Pinterest is a pinboard style image site, that allows users to 'pin' interesting photos discovered online and curate 'boards' of related pictures.
Globally, Pinterest's membership is very predominantly female, aged between 25 to 34. It's not quite as popular in the UK yet as it is aboard, and perhaps oddly, here in the UK more males use the site than females.
Yet, Pinterest is tipped to grow wildly in the near future, and there's clearly an opportunity to take advantage of all this growth for fun and profit. Especially if you are a guy with different perspectives and ideas to the largely female userbase.
But how, you ask?
Men, read on…
How Pinterest works and how to use it
At the time of writing, Pinterest was invite only. Invites can be given to you from someone already registered on the site, or by requesting one directly from Pinterest. Like many other websites, you can also link your Twitter or Facebook profiles to the site, and log in that way. Pinterest also allows you to find contacts that you already have on Twitter and Facebook.
After registering on the website, you are taken to the main page where you find your 'pin feed'. Like a Facebook or twitter feed, it shows the chronological activities from users that you follow. You can 'like' or 'repin' images that others have pinned, or leave comments on other pins. You can also upload images from your computer to pinboards.
Pinterest's pinboards work like their physical equivalents. They're usually a collection of images grouped under a common theme, so for example you could create a pinboard devoted to 'military history' and fill it with images of historic battles. The themes of your pinboards is of course, down to you.
And, if you use an iPhone to access the internet, you can get the official Pinterest app here
Who's using Pinterest?
Pinterest has proved very popular with people and businesses that draw inspiration from collages and style boards, because it allows people working in these fields to gather and share images easily and quickly. This also creates lots of opportunities for self promotion and marketing. Businesses large and small are taking advantage. More well known examples include Zappos , Ikea , Etsy and General Electric.
Of course, Pinterest is not strictly for business use, and people use it for many reasons. I personally use it to find pictures that amuse me, but others go there to...
- Plan weddings
- Find recipes
- Discover fashion tips
- Admire beautiful photography
- Look up their favourite band or musician
Like any other social network, Pinterest has developed it's own unique rules of etiquette. Here's some of the main points to bare in mind, gentlemen…
Since most of the content that you'll be pinning will come from other sources, it's important that the image creator gets the attention they deserve. It's just good manners.
So, if you do pin an image, try to attribute the primary creator, not a secondary source such as a blog that may have reposted it. With repins of repins, finding the original creator can be quite difficult!
If you find an incorrectly attributed image pinned by somebody else, leaving a polite comment that helps them correct their error is a good thing to do.
Pinterest is like any other social media site, it works best when you behave sociably!
Flag questionable images
With a community as large and diverse as Pinterest's, there's inevitably going to be objectionable images cropping up from time to time. You can do your part to keep everything civil and legal by using the 'report content' link on things that probably shouldn't be there.
Don't just pin everything
Content is king and quality is paramount. Do your part to keep Pinterest's quality at it's highest by pinning only the best images that you find.
Descriptive captions are a service to your readers, and help them understand the context of the image. Proper use of captions also presents an excellent opportunity to drive readers to click through to a link. If you are using Pinterest for business, it's important that you get your captioning right.
Beware cross posting
If you link your Facebook or Twitter account with Pinterest, your Pinterest activity may be shared with via Facebook and Twitter feeds. If you are a frequent Pinterest user, this may irritate some of your contacts.
Pin 'manly' things
If we're trying to bring more males to the Pinterest experience, we need to pin content that specifically interests them. What exactly this content entails is down to you. This is where the opportunity to be creative and take advantage lies...
No batch upload: So if you are uploading images, you have to do it one at a time, which can be massively time consuming, especially if you have a lot of photos to upload,
You must caption all images: And this can get really hard after you've uploaded quite a few photos on the same topic and are running out of ideas
Copyright: There are still some issues with Pinterest's Terms Of Service when it comes to copyright. And, if you are an image creator uploading your stuff, expect to see your images appearing elsewhere.