, your profile name to the top right, and tons of 'pins' below. This is called your 'home feed'.

In the top right, beside your name, you will see 2 thumb tacks that are a mirror image inside a grey icon. Click on that and you will find 3 tabs:

Find this icon on the far right, at the top of your page.
News is an update of what the people you follow pin, follow or like.

You updates you if people pinned or liked your pin. 

Messages is where you can view messages and pins that are sent to you from Pinterest friends and followers.

Building Your Pin Collection

Pins are typically made up of an image, captioned with text and linked to a website. The more boards you follow, the more pins will show up on your home feed.

A pin from the Reuse Centre board.
Sometimes you will see pins on your feed that Pinterest picked for you. Pinterest recommends other pins for you to view, based on the types of boards you follow, and the things you pin. You can also use the search bar to find pins related to a particular project or idea.

Clicking the Pinterest logo on the left will refresh your home feed. Clicking the button showing 3 horizontal bars
(on the right of the search bar) will open up a list of popular search options.

You can do 3 things when you hover on top of a pin with your mouse cursor.

1) Pin it. You can pin a pin on any board you have created. Title your boards to help you stay organized by topic. You might want separate boards for art, fashion, holidays or fitness.

2) Like it. You can 'like' by clicking the heart button, before you pin. This is especially handy if you don't have a suitable board to put it on yet, or maybe you didn't have time to fully read the pin. Sometimes the image can be deceiving and the pin's content doesn't match what you expected to see.

Here's a tip: I recommend not pinning everything you see that you kind of like! I often catch myself on Pinterest showing an interest in everything, and I just want to keep all this information forever without hesitation! Being selective with what I actually pin helps me to know that I saved a post with relevant and proper information.

3) Send it. You can share interesting pins with your friends who are on Pinterest, or send an email to those who aren't.

Staying Organized

Boards are where your pins are organized. Pretty simple and realistic! It's just like a virtual bulletin board.

You have the option to create both regular and secret boards. Regular boards can be seen and followed by anyone. Secret boards can be seen only by you and friends you have authorized. You cannot change this preference later on. Once a secret board, always a secret board.

After you title a board, you have the option to give it a description, give it a cover photo/pin (large image on board), categorize the board for others to search it, and even to allow other followers to collaborate with you on the board. This option is great for people who are working on a project together.

View your boards, or create new ones, by clicking on your name at the top right of your screen.

This is a basic tutorial, but you can reference help.pinterest.com for any questions you may have. You can even search for Pinterest tips and tricks in the Pinterest search bar. It sounds silly, but can be really useful!

I use Pinterest to organize ideas from other reusers from all over the world. I have a do-it-yourself (DIY) board, a home inspiration board, and a things to try board. I find myself looking over these ideas all the time and trying them when I feel inspired!

Enjoy Pinterest and all that it has to offer!

- Michelle (Volunteer)
with additional information and edits by staff

Screencaptures of Pinterest.com taken by Michelle and Reuse Centre staff

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