When it comes to searching for ideas and inspiration in a variety of categories, Pinterest can often be far better than Google. In addition to being a great tool for promoting your brand or website, there are many creative uses for Pinterest, and it’s also a great visual search engine. With a few tips and tricks, you can really make the most out of all the content the social network has to offer.
When it comes to finding something inspirational or interesting visual content, Pinterest is really like a refined search engine. While there are obviously algorithms and a secret sauce at work, the content that ends up on Pinterest is, for the most part, carefully curated by other users. No matter what your interest might be, searching for interesting photos, websites, tutorials, and more is incredibly easy on Pinterest.
It is a social network made for discovery and it certainly lives up to that reputation. So how can you be sure that you’re uncovering all the amazing content that has been generated by other users? Here are seven tips.
If you signed up for Pinterest a while ago, chances are you’re only following other people. In January 2014, Pinterest introduced Categories, ramping it up a few months later with specialized interests. With this feature, you can follow topics of interest.
Just click on the category you’re interested in, and you can continue to view other related topics. For example, under the ‘Design‘ category, you can venture into the topics Logo Design, Apparel Design, or Web Design, to name just a few.
You can also give Pinterest feedback to refine these categories. If you feel a pin doesn’t belong in any given category, click on the X button and click on the This doesn’t belong in…” link. From there you can also unfollow topics if you find that you’re no longer interested in them.
If you want a truly tailored experience on Pinterest, you’re probably better off following boards rather than people. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and there might be certain pinners who have very similar interests to yours, and you want to follow all their boards.
What this means is that every time they create a new board — you’re going to automatically follow it. Following individual boards, and occasionally going to each pinner’s profile to see if they have any new boards you want to follow is a better way to keep your feed targeted.
If you followed a bunch of people when you first signed up, just go to their profile pages and you can unfollow the boards you’re not interested in.
Check Related Pins
‘Related Pins’ are a quick way to find a lot more interesting content based on what you’re currently viewing. When you open up a pin, just scroll down beneath it, and you’ll find around 100 more pins to consider saving.
Last May, Pinterest announced some changes to the way Related Pins work, making them far more relevant. It does this by using a visual search system that shows you pins that are visually similar to the one that you’re looking at. This is probably the first place that I personally go when looking for more content to add to my boards.
Check Your Followers and Engagers
It’s always worth taking a look at the pins and boards of people who are repinning your content. Even if you don’t want to follow them, chances are they’ll be saving content that will appeal to you.
When you receive a notification that someone has saved one of your pins or followed one of your boards, take a look at their Pinterest profile. You might find a board you’re interested in following, or at the very least, a few pins you would like to save.
It’s also worth taking a look at the following list of people you follow. Just head over to their profiles, and see who they follow. This is a surefire way to find more pinners with interests similar to yours.
Use Guided Search
Pinterest’s Guided Search, like its categories, makes it easy to find content based on what is popular on Pinterest. When you enter a search term, Pinterest will offer up additional words that are associated with your search term. This is a good way to refine your search and ensure that the content you’re looking for on Pinterest is even more targeted and of particular interest to you.
Interact From the Home Feed
Pinterest revealed last year that if you pin from the home feed, the Pinterest algorithm is able to serve up content at the top of your feed that is relevant to your interests. The Pinterest algorithm no longer displays content chronologically, but rather places what it thinks you will find relevant at the top of the feed.
This is actually quite similar to the new feature Twitter recently introduced, and while this concept does not lend itself to a social network like Twitter where breaking news is an integral part of the content, with Pinterest it actually works quite well.
The Pinterest algorithm takes a look at both positive interactions (repins, saves, clicks, comment) and negative interactions (hide, do nothing) with pins on the home feed and generates historical data, which it uses to predict what kinds of content users will engage with positively, and then presents the pins with the relevant content at the top. In my experience, my home feed is often refreshed with pins similar to the most recent items I have pinned.
Pinterest is continuing to refine that algorithm, so continuing to interact from the home feed will likely contribute to a better experience for you. And Pinterest engineers say that the feature has worked very well. They write on the Engineering blog, “With each iteration, we’ve observed significant boosts in Pinner engagement, including an increase in the home feed repinner count by more than 20 percent.”
Check the Website
Sometimes when you’re on Pinterest, particularly on your phone or tablet, it’s easy to forget that there’s a lot of content beyond the walls of the social network. Be sure to click on the links to see if there’s more interesting content on that website.
If you really don’t want to leave Pinterest at all, there’s a feature that allows you to see other content pinned from any given website with just one click of a button. When you open a pin, directly underneath the image, it should tell you where the pin was saved from. If you click that link, rather than clicking through on the image itself, you can see all the pins saved from that site. (In cases, however, where that website has a Pinterest account — clicking on that link will take you to their Pinterest profile instead.)
How do you find the most interesting content on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments.