Pinterest, Explained by Someone Who is the Worst at It
By Drew Hoolhorst
I have a social media problem. For the most part, I think anyone reading this piece does (how the hell else did you get here?). But I’m just the worst. I check Facebook incessantly. I Tweet when it’s unnecessary. I regularly think “That’d be a great Instagram shot” thoughts. Hell, man, I’ll even check Path sometimes, jusssst to see if it’s still a social network. And then a funny thing happened: Pinterest became a thing.
Unless you live in a dark cave, you’ve heard of it. I don’t know – at this point people in dark caves have probably heard of it. And here’s the thing that sucks: I’m bad at Pinterest.
I realize that Pinterest is really simple. It’s a digital pinboard that you post pretty pictures on. Do you like that outfit that that chick wore to that thing? BOOM. Pin it. Do you like that picture of food? BOOM. Pin it. Do you like that “anything that can be photographed”? BOOM. Pin that shit. Honestly, it’s a really easy way to tell people what you like, and I get that. But here’s the thing: I’ve got PLENTY to say but not that much to show you. So essentially, I’m fucked. With Pinterest, I simply cannot keep up with the rate at which things are shared.
I tried to solve this. Could I emulate other people’s boards? Could I simply yoink titles that other people had for their boards and use them as my own? I tried and then realized just how out of my league I was. However, I did notice some patterns. On that note…
This is a novice’s interpretation of how to use Pinterest.
Make a board about DIY crafting.
It’s funny; no one seemed to be into crafting before Pinterest existed. You never heard people saying in passing, “Hey, did I tell you about that lampshade I made out of sequins and old rubber tires?” If I’m to believe my friend’s Pinterest boards now, everyone spends a majority of their lives creating random terrariums or hats that make you look like an owl. This brings up the larger idea that Pinterest has essentially made people more interesting, even if they’re just lazily throwing pictures up on a board as a new way of hitting the Like button.
Talk about the wedding you’re going to have before anyone has asked to marry you.
Seriously, it doesn’t matter. Pinterest allows people to be passive-aggressive as hell. Angry he hasn’t popped the question yet? Drop a hint and just start posting what the floral arrangements are and what the rose petals will look like on the altar of the venue you’ve already selected (or all 1,894 of them on another board—entirely optional). While it would be creepy for someone to do this in their bedroom, with or without a partner, it is somehow in no way creepy on Pinterest.
While you’re at it, pin what your home is going to look like someday.
For the most part, we all live in some unbelievably boring place. It probably has a couple of chairs, a bed, and any other furniture we can afford (read: crappy furniture). And maybe, just maybe, it showcases some trinkets and doodads that make it “so us.” Go online, find pictures of rich people’s houses, and post pictures on a board about what your home is going to look like when you grow up. Maybe a room with a nice lamp. Definitely a crazy-nice kitchen with crap you can’t afford to buy at Williams-Sonoma. Boom. You did it.
Pin any well-designed picture of a quote that is vague.
HUGE bonus points if it’s a variation of “Keep Calm and Carry On.” That shit is so gonna get repinned. Just wait for the followers to get on your pin-wagon. While you’re at it...
Pin pictures of tiny animals.
No matter what. Don’t think; just pin that shit. Baby giraffe? Boom. Monkey riding a pig? Boom.
Find any infographic about anything.
It honestly doesn’t matter. It could be about the number of pistachios that get left behind because their shell has that awkward opening that’s just not open enough, so you can’t eat it versus the number of pistachios that you can definitely eat because they’re normal. Seriously. It doesn’t matter. If it’s an infographic? Pin that shit. If you’re a brand trying to get into Pinterest in a way that fans will relate to? This is your easiest way to offer kids candy in the back of a Pinterest van. Do it.
Pin pictures of babies doing things.
It’s just vague enough so that it doesn’t say, “I WANT A BABY.” It’s saying, “Hey, don’t blame me. I’m just looking at adorable babies doing something adorable. What’s wrong with that?” Babies are the cats of Pinterest. They’re pretty much an easy go-to.
Pin any picture of food.
Food was the one thing that got a little left behind when Twitter started. Turns out words about food aren’t as cool as a picture of food, because people like pictures and not words because pictures are neat. Guess what? If you joined Pinterest, you just went from making Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to cooking some kind of dumpling you’ve never heard of with ingredients you can buy only in places that don’t exist. And you’re putting bacon on everything.
Finally, when all else fails…
Just repin anything someone else pins who has a lot of followers. It’s just like any other social network, guys. We’re all just yelling the same thing at each other.