I keep reading about Pinterest and so, of course, I started wondering…

Should I join?
What do I do with it?
Will it help me with anything or just be another social platform?

So I started my boards and took a look around, but found myself still a bit puzzled.

Pinterest is basically a photo-sharing platform. A place to “pin” images of things you like and are interested in. You can put a button in your browser’s toolbar that will put almost any image you see online on one of your pinboards, with the opportunity to make a comment on it. These could be your own images or those of others that you see when you are browsing. You don’t have to download and upload as you do on other platforms.

Pinterest is definitely great for businesses that sell products. They can add a “Pin It” button to images of their offerings and customers can add those things to their pinboards, which will be seen by everyone who is following them. That’s a lot of free advertising!

Pinterest is also good for service businesses which use a portfolio of work to increase their client base. Web design companies can certainly benefit from having a pinboard of their work available here.

For the same reason, Pinterest may be a good platform for freelancers and entrepreneurs. You can pin your latest work from all different sources into one board and use that as your online portfolio site. Web and graphic designers, photographers, and artists especially will benefit from having pinboards of their work available on this platform. You can also find other people on Pinterest with similar interests that you might want to connect with. Some people are also pinning their resumes, especially the new infographic styles.

Why might Pinterest be better than other photo sharing sites? In my opinion, the advantage lies in the board concept itself. Rather than looking one at a time at photos on Flickr, or a giant page of uncategorized photos, pinboards are collections of related items. Someone who is checking out your design aesthetic can get a good overview of your logos, for example, with one click. And knowing who else likes the same thing you like might be an excellent bit of information.

I’m still a newbie at Pinterest and have been pinning mostly knitting patterns so far. I would love to hear what you think of Pinterest and if you’ve thought of any great uses for creatives, so please let me know in the comments!

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative