Some observations about Pinterest and my usage, loosely.
01. My decision to follow someone’s Pinterest account is initially based on the number of Boards they have. More than 20? I’m unlikely to follow their account but if I find an interesting board or two, I will follow those separately. (Wondering whether Pinterest then counts me as a “Follower” of that person’s account or not…) Sometimes, when I find someone has good content, I hit the “Follow” button on their profile and THEN peruse the boards they have individually. If I find some that I’d rather not follow, I unfollow only those boards individually. This is easier than going through each board separately and following individually.
02. Accurately descriptive names of Boards with accurately descriptive cover photos of those Boards makes it more likely I will follow that particular Board or Pinner in general. I have seen too many Pinterest accounts that have dozens of Boards where descriptions and Board names make no sense, are redundant or have no Pins at all.
03. Pinterest accounts that already have a large following are more likely to be followed. More followers makes me comfortable in the belief that there’s got to be something worthwhile that those people are sharing.
04. I’m more likely to Re-Pin something based on how much I like the photograph rather than the actual content of the Pin i.e. what I will see when I click on the photograph and am taken to a website outside Pinterest. The latter rarely interests me unless it is an object I am keen to know more about or if it is a DIY and I want to know details. 90% of the time I re-pin because I like the picture shared.
05. I have seen that many people re-share Pins without clicking further to see whether the picture they are re-pinning is relevant to the content that picture represents. I do it a lot myself and it is related to 04. above.
06. Most people do not add new content in the “Description” when re-pinning. But most do add something when they are sharing a Pin directly from a website.
07. Most people prefer to Re-Pin what is already on Pinterest. There are only a few super-users who Pin from around the Internet. The latter, I find, are more valuable to brands in the long run. ( Brands looking to associate with Pinners that is. ) The latter is also more work, which makes it more valuable to Pinterest. It also makes a Pinner more valuable to someone like me, who is looking to follow interesting Pinners.
08. From 07. above, if you are a brand looking to “be Pinned”, it would be a no-brainer to have the hover “Pin It” button on all your images on your website or blog. People like me look for it when we visit websites and blogs and photographer portfolios. I love sharing great images and stories regardless of who created them. I have the Pin It button on all the images on my blog and use it myself to Pin select images to my Pinterest whenever I do a new / interesting story. If your website / blog does not have the Pin It button, it makes it harder for someone like me to Pin an image from your website. If something particular really catches my fancy, I will still Pin It but the likelihood of my pinning something is exponentially higher when there’s a Pin It button to make the process simpler.
09. I do not know of any Indian brands that are even looking in the direction of Pinterest. ( Except PayTM of course. They are a client and I am working with them on a #NainaForPayTM Pinterest board where I pick my favourite products from their marketplace each week, photograph those products and then Pin those images on a board specifically created for this project. ) While this can be seen as “Pinterest is not yet important enough”, it is also a massive opportunity for Indian brands to step in now when it’s still a blank canvas.
10. Pinterest is like therapy for my visual soul. I spend about 30-45 minutes each day on the platform, re-pinning and sharing my favourite photographs and content. I am looking to increase my involvement in the “Pin from websites instead of merely re-pinning on Pinterest”. I also love going back to my Pinterest Boards and Pins and soaking up the visual perfection. It isn’t exactly like looking at the work of other photographers and feeling like my own is terrible but quite like looking at all the beauty the world has to offer. It calms my soul.
11. There are some stunning photographs that have people smoking cigarettes in them. I am no longer able to get myself to re-pin those.
12. Yes I have a separate Pinterest Board only for photography & it is called #EyesForPhotography. Almost all my Pinterest boards have names similar to the names of categories on my blog. #EyesForLuxury ( for all the stunning opulence and luxury I can find on Pinterest ), #EyesForFashion ( which is the most popular one by the way – no surprise there ), #EyesForDining ( for mostly stunning photographs of food and objects around food – not necessarily recipes ), #EyesForTravel ( for all the stunning destinations, resorts and hotels I would love to travel to or stay at during my travel ), #EyesForArchitecture ( building and construction and even details of rooms that are beautiful and well-designed ), #EyesForDesign ( product and other design that is innovative and something I haven’t seen earlier ), #EyesForBranding ( usually great logo design, graphics, works of art and packaging design ), #EyesForLifestyle ( mostly other miscellaneous things that don’t clearly fit into any of the above categories – like cuddly animals or table settings and living room décor ), Naina.co ( for all the photographs I share on the blog and on my website as part of my portfolio ), ThoughtWasp ( a good phrase / metaphor / profound thought that is also displayed in a great typeface and designed well – this is rare and I pointedly do not follow Boards like “Words To Live By”, “Thoughtful Words” etc. because the visuals are just appalling. There’s also the WeddingsByNaina.co board, which is defunct now because I no longer photograph weddings. The CanvasPrints board is where I pin canvas prints of photographs from my online store. And the NainaForPayTM board is an ongoing collaboration with PayTM as mentioned in 09. above.
I believe the platform has potential. I list my canvases for sale on Pinterest and the Pin automatically pulls the price of the print directly from my online store – for example this Pin. But there are many more things that the platform needs to think up for people who dedicate time and effort on the platform. Pinterest has recently updated it’s TOS to say that promoted Pins will now be shown preferentially and they even have a page where one can “Join The Waitlist“. Like many others, I take this to mean that Pinterest is going places. I’m glad I’m along for the ride. Finally.