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What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network where users upload photos, called pins, to create boards, or groups of images centered on a common theme. Social marketers can use Pinterest to generate exposure for their brand.

Members of the Pinterest community use Pinterest for different reasons. Some just like to share pretty photos or recipes, while others share images in hopes that those viewing the photos will click through and drive traffic to their blog 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 any profession that can benefit from telling a story with an image. Though 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 when reaching out to a global market.

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

  • Pin: A pin is an image or video that you or someone else has uploaded to a board on Pinterest. When you enter a URL or upload an image to one of your boards, you are pinning to that board.

  • 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 it to one of your boards. (The Repin button appears at the top of a pin when you hover your mouse pointer on the pin.)

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

  • Like: If you like someone’s pin but don’t necessarily want to repin it, you can show approval by liking it. Hover your mouse pointer on the pin and then click the center Like button (shown with a heart) to like the pin.

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