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How to Use Pinterest: Practical and Efficient Uses for Your Pinterest Account

Updated on May 9, 2012

In the massive sea that is internet social marketing, it's incredibly easy to get in over your head. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, and now Pinterest are all there, vying for your limited, already over-filled time, often leaving you with nothing at the end of it.

But if you learn how to use them instead of letting them use you, you can end up with something to show for your time. Pinterest can be especially useful if you figure out how to make it work for you. Here are a few hints for ways to make your time on it profitable, personalized, and always fun experience.

Pick Who to Follow

If you signed up with Pinterest through Facebook then you automatically begin following all of your friends who are also on Pinterest. Likelihood is that you don't really want to see everything that every last person you've ever met has to show you on their boards.

Don't follow someone simply because you met them that one time at that one thing. Follow them purposefully. If you can't stand your aunt's taste, why waste your time looking at whatever she pins? If your best friend in grade school decided to pin every absurd animal photo they find on the web, don't just be annoyed, do something about it. The Unfollow button is only a few clicks away!

On the flip side, if you see someone that you don't know on the popular page, and you love their pins it's completely legal and not creepy to follow them.

Pick Which Boards to Follow

Because of Pinterest's organization system you can make your feed specific. You may not realize it, but just because you want to follow a person doesn't mean you have to follow every single board that they've created. I only recently learned that, and it's cleaned up my page significantly. Underneath each person's profile page all of their boards are listed, and underneath each board is a button that says "Follow" or "Unfollow," depending on whether or not you're already following that board. If you have followed something, simply click "Unfollow" and you're set!

If you love someone's photography, decorating, or quotes pages but don't really care a thing about the vegan recipes or clothes that they pin, skip those specific boards! They'll never be any the wiser, and you'll be all the more organized! Or you can look for pins by category and find millions of people and ideas.

Create Your Own Boards Purposefully

I understand that social media is often a form of relaxation, so having goals in mind while browsing may not make sense. But really, if you aren't really interested in something, why create a board for it? If you are a photographer, have a place to repin all of those great ideas you see that you might want to use in a future shoot. I found it to be a great way to catalog recipes that I find on the the cooking blogs I follow, and I know right where they all are. Also, all of the retro dress that I find pictures of that would be impossible to locate again are safe and sound on one of my boards.

Don't assume that just because you saw something that you like that you'll remember who's board it was on. Be sure to repin it to specifically organized boards so you can relocate it on your own page when you need to review.

Some of the most popular topics for pinning are:

  • Home
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Style/Fashion
  • Food
  • Photography

When you look for these specific topics you'll probably find people with a niche that you like, and if you pin under these topics it's more likely that other people will find you!

Just Remember...

Pinterest is like any other form of social media. It can be extremely addictive, and no matter how purposeful you may be it's always easy to forget how much time has spent on it. There will always be one more profile to look at and one more board to create. Have fun, but remember that there is a wonderful life to live outside of your computer monitor. So don't just repin the photographs, go take them. Make sure that you recreate that heavenly-looking dessert you saw online, and add your own personal touch. Wear that outfit that you saw and loved but wouldn't have ever thought of yourself. Don't just have a virtual life, have a real one too.


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    • collegatariat profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks RTalloni! It's easy to let social media take over your life, so having some direction seems like a good thing.

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      Good stuff you have here! Thanks for a practical look at using Pinterest.


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