I'm going to be honest, if someone came to me with the idea for a website that was simply a virtual pinboard of images, I'd have told them, "Good luck with that one." Good thing no one asked my opinion! Pinterest, if you aren't familiar with it, is precisely such a site and one whose growth can only be described as astronomical. Essentially, this site is a place to make themed boards by pinning found images from the Internet to them. Oh, and it's addictive. My friends who pin often refer to time spent pinning as going "Down the rabbit hole." Board themes can range from food, decor, travel, inspiration, fashion and more. Some people say the site is where women, mostly, live out their fantasies of dream wardrobes, dream homes, dream vacations and dream husbands. And while this has a ring of truth, Pinterest has also become a place to get ideas, a place for businesses to connect with consumers and share as well as a place to be inspired.
So how does it work?
- First, you request an invite, which simply requires an email address. Pinterest will notify you when you've been accepted to join. This typically takes 24 hours. It depends on the length of their waiting list. Friends who are already on Pinterest can also send invites to their network. So if you know any "pinners" feel free to hit them up for an invite.
- Once you receive your invitation, you create an account, either with your email address, Facebook or Twitter log in.
- * Before you start creating boards, you might want to check out some pins first. Get an idea of what others are doing.
- Next you should find friends so you can start following people. This is as simple as going to your account in the upper right hand corner and clicking on Find Friends. This allows you to find friends on Facebook easily and start following them. You can also simply search for friends by name, or even companies, such as House Party Fun.
- Add the Pin It button to your toolbar. This is what really makes Pinterest addictive. When you're browsing the web and come across a cool image, you can pin it in one click.
- You can name your Boards whatever you like based on any range of categories. What I did was find an image I liked and then created a Board around it. Some of my Boards are "Lusts," "My dream man," "One day I will...," "Shoes, shoes and more shoes," you get the idea.
- You can also re-pin other people's pins to one of your own boards. This is as simple as clicking "Repin" at the top left of the image. You can also comment or like a pin by clicking those buttons at the top of the pin as well. While these latter two actions won't attach the image to any of your boards, it's still a great way to connect with people of similar tastes!
Be warned. You will most certainly feel poor, fat, think your home is too small, your clothes not hip enough and your travel history lacking, within minutes of scrolling through the pins. Don't be discouraged! Mostly, Pinterest is a wonderful source of creative inspiration. And if you get addicted, don't say I didn't warn you.
Participating in Pinterest-based Sweepstakes
When you stumble upon the opportunity to join a Pinterest-based sweepstakes, chances are, there'll be a few steps that will require pinning a minimum number of images, using hashtags and emailing your pinboard URL. Once in a while, we at House Party will throw a Pinterest sweepstakes during one of our events, or even when we just want to celebrate you, our community. We've gotten a few questions about using hashtags on Pinterest - so we hope this helps.
- Using hashtags on Pinterest: Just as you can categorize a tweet on Twitter by adding a hashtag to it, you can do the same thing on Pinterest. Whenever you're told to "make sure you use the hashtag," simply input the hashtag in every pin description - not just your board description. That way, when you search Pinterest for the hashtag, your hashtagged pins will come up in search results along with all of those from other users. This will make it easier for whoever is running the sweeps to be sure to see what you've created. And, if you happen to tweet out your pin, your hashtag is already in the description for you (since they're one in the same!)
- Let us know if there are any other questions that we can help answer - just leave it in the comments section below!
Have you tried Pinterest? Are you addicted? Tell us about it. And most importantly, follow House Party Fun for great entertaining ideas.