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How To Use Pinterest Effectively

You’re reading this because maybe you know the generic basics of what Pinterest is, and how to use it, but you want more. You want to know how you can be effective in the big, wide, fast-growing world of Pinterest. It’s easier than you might think.

Article by Maria S. 

So What Actually is Pinterest?

Pinterest was started as a bookmarking system whereby users could pin content from the web onto their ‘board’ so that they remember it and can use it whenever they need to – without having to trawl back through the internet to find it again.

Having only started in 2009, I deem it pretty impressive that by March of 2012 it was crowned the third largest social network in the United States.  Clearly its popularity has rapidly grown and with a huge market for creative content, cool pictures and just cool things in general, you can see why.

Its simplicity and easy to use system makes it all the more accessible, and a brilliant place to interact, get inspiration, and show the online world what you have to offer. Because of this, it is pretty perfect for us creative folk, so go ahead and exploit it.

Showcase Your Creativity

So you’re aware there are boards, right? Well these boards are perfect for categorising your talents, or just your interests. If you’re particularly amazing at Origami for instance, take loads of pictures of your amazing creations, and put all the photos in a nice little board named ‘Origami’. If someone who is following you likes your work enough to add it to their board, they’ll pin it too for all of their followers to see. And so the snowball effect begins.

Pinterest is so vast that something can become viral very quickly if it’s ‘pinnable’ enough. But Pinterest’s vastness can also mean that something you pin can get completely overlooked on a homepage. Make sure what you pin is as visually appealing and eye-catching as possible so that it makes a scroller stop in their tracks and force them to interact with it.

It’s not just your followers that get to see what you pin. Take origami again for an example. If someone types ‘Origami’ into the Pinterest search bar, all of the latest Origami pins will appear, in order of most recent first, so be sure to include key words in the description.

Copyright rules do inevitably go out of the window, as you may have guessed. If you put a stunning image on Pinterest that you’ve waited hours for the pivotal moment to take and someone pins it, there’s nothing stopping them removing your name from the description, taking credit from you for good. This has to be something you are prepared for when you pin your work.

Get Your Name Out There

But don’t let this put you off getting yourself known. There are a number of different ways someone can see your name flash up on Pinterest. The first is the obvious – when you follow them, or a board of theirs, your name will appear in their notification at the top right of their web page. But if it’s someone particularly popular you want to be noticed by, your name will just be another in their long list of notifications and their rapidly growing numbers of followers.

The more boards or people you follow, the better. They may not all follow you or any of your boards back, but if anything they will fuel your inspiration, give you new ideas, and encourage you to be more adventurous and creative with what you do. And that can never be a bad thing.

The second is by repining something that they’ve pinned. This in turn may mean that they decide to take a browse around the rest of your account, and they then will make a decision as to whether or not they want your pins appearing on their home page.

 Image via GKBC Creative Academy

So you’ve got lots of boards with interesting categories, and now lots of followers too. But all of this counts for nothing if you seldom do anything. As mentioned, the most recent pins appear at the top of any given page – including the home page. That said, even if you’re being followed by a lot of people, if you don’t keep it regular they’ll completely forget they ever followed you or your board. And as a result, they will forget your name completely.

In keeping your pins regular, don’t let what you pin lose quality. Your or your board have been followed because that person likes what you’ve pinned. If your standard drops, and you begin to clog up their home pages with dull, annoying or pointless pins, chances are you will be swiftly unfollowed, without notification.  Keep your pins current, too. The minion pin in the image above quickly had 52 repins and 7 likes, mainly due to the current huge obsession with Despicable Me and our favourite cute yellow friends.

Use pinterest to Promote Your Website

Now that you’ve gathered up exciting content on your boards, spread your name or your creations across the Pinning world, perhaps, and have collected a few followers, you might want to start showing off a great website you own. Maybe you’re using Pinterest to showcase your business and what you’re all about, and you want to get your name out there. Make the images on your site pinnable by attaching this Pinterest widget to an image. That way, when someone hits ‘Pin It’, the pin automatically takes with it a link to your site, helping drive traffic your way.

If the images on your website are consistently striking and distinctive, firstly people will be more inclined to pin them, and secondly your amazing images will begin to build up a reputation for your site as one of high quality and creativity.

And Finally… Inspire Others

Here at GKBC Creative Academy, we pin unique food-for-thought images to spark the creativity in us and hopefully inspire the rest of you.  If your followers are inspired by your pins, they are more likely to repin them and spread your great work across the Pinterest community.

The scope of what you can pin is endless, and people will often use the site to scroll around for ideas for a project, gift ideas, and even fancy-dress costumes. Tutorials are pretty popular too, so if it turns out that you happen to be a whiz at Origami, and that my hypothetical origami references are actually speaking specifically to you, put up a tutorial on a really tricky creation, and people will go crazy for it.

Image via Pinterest Origami

What creative boards have you added to your Pinterest, and are there any crucial tips you have that shot your boards to fame? Share with the rest of us in the comments below, and let’s get our creative Pinterest socks on!


Maria S loves discovering the latest and best creative content all over social media, and is always looking for new and exciting inspiration.

Featured Image: GKBC Creative Photography Board 



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