Pinterest is a social network based on images. Users upload photos (called pins) to create boards, or groups of images centered on a common theme. Members of the Pinterest community use Pinterest for different reasons.

Some just like to share pretty photos or recipes, and others share images in hopes that those viewing the photos will click through and drive traffic to their blogs or website. Because it’s a visual site, it’s perfect for product‐based retailers who are hoping to drive sales.

Pinterest is the perfect social network for clothing retailers, interior designers, foodies, landscapers, travel professionals, and members of any profession who can benefit from telling a story with an image. Although the U.S. user base is primarily female, men are also using Pinterest to share funny images, sports‐related photos, gadgets, and the great outdoors.

Knowing how the different demographics are using Pinterest is important, especially if you’re reaching out to a global market.

Before you dive into the Pinterest deep end, be familiar with these common Pinterest terms:

  • Pin: An image or video that you or someone else has uploaded to a board on Pinterest, such as the one shown. When you enter a URL or upload an image to one of your boards, you’re pinning to that board.

    Each pin includes buttons for sharing or repining, liking, and commenting.
    Each pin includes buttons for sharing or repining, liking, and commenting.
  • Boards: Each time you add a pin, you assign it to a category of your creation called a board. In essence, you’re creating virtual pin boards. For instance, you can create a board named Funny and pin images that make you laugh, or you can make a board named Knitting Patterns to Try and pin images from relevant how‐to articles.

  • Pinner: Someone who uses Pinterest.

  • Repin: When someone shares one of your pins, or you share one of theirs. When you repin something, you add something pinned by someone else to one of your boards. (The Pin It button appears at the top of a pin when you hover your mouse pointer over that pin.)

  • Comment: You can discuss pins by commenting in the area below the pin.

  • Like: If you enjoy someone’s pin but don’t necessarily want to repin it, you can show approval by liking it. Hover your mouse pointer over the pin and then, in the top‐right of the pin, click the Like button (which looks like a heart) to like that pin.