Recently in two classes I taught, the question of how to create pins on Pinterest besides re-pinning others' content was brought up. One of my students was concerned with making sure to stay on the right side of copyright law while the other wanted to be able to add content to the Pinterest community. I thought we would take a look today at the various ways you can create pins on Pinterest.
If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, I'm sorry because addictive is a great word to describe it. With a user base that is 85% female, it is where the girls are in social media, but don't let that fool you. My husband enjoys scrolling through Pinterest looking at cigars, cars and cufflinks. Think of Pinterest as a visual bookmarking site, and you will have the essence of what draws people back - for hours at a stretch.
In terms of engagement, liking, re-pinning and commenting are the three ways users can engage with a pin with re-pinning far out distancing the others. Re-pinning is simple. When you mouse over a pin in your feed a Pin-it button will appear, and you can simple click and pin from there. If you click on the pin, it will bring up the full-size of the image where you can take the same actions.
But what if you want to pin things that aren't on Pinterest, and you want to make sure you are staying within the rules of copyright? Well, there are three ways to do this easily. First off, you can install a browser add-on that will help you easily Pin from a webpage that you visit.
You can get an add-on for your browser at the Pinterest help center. After you install it, you will see the Pinterest icon in your browser bar (mine is in the upper right-hand corner) and when you mouse over photos on a site, a "Pin It" button will pop up in the left-hand corner. From here, you can click on the Pin It button and proceed as usual. For instance, if you are reading a great blog post on how to install a barn door in your house, you can mouse over one of the photos and you will be able to Pin It to a board on Pinterest. Now, when you are ready to install your barn door, you can go to your Pinterest board and click on the photo and it will take you back to the webpage.
Many websites, like Macys.com, make their websites "Pinable." You can find out more on how to make your website pinable at the Pinterest help center. Once you do, you can have pin-it buttons for products, pictures, and more. As above, when people mouse over a photo, the Pin It button will appear. As you can see below, Macy's has a Pin It button on the product page for their Alfani men's shoe. If you click on the icon, it brings up the dialog box below. Notice how the product title appears automatically as the description for the pin. Make sure to caption your photos and include advanced captions when possible so the images from your website will automatically fill-in this area when pinned.
Pinterest has several ways to post while you are on the platform. On the right hand side of the Pinterest dashboard is a plus sign. When you click it, three options pop up. We've already talked about getting a browser button, but the next two allow you to add content in different ways: upload an image and pinning from a website when you have the url.
When you 'upload a pin,' you are loading an image to Pinterest. You can search for an image that is already on your computer to add to one of your Pinterest boards. As usual when you pin, you will be able to add a description and chose the board where you want the image.
After you have pinned your image to your board, I suggest that you view the pin and then chose the edit pin button. When you do this, you will be able to add a website to the image that you upload. You should only upload images that you own or have taken yourself. There are images that are in the creative commons you can technically upload as well, but its not a practice I would be comfortable doing. As you can see with this collage I uploaded, I was able to add a website. When someone clicks on this image in the future, it will take them to the Social Media Muses home on the web. For authors, let's say you want to upload some photos you took at a location in your books. You could then link them to your books' page on your website.
Lastly, you can pin from a website using the + button shown above. I find this works great when I need to pin from a website that isn't pinable or if you don't want to install the browser add-on. Just copy and past the URL for the website in the box and click next.
Now, you get the option to choose a picture that is on the website to pin. When someone clicks on this pin, it will take them to the URL you entered. I pin my blog post this way. It will also give you an idea of what other pins have been created from the same website. As you can see, I've created a few pins that link to either my blog or my website's landing page.
As always, you should be utilizing content on your website that you either own, is in the creative commons or that you otherwise have a right to use (like book covers for writers). If you build your website with copyright in mind, you should be ok pinning from the url. Go have some fun pinning - it is addicting and can help you create brand awareness and interest. Plus, you may find some inspiration along the way.
A senior lecturer of marketing at Kennesaw State University, Tyra is a gamer-girl, gadget geek at heart.