This Month > Social Media Minute

Using Pinterest to Support Agriculture

Pinterest has quickly become one of the best social media tools for businesses and other organizations looking to drive visitors and e-commerce to their web presences. Companies and the creators of Pinterest continue to evaluate how the site can best be used to help consumers meet their needs. In this month’s Social Media Minute, we will begin a two part series about what Pinterest is, and later, how businesses can use the social media site.

What is Pinterest?
So what is Pinterest? It is a visual discovery tool, or digital scrapbooking site, that allows users to bookmark items of interest for their own storage. Users can create “boards” of as many categories as they like, from gardening and humor, to cheese and wine pairings, whatever their varied interests might be. Users can browse content that has already been “pinned” to Pinterest, which means another user has already uploaded that content to the website, or users can “pin” content as they browse websites outside of Users can browse by an area of interest within Pinterest has already classified, or by looking through the sites most popular pins category. All Pinterest content is searchable, with results showing visual representations of the pin, not just a bold headline like web-based search engines.

For example, you might come along a news story about the health benefits of milk on, if has enabled its audience to “pin” their content, you could share that story to your personal Pinterest board(s). When deciding to pin something from a website, you will be given the option to select an image from that page. The image is what will then show in your Pinterest newsfeed and the feed of the followers you have on Pinterest. It can also be shared subsequently with Facebook and Twitter followers if your accounts are linked to share content. Your pin will appear on whichever board you have selected, maybe a “Dairy News” board you created to share positive news coverage with your followers. The pin will display the image you chose, a link back to the website it originated from, any comments other Pinterest users might have left, and how many times that content has been “repined” or “liked.”

Pinterest users can not only follow the feeds of their social media friends, which Pinterest helps you find upon registration by linking to your other social media accounts, but any other users they might find interesting. Even better, you can search for boards that other users have created and dedicated to a specific interest, and follow just that board for updates and new pins. If you come across another users board dedicated to heirloom vegetables, but don’t want to get updates from the fantasy wedding board that user pins to, just simply follow the heirloom vegetable board and not the user.

Pinterest also gives users the option to install a “Pin It” button to their web browser. This button allows you to pin things when the page owner has not installed a “Pin It” button with the content itself. Just because a website does not have a “Pin It” button does not mean their content is not available for sharing, users can still use the browser-based button.