You've heard about it, read about it and have seen it plastered all over Facebook and Twitter. Maybe it's time to take the plunge and dig into Pinterest to see what all the hype is about.
We've put together a step-by-step guide to help you get started. Of course, you learn best by doing it yourself, but this should make it a bit easier to get into pinning mode and get you into the flow of this fun, creative design tool.
What is Pinterest?
It is essentially an online bulletin board where you can "pin" images and videos onto themed boards and share them with others. Have you ever come across an image that takes your breath away, one that promises inspiration for your next event or meeting? You now have a place to save that image so that it's not lost in the abyss of the Internet. At Event Solutions, we've themed our boards by categories such as food and beverage, weddings, daring designs and Idea Factory. You can create your own themes based on your interests and specialties.
Today, planners and suppliers are using Pinterest to pitch clients on a design concept, share content from meetings, promote their businesses, showcase venues and drive traffic to their websites. Some planners invite clients and suppliers to pin their own images on boards, making them a sort of mega-inspiration board that can be shared by everyone involved in an event.
Because the site is in beta, you need to be invited to join. If you have friends who are members, ask them to send you an invitation (there is an invitation button on the home page for account holders.) Or, you can request an invitation from the Pinterest folks, which is what we did. Some people report that they get an invitation almost immediately. We had to wait about three days, which isn't too bad when you consider that the site has about 12 million unique visitors each month.
Once you get your invitation, you'll be invited to connect to Pinterest through your Facebook or Twitter account. Enter a screen name, email and password and you're on your way!
Create a Profile
In the upper right corner of your monitor, your screen name will appear. Mouse over it and click edit to access your profile details page. You can edit your name, bio and photo and link to your other social media accounts on this page.
The Pin It Button
The next thing you'll want to do is attach the Pin It button. This will allow you to grab photos from websites and pin them to your boards (note of caution: copyright laws are a potential issue. Read Ann Turner's blog for more details.)
To attach the Pin It button, go to the Goodies page. You'll find this by mousing over the About button and clicking Help. Drag the Pin It button to your bookmarks bar and you're set.
You can download and pin images from your computer as well. Simply click on the Add+ tab in the navigation bar and a window will open with a prompt to add a pin, upload a pin or create a board.
Much like Twitter and Facebook, you can follow accounts or individual boards if you find something that particularly inspires you. The boards are totally public, so you do not need to ask permission. To follow a user, you can click on his or her name, board or pin.
To add Pinterest to your blog,click on the About tab and choose Goodies on the left side of the screen. Scroll down to the Follow button section and choose the option you prefer. Copy the code and paste onto the site where you'd like it to appear.
In terms of etiquette, one of the most important considerations is to give credit where credit is due. You have the option of adding a description of each image you pin. Let the reader know what the image is and where it came from. It's very important that you credit the photographer--they make their living on their images, and you don't want to abuse their livelihoods.
Keep it clean, of course. This is a public site, and no nudity or questionable content is allowed. Be tasteful. Don't post too often. Self-promotion is considered in poor taste and can damage your brand and reputation.
Follow the Event Solutions Pinterest boards by clicking here.