A beginner's guide to Pinterest
Becky Humphrey-Bullen is one half of author team LittleStreams. In this post, she explains how to use social media platform Pinterest as a tool to promote your resources.
Pinterest is the biggest new craze to hit the social media streets. Already boasting 100 million users across the globe, the social scrapbooking site has made its way from its roots in the US, across the pond to us. Pinterest describes itself as 'a place to organise and share the things you love.'
It's a collection of virtual cork boards, where you can pin your favourite images up for yourself and for others to see. It’s a great platform for showing off your products for other teachers to see and hopefully buy.
When you understand the jargon, Pinterest is pretty easy to use. You ‘pin’ an image or video to a ‘board’, where the ‘followers’ of the board see your ‘pins’.
PIN and RE-PIN: To place images onto Pinterest, you pin the image from a website, such as TES, using the Pin it button. Or, you can re-pin images you find on Pinterest to one of your own boards. Pins link back to the website they were originally pinned from.
BOARD: A board is the place where you pin your images to. You can have many boards for different themes, such as one for maths, another for English etc. Boards can be public for all your followers to see, or secret so only you can view them. You can also join collaborative boards where many people can add pins.
FOLLOWING: Just like other forms of social media, you can follow boards you like. Your Pinterest home page contains pins from boards you follow, and pins you put on your boards will appear on the homepage of people who follow you.
LIKE: Liking a pin means you can save it without having to pin it to another board.
First you need to sign up. For our account, we signed up with our store name, LittleStreams, to keep continuity with our branding.
Then you can create your boards. We created one board just for our products, and then boards for mathematics and English, where we place pins of other products and blogs that interest us as educators.
To pin to these boards, the easiest way is to pin direct from the website. Many websites have a Pinterest button. You can see how it appears on TES in the image below.
When you click the Pinterest button, you can choose which board you wish to add the pin to.
A word of warning: every pin you add appears on the homepage of your followers, so be careful not to spam the boards. If you repeatedly pin the same image, your followers' boards will be filled with the same pin again and again.
Best practice on Pinterest
What make the best pins?
In general, you need striking images. You should be creating eye-catching cover pages to make your TES resources stand out in the preview pane. If you just have a worksheet of black text on white background, chances are this is less likely to get noticed.
Pinterest is a collaborative medium about more than just your own resources. Pin blog posts you find interesting, videos on teaching and other peoples’ products you like too.
How many boards should I have?
This is a hard question because it depends on your needs, but rule of thumb is to have as many boards as you need to keep your page organised. Users can follow all of your boards with one simple click, so there’s no limit really. Although, you’ll want to make sure you keep the number of boards easy to manage.
You may also wish to join collaborative boards. People who are welcoming new collaborators usually put their email address in the board description and any rules of the board (such as no more than three pins a day). Email the person running the board requesting to join, giving them your Pinterest username, and don’t forget to follow them too.
How often should I pin?
Aim to pin at least once a day. It is better to pin regularly over the course of the day rather than pinning all at once. This can be hard to do, especially for those of us that teach.
We have the Pinterest app, which makes it far easier to use throughout the day.
- Don't make extra work for yourself - pin your resources directly from TES onto your boards.
- Be organised - arrange your resources on to themed boards helps users to navigate your content.
- Little and often - don't spam your followers. Pin regularly, but not in large batches.
- Look good - the preview pane is your first impression, ensure it does your resource justice.
- Collaborate - raise your profile and increase your followers by adding pins to collaborative boards.
Questions? Contact our TES Authors Team for guidance and advice on promoting your resources through social media. If you're feeling lost, see this post for an introduction to social media and resources.
Feeling confident? Look out for a follow-up post that will delve into Pinterest use in greater detail!