If you spend any time on social networks, chances are you’ve heard of Pinterest. If you follow social media news, chances are you’ve read multiple times over that you have to establish a presence on Pinterest now. Maybe you’ve looked at the site, but haven’t yet “pinned” anything. Maybe you’re already knee-deep in your friends’ boards. But how can Hubbers best use the service to attract and engage readers? Wonder no further.
What is Pinterest?
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you. (And if you are familiar, you can easily skip this section.)
Pinterest is, essentially, a virtual pinboard — or, more accurately, collection of pinboards — where you can easily share images and videos from around the web. These images (or “pins”) can be “liked,” commented upon, or repinned by other users, and they link back to the original source. You can sort your pins into boards like “Food,” “Craft Ideas,” “Shoes I Need,” “Cute Dog Pictures,” “Wedding Reception Planning,” or any other category you can think of.
Just like on HubPages or Twitter, you can “follow” a particular user whose pins you like, but you can also follow an individual board. Boards can also be collaborative; by granting other members permission, you can all pin to the same place, creating a shared collection of images together. This makes Pinterest a great tool for brainstorming and party planning.
Using Pinterest with HubPages
You may already see the appeal for your personal life, but have you started to understand the potential for content producers (like Hubbers)? It was hidden back up there in third paragraph: Each pinned image links back to the original source page. That means more traffic and backlinks whenever your pin is clicked or reshared!
But wait! Don’t run off and start pinning images from every Hub you’ve ever published. As with any site, it’s important to read the Terms of Service and understand the community’s etiquette and rules before diving in. In this case, there are a few key points of which you need to be aware before you start contributing:
- Only pin your own content. Pinterest’s Terms of Service require that you either hold the copyright to each image you pin, or have permission from the copyright holder to do so. While this isn’t how most people are using the service, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, we recommend that you exercise caution. This means that you must have the rights to the images/videos you are pinning, not just the text content of the Hub on which they appear. (If you are confused about image copyright, please visit our Learning Center entry on the legal use of images.) Because of the way Pinterest allows others to repin and share your images, they need legal protection in case a disgruntled copyright holder files a complaint. The bottom line: If you pin it, you’re legally responsible for it.
- Don’t sign up solely to self-promote. You might be doing a double take. If you can only pin your own content, aren’t you solely self-promoting? Well, no. There are lots of ways to interact on the site, not just pinning from your own Hubs. “Liking,” commenting, and repinning are all valid ways of interacting with other people’s pins. If someone else pinned it first, you don’t have to worry about holding the copyright.
- Report objectionable content. Here at HubPages, we ask you to flag content that doesn’t conform with our rules. Similarly, Pinterest does not allow hateful or obscene content. Obviously, you won’t be pinning any of that from HubPages (since we don’t allow it either), but if you run across it on the Pinterest site, be a good citizen and report it for them.
How to Pin from HubPages
Whew! Now you’ve made it through the TOS and you’re ready to pin, but you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin! Luckily, from this point onwards, it’s pretty easy. Click the “Add +” button at the top right of the Pinterest page, and you are prompted for a URL. Enter the address of the Hub where the image appears, not of the image itself.
If I put in the URL of my Hub Simple Cornbread Recipes (which contains all original photos) and hit “Find Images,” I’m then directed to choose an image to pin, based on scrolling through thumbnail previews, as well as pick a board to pin it to.
You can also choose to share your pin straight to Facebook or Twitter, if you have those accounts connected.
Pinterest also has a Goodies page where you can install a “Pin it!” button on your browser toolbar or download the iPhone app, to make pinning from anywhere smooth and easy.
Pin On and Prosper
That’s not so hard! So what are you waiting for? You’re finally ready. Go forth and pin!