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With a few small tweaks, you could be getting a lot more mileage out of your Pinterest boards. Many users tend to limit themselves in how they use the Pinterest: wishlists, tutorials, gift ideas Find The Perfect Holiday Gift For Anyone On These Pinterest Boards Find The Perfect Holiday Gift For Anyone On These Pinterest Boards There's no better place to find gift ideas than Pinterest. You don't even need to create an account. Just visit these boards and take as many ideas as you can find! Read More , or some combination of them all. But why stop there? There’s more to Pinterest than that.

By using Pinterest in a way that isn’t commonplace, you can immediately earn the attention of any visitors who happen to check out your boards. This first impression (as well as long-term impression) can make all the difference in the world.

Try using Pinterest in some of these new ways. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you’re new to Pinterest, check out our unofficial Pinterest guide before you continue.

Use Pinterest For… Project Showcases

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If you’re an artist or creator of some kind, you can generate a lot of buzz and publicity simply by altering the way you present your ideas, projects, and creations on Pinterest. Instead of pinning up a new image whenever it’s ready, why not make an event out of it? Just like art galleries save up a large collection of art items and release them all at once in an art exhibit, you could do the same.

This applies to endeavors outside art as well. Company product announcements could be done in the same fashion — sort like a miniature expo. Traditional press releases are good, but Pinterest showcases could be an extra avenue for traffic, hype, and news-worthy stories.

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Note that this would require a lot of proper marketing ahead of time and you’d need to already have some sort of presence in the public eye since “exhibit” type events don’t draw much attention for undiscovered artists and companies.

Use Pinterest For… Collaboration

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Pinterest is fantastic if you want to follow someone’s board and see what they’re up to. We could say that Pinterest is a network built on followers. However, instead of using your board in a one-directional way, why not go in a collaborative direction?

When creating a board, you can set who can contribute pins to said board. Therefore, you could create a board for, say, wedding ideas and have your bridesmaids take part by pinning their own ideas to the board. This is a subtly different way to brainstorm — not by following many different people, but by concentrating the idea generation in one spot.

Other ideas for collaboration include renovating your home, business and advertising decisions, event ideas, baby names, pets to adopt, vacation spots, and more.

Use Pinterest For… Gathering Opinions

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If you need to make a big decision but you’re having trouble pulling the trigger, use a Pinterest board to poll people for their opinions. By gauging which ideas are “liked” more than others, you can include the opinions of others in your decision making process. In addition to the “likes,” people can leave comments and elaborate on their opinions.

This is a great option for people and companies who already use Pinterest and already have a sizable following. For example, if you’re thinking of redesigning your website, you can pin up a dozen different prototypes and have the followers “like” according to their preferences. It’s more intuitive for Pinterest followers than sending them to a third-party polling site, that’s for sure.

Use Pinterest For… Tracking Progress

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For those of you working on a long-term project, use a private Pinterest board to catalog and document your progress from beginning to end. There are a few benefits to doing this.

One benefit is posterity: you can one day look back and go through the whole process and see how it evolved. Another benefit is redundancy, since if something goes wrong or missing you have proof that it was there at some point. But most of all, it can be motivating. Long projects tend to overwhelm and it helps to be able to take a breath and literally see how far you’ve come.

If you make your board public, you can keep followers updated on project milestones. When people can see your project evolving before their eyes, it helps build an emotional connection with them — almost as if they’re a part of the project.

Could you do this with something other than Pinterest? Yes, but if you’re already an avid Pinterest user, this is a great way to organize and track your progress.

Use Pinterest For… Charity Drives

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Back in 2012, the beauty product line Elizabeth Arden exercised a new form of philanthropy by running a “Pin It to Give It” campaign — itself a twist on the already popular “Pin It to Win It” campaigns that others had run before.

What was “Pin It to Give It”? For each image that was pinned to the campaign board, Elizabeth Arden donated one eyeliner product to Look Good Feel Better, a public service program that aims to improve the quality of life for cancer treatment patients.

More recently, Sony ran a similar campaign by setting up a board full of Sony products. For each image that was re-pinned from that board, Sony donated $1 to the Michael Phelps Foundation, ultimately raising over $12,500 in a single month.

Running a charity drive through Pinterest may seem strange, but everyone walks away a winner. Not only do said charities receive helpful donations, but the ones running the drive earn a good bit of publicity along the way. Other forms of charity through Pinterest are possible, too. The only limit is your imagination.

To further improve your Pinterest experience, check out these helpful Pinterest tools Make Better Use of Pinterest With These 5 Pinterest Tools Make Better Use of Pinterest With These 5 Pinterest Tools Whether you’ve already fallen for Pinterest or not, no one can deny the new network’s popularity. Instead of sharing your thoughts or actions, you get to share beautiful images. Not only that, those images don’t... Read More .

Do you use Pinterest in unconventional ways? We’d love to hear about it. Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Image Credits: Shrugging Girl Via Shutterstock, Measuring Tape Via Shutterstock

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