A Collegiette's Guide to Pinterest: What Is Pinterest & How Do You Use Pinterest?

How can you get people to follow you?
Aside from the good old “follow me!” request to friends, Pinterest features a hash tag function similar to Twitter’s, which can help get your pins and boards on other users’ radars. “In order to get more followers, I hash tag the descriptions on my pins,” adds Courtney. You can also broaden your Pinterest span by pinning from other social networking sites, instead of just browsing within the site: “I try not to pin directly from Pinterest,” adds Courtney. “I’m constantly on Tumblr and other sites pinning from other places on the web. It introduces different pictures to the Pinterest ‘database’ and people always love seeing something different.” If getting followers matters to you, strategies like this one pay off: “I have almost 400 followers, and many of my pins have anywhere from 30 to 200 re-pins.” Impressive!

What themes should you use for boards?

When you first create your account, Pinterest suggests generic boards like “My Style” and “Favorite Places & Spaces,” but you can choose any theme your heart desires. Browse around Pinterest for a few minutes and you’ll see boards featuring a broad range of subjects: creative DIY ideas, slick cars, cute babies, witty memes, elaborate hairstyles, yummy recipes, and so much more. In fact, it’s not uncommon to come across a board labeled something to the effect of “Other Stuff,” to which a user pins miscellaneous images that were originally scattered across the Internet and that don’t fit under any one category. “I usually re-pin clothes,” says Ohio University junior Jessica Salerno, “but I also have boards for random posts, DIY, decorating, and hairstyles.” And while Pinterest has a well-deserved reputation for attracting images focused on design and retail, it can also be used for more abstract things. Chatham University freshman Mara Flanagan says, “I use [Pinterest] primarily to create boards full of happy, uplifting images, and ideas that spark my imagination and inspire my dreams.”

What you choose for boards is entirely up to you, so be creative and think outside the box. Be sure to check out cool formatting techniques like Mashable’s image slicing. And now that we’ve got you hooked on Pinterest, Her Campus has thought of some creative boards to help you get started:

  • Items on your bucket list
  • Sweet movie posters
  • Variations of your favorite recipe
  • Inspirational people, quotes and photos
  • Tips and tricks for a skill you’ve mastered or would like to learn
  • Whatever makes you feel nostalgic (e.g., summer camp, the 90’s)
  • Costume ideas
  • Vintage styles you love
  • A visual resume
  • Gifts you want to get or give

Happy pinning!

Photo sources:
Pinterest logo: http://blog.softwebsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Pinterest1.jpg
Hairstyles: http://media-cache.pinterest.com/upload/22658804345212888_G0FynX8D.jpg
DIY paintbrush holder: http://www.crafthabit.com/
Pinterest boards: http://blondeonabudgetdotca.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/pinterest_boards.png
Been there, pinned that: http://www.simplifythis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/pinterest1.jpg