This post was originally written by Kerry Sugrue, former Social Media Specialist at Apartments.com.
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you will soon. The popular new social site allows users to Pin items of interest onto virtual tack boards. Links to cupcake recipes, interesting photography, Blackhawks players and wedding dresses have been inundating my feeds on both Facebook and Twitter, as people put together their boards. The platform is still an invite only, VIP kind of site, but you can request an invitation anytime or receive one from a friend. Here are the main things you need to know in order to speak Pinterest-ese.
Users can create and categorize boards for anything they want to keep track of; from recipes, wedding ideas, hairstyles, fashion looks they like, books to read and more. As an apartment community, you could create boards for decorating ideas, neighborhood restaurants, DIY projects and links to all of your properties. Your residents can follow your boards for great ideas around their apartment and to find more properties you manage. Your ideas may inspire their own boards.
To Pin something, is to post an image of an item from a website to one of your boards. You can also upload images from your computer or phone. There is a Pin button, which you can download to your tool bar, to make it very simple. When you find something you would like to share, click the Pin button, pick the image you like, write something about the item, pick the board you want it to go to and you’re done. Now your Pin can be viewed by those who follow you and anyone exploring boards, and it will link back to the site you found it on. You will also have the option to share your Pin on Facebook and Twitter.
Pinterest offers an explore option, separated into categories of interest. For instance, if you are searching for some DIY projects to share with your residents, you can search Pins in just that category from everyone, not just the people you follow. This option is available on the iPhone app under a tab called Explore and on your desktop in the main navigation. Exploring is great way to find new Pinners to follow and fun new ideas.
Repinning, Liking and Commenting
When you find a Pin that you think is cool, there are a couple things you can do with it. The first is Like it. Similar to Facebook, Liking on Pinterest is a way to publically say that you enjoy something. When you Like a Pin, the image is added to your profile’s Like section. The other thing you can do is Repin it. When you Repin something, you are adding it to one of your boards. Repinning gives you the option to change the Pin description, but the link source will stay the same so the original author still gets credit.
You can also Comment on a Pin to tell the user what you think about it. There are two ways to comment; the first is when the Pin is in thumbnail view, mouse over it and click the Comment button. The second is when the Pin is full size; you can type a comment in the text box below the image. You can mention someone in your comment or Pin description (only if you are following at least one of their boards) by typing the ‘@’ symbol, immediately followed by their username. Pinterest will automatically load potential matches for you to choose from.
These are the basics of Pinterest, but there is so much you can do with it. If you haven’t already tried out the platform, make sure to request an invitation and see what you think. If you have any questions or thoughts about the platform, I would love to hear them in the comments below. Happy Pinning!