History of Pinterest
Pinterest was launched 4 years ago by Ben Silbermann, the CEO and visionary cofounder. In 2013 Pinterest saw an incredible growth, and was at that point the fastest growing social media channel.
So yes, another social media kid on the block, but don’t compare it with Instagram, Twitter or Facebook: it’s completely different!

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest describes itself as: “a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you“.
To keep it simple, see Pinterest as a collection of digital Bulletin Boards on which you can pin photos and videos around a certain theme. 1 board = 1 topic or theme, and popular themes for boards are fashion, design, decoration, travel, animals, …These topics might already reveal that Pinterest is mostly used by women, though men are also discovering the joy of ‘pinning’.

Unlike many other photo sharing sites Pinterest is mostly used to discover content, instead of constantly sharing (& showing off) own content. A lot of people create moodboards on Pinterest and look for photos to pin on these, or use it to collect inspiration ideas for home decor.

On my Personal Pinterest for example I have a “Wishlist” board, and when I’m surfing and I discover something that I would like to have I pin it > once my birthday is coming up I just have to share this board with friends & family, and they’ll get the hint (and I hopefully my wishlist items) 😉 On my So Buzzy Pinterest account, dedicated to Social Media, I have a board called “Social Media Books – Wishlist“, and also a board “Social Media Books – read & approved“.

Screenshot of Pinterest Wishlist Board

You can easily post images from other websites to your Pinterest account using the “Pin it” task bar button, or you can just browse the Pinterest platform to discover, like, “repin” or comment on content others have already posted. You can also follow boards: one board that you like from a user, or all boards from one user. It’s totally up to you!

Pinterest for Business
A while ago Pinterest also enabled companies to join Pinterest as a Business. If the Pinterest account for your company was created before this was possible, you can still convert your account into a business account. I strongly recommend you to do this so you will enjoy specific features for a business like statistics & insights.

On the screenshot below you’ll see the Pinterest Boards of The Hotel. Brussels:

Screenshot of Pinterest Boards of The Hotel Brussels

They have boards containing secret spots in Brussels, a board per room type they offer, a board filled with pictures taken by guests, and so on. They use Pinterest in different smart ways. If you visit their website and you click on “Photos” in their navigation you will see that their photo gallery integrated some of their existing PInterest boards. Smart, cause now they can just update their pictures on their Pinterest account, and they will automatically be updated on their website as well, and people can easily share pictures via their Facebook & Twitter account.

The Hotel integrated Pinterest Boards on their website

In emails mentioning their roomtypes they also link through to the specific Pinterest Board so you easily get to see all the pictures of one room type AND all the room type details.

For a business the ways to use Pinterest are endless. You can organize competitions & give-aways,
like the below “Pin to Unlock” example:

Pin to Unlock contest example

Or you can keep track of the history of your company, something that Ben & Jerry’s does in a very creative way with their Flavor Graveyard:

Flavor Graveyard Ben & Jerry's

Pinterest will also allow you to drive traffic to your website, and last but not least: companies can also make us of Pinterest to get inspired!

Are you already on Pinterest? If so, for what are you using Pinterest, and what are your thoughts about it?