In Feature, Style

Is it time for you to get on “board”?


If you don’t know what we mean when we say we were up late “pinning” last night, then it’s time you checked out one of the hottest new social media trends, which has not only landed on the Top 10 list of social networks, but was also named by Tech Crunch as the best new startup in 2011.

The creative social sharing network allows users to make visual bulletin boards online and share their inspirations with the world, and it’s proven highly addicting for everyone from artists and other creative types to parents and college students. But, does Pinterest actually stand up to all the hype? We put pinning to the test to see if this creative network is really the next big thing.

Pinterest generates some of its hype by being exclusive. No, you don’t need a Members Only jacket, but as of March, you have to be invited or request a membership to join. But, not to worry— if you ask around, you’ll probably find that you already know a few pinning peeps who will gladly invite you to join. And, if not, the request on the website doesn’t take that long to process. Once you’re “in” and have had enough time to gloat, you can begin creating your own themebased inspiration boards full of images, videos, text and other media that you find relevant. Like other social sites, you can follow others and be followed. And, if people really like what you posted, they can re-pin your content, just like being retweeted on Twitter.

Most of you have likely already caught the bug, and are familiar with the basics. But, there might be some other features you haven’t considered. Beyond just pinning pictures to your board, how can you use Pinterest to your advantage? This is our cue…

Collaboration and Planning
Many don’t think of creating a board and allowing others you choose to collaborate on the content. This feature can help savvy users like yourself with anything from wedding
planning, to gift giving, to where to go for the next guys’ night out, to office brainstorming for that big meeting. The best part is that you have a visual history that all members can share.
Friendly Competition
Want to get some ideas on what main dish to serve at your next dinner party? Why not crowd-source some answers from your friends and create a little friendly competition via a Pinterest board? Allow your friends to submit their replies, and offer a fun prize to the person who wins.
Create A Gallery
Don’t want to spend a ton of money to share the photos or videos from a big event? Create a photo or video gallery on Pinterest, and share with all of the guests.
Businesses and individuals who sell products online can use Pinterest in smart ways to
gain new customers. You can create great product boards, even add pricing, and link back to an online shopping cart.
You can also use Pinterest to advertise your services or post a crafty version of your personal résumé or online portfolio. With some clever curating and effort, you can create a visually stunning brag board of your professional skills and work.
Tired of blogging? Or, perhaps you never became a blogger (but kind of wanted to) because of the time required to keep up with all the writing. Now, you can create your own version of a visual blog (or multiple ones) through the various boards you create. And, like people do with blogs, you can grow your own fan base of followers.
Directing Traffic
Pinterest has a large fan base that might not be following you on your other social media channels. You can create your own boards to drive those folks to additional goodies you have up on your website, blog or other hotspot.
Get Hashing
Like Twitter and Google+, Pinterest can also support hashtags. These hashtags can be
applied to any of the ideas above to help drive even more eyes to your board.





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