How does Pinterest work? Mini User Guide

In this article, we will analyze how does Pinterest work? who it is suitable for, what its functionalities are, and, above all, its hidden potential. Are you curious about Pinterest? Let’s explore how does Pinterest work and how it can benefit you.

Pinterest is not a real social network, or rather, it is not like all the others; perhaps that is why it is less popular than other popular apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Forget the usual social network where you sign up and start posting pictures of yourself, your holidays, your cat, etc. I’m hoping for an avalanche of likes; here things are a bit different and, if you like, even more interesting. Wondering how does Pinterest work? Here’s a breakdown of its features and functionality.

Ever wondered how does Pinterest work to drive traffic and engagement? Let’s find out. Ready to find out everything and become a real expert “pinner”?

What is Pinterest, and how does it work?

Pinterest was born in America and started to spread in Italy around 2010, appreciated mostly by the female target group: 80% of active users are women! Understanding how does Pinterest work is key to utilizing its visual discovery platform effectively.

To understand how does Pinterest work, imagine an app that simulates a virtual pinboard with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Pinterest’s mechanism is based on the use of hashtags to categorize images so that they are easy to find.

Think of a huge blackboard on which to write down, or r

ather “pin,” images that somehow inspire you or excite you, so that you have them all at your fingertips, divided into categories, and can consult them at any time. Exploring how does Pinterest work can help you curate and organize your interests effectively.

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It is a social network based on images and, more generally, on visual content. It is not social to talk about oneself, but it could be well exploited to show one’s interests through the content shared. Images and videos are the masters: tutorials, video recipes, and infographics are just some of the contents you can find on Pinterest and which you can decide to save on your personal bulletin boards divided by theme.

Discovering how does Pinterest work can open doors to endless creativity and inspiration.

how does pinterest work content


Why use it and how to exploit it

Are you still in doubt about how to use Pinterest? Or maybe a question reigns supreme in your mind: why should I use it? The answer is simple: categorize the images you find on the web and browse them easily. Discover the power of visual storytelling. Find out how does Pinterest work for content marketing.

Are you furnishing your home and found an image of a sofa in exactly the color you were looking for? Create a special notice board, rename it (e.g., new furniture), and save that image there along with all the others you find by searching by topic.

Do you have guests for dinner and want to surprise them with a new recipe? Here too, the search bar on the Pinterest home page helps you: start typing in the topic you are interested in and discover the suggestions that Pinterest provides.

Let’s take another example: are you looking for a pair of ochre-colored shoes, or do you want hints and ideas on how to match them with the perfect outfit?

Same steps as in the previous case: type the keyword “ochre shoes” in the Pinterest search bar and scroll through all the images that appear. If one strikes your fancy, “pin” it, and you will find it in your profile on the board where you have chosen to save it.

Among the tasks of the Social Media Manager is the creation of marketing strategies on Pinterest. Would you like to pursue this profession?


Joining Pinterest: the basic steps

Pinterest, as in the case of many other social networks, provides two types of versions: a standard version for private users and a second version designed for companies. Don’t worry; both are free, and you do not have to pay to use them.

There is also a desktop version that you can access simply by connecting to the site. Let’s take things in order and find out how does Pinterest works for private users and all the necessary steps to take to start using the platform.

1. Download the Pinterest app.

Pinterest is available for both Android and iOS phones. Depending on your phone model, simply go to the Play Store or App Store, search for Pinterest, and proceed to download and install the app.

how does pinterest work google play store

how does pinterest work search bar

how does pinterest work search pinterest

how does pinterest work install

2. Login

In a few minutes, the famous red icon representing the P of Pinterest will appear on your device. Open the app and choose which way to register from the three (3) options available:

  • by entering your email and password
  • using the Facebook profile
  • using the Google account

how does pinterest work log in

Follow the simple steps the app proposes, and finally start using it.

3. Discover the internal sections

Pinterest’s interface is very simple and intuitive and consists mainly of four (4) sections. Below, I try to explain what they are for and how they work, along with the main actions you can perform within each one.


In this section, you can edit all the information on your profile. My advice to you is to complete your profile with a picture of yourself, add a description, and say whatever you want about yourself. You will then see that your personal space will come to life, and you can now indulge in “pinning” your first pictures.

how does pinterest work profile

Within this section, you can also create pinboards, which are nothing more than a kind of album that collects photos by topic. Depending on your intentions, you can make the notice board private or public. In the first case, the pictures you save inside will only be visible to you, whereas in the second case, that board will be visible to everyone.

In the SAVED/PROFILE section, you can also upload an image (there is a ‘+’ symbol at the top) from those you have on your device. The app will let you enter a title, additional information, and a reachable website when a user finds your pin and is interested in learning more.

  • HOME

In the Home section, there is a search bar at the top where I suggest you start typing in a topic of your interest. Pinterest will do the rest: it will show you images and videos related to that topic and suggest similar content.

how does pinterest work home

If an image particularly strikes you, click on it and use the magnifying glass at the bottom right to search for other visually similar images. You can then save all the ones you like on your profile wall. You can also decide to download an image to your smartphone; just click on the icon with three (3) dots in the top left corner.


This is the space dedicated to the contents published by the profiles you have decided to follow. Under each photo or video, you find in this section, you can leave a comment or share the image on other apps.

how does pinterest work follow already

Finally, you can stop following the user who posted that content or even report them if, in your opinion, they violate the rules of the Pinterest community.



All images you post on Pinterest become part of the platform and are shown to other users who have expressed interest in the same topic as your content.

how does pinterest work notifications

One or more users may decide to start following you; they may leave a comment, and this is exactly what the NOTIFICATIONS section is for.

But that’s not all; here you can also peek into the activities of your followers, see what they have pinned or who they have started see what they have pinned or who they have started following, and why not? You might get inspired and discover new, interesting profiles.

Pinterest Business: the account for companies

The Pinterest Business account designed for companies is also completely free. If you have a business and decide to focus on a content strategy, you should consider Pinterest as one of the social networks to activate. But how does Pinterest work for businesses?

how does pinterest work pinterest business

Difference from the basic account

Switching to a corporate account is essential, as you will have access to very useful tools that are not present in your private profile. A few examples? Analytics or the possibility of creating sponsorships.

For companies, it is essential to spend a few extra minutes creating the profile, including the brand name, category, logo, location, and website link.

When you have completed these initial steps, remember to insert the Pinterest widget on your company website (you will find it among the plugins of your CMS). Attracting the user’s attention will be immediate! You can also insert a preview of the pinboards you create to highlight your best content and entice visitors to your site to click.

What are the winning contents?

Keep in mind that Pinterest is the social network of creativity and creative people, so try to publish content with high visual engagement to make your readers identify with you and be led to follow your page. It is essential that photos are sharp, well-lit, with specially designed compositions and vivid and well-harmonized colors.

It is better to make the videos rather short; after all, you know that on social media, the user’s attention threshold is very low. Make sure they are well-lit and in a format suitable for all smartphones.

Videos showing the steps to make a make-up look work very well and are very popular with users (the majority of whom are women). Often they are videos with music in the background, and the protagonists perform and show step-by-step how to get to the final result without ever talking. It is definitely a winning idea—quick and impactful!

The importance of captions

You’re right; so far I’ve done nothing but repeat that Pinterest works with visual content, and we all agree that images often speak for themselves, but don’t overlook or underestimate the fact that you should include a caption underneath the content you upload to Pinterest.

A short description can strengthen the appeal of the post as well as better explain to those who come across that photo what it is about. In the case of a product (for example), you might think about including the name, brand, features, and a link to the website where you can perhaps buy it or find out additional information.

Watchwords: interact and engage!

Remember, if you want others to interact with your pins, you have to interact with yourself.

Whether you are a private individual or a company, the advice I would give you is to log on to the platform daily, browse through the suggested content in the ‘home’ section, and save at least 10–12 pins per day on your walls so that you have an active and up-to-date profile.

how does pinterest work watchwords

In addition to this, post two or three pieces of content in your name every week in order to attract users to your profile.

A good strategy for companies would be to involve employees in increasing the content on the public notice boards they create. Everyone can contribute to increasing the quantity and quality of content.

Make your employees true brand ambassadors; this way, you will work on brand awareness and have tangible and satisfying results.

The Potential of Pinterest

Few people know that you can shop on Pinterest. If you have an e-commerce business, you could take advantage of this platform to maximize your sales results; if, on the other hand, you are still undecided about whether to start selling your products or services online, Pinterest could be an excellent springboard. To learn more about the functionality of Pinterest shopping, I refer you to this article: How to Shop on Pinterest.

Now that you have read to the end of the article, you have discovered a little more about how does Pinterest works. All you have to do is take up the challenge, download the app, and start pinning right away!

If you have understood how to use Pinterest but would like to improve on the strategic part, contact an expert. He will guide you step by step in defining the best strategic plan for you!


Interview on how Pinterest works

Below is an interview with Cinzia Di Martino, a web and social media expert and author of the blog

photo fabrizio benelli blog

How does Pinterest compare to other social networks?

photo cinzia di martino blogCalling it a social network is not quite right. The more one studies how does Pinterest works, the more one realizes that social integration is quite absent. That said, it is considered a social network, albeit an anomalous one. To understand how does Pinterest works, one must first talk about visual content, i.e., everything that revolves around images, graphics, infographics, and quotes. Everything that can be considered useful content for users is, above all, beautiful to look at. When deciding on Pinterest, one must therefore base oneself on this small consideration.

photo fabrizio benelli blog

How do you optimize your presence on Pinterest?

photo cinzia di martino blogStarting with the very basics. To understand how does Pinterest works, the first thing we need to talk about is the correct profile layout. Starting with the image (which in the case of a company should be the logo) and the description, which should not be the classic “We are an industry leader” but should be exciting. Another very important factor is hashtags, as Pinterest’s internal search engine is quite powerful and revolves very well around these elements.

A third very important thing is checking the company or personal website, because this gives us the opportunity to display our pins differently, turning them into rich pins and adding a whole range of extra information beyond the classic image with description. Finally, one cannot ignore the content: it must be useful, visually very impactful, and with the addition for each image of the watermark with the company logo, so as to convey one’s brand.

photo fabrizio benelli blog

Which businesses would you recommend using Pinterest for?

Which ones would you advise against?

photo cinzia di martino blogIn terms of presence, it is easier if you have a business related to photography, food, fashion, tourism, graphics in general, or infographics. On a corporate level, therefore, everything that revolves around these topics is important. On the other hand, as far as businesses are concerned, everyone actually has something interesting to say, so understanding how does Pinterest works allows you to give your visual content a pleasing shape.

Paradoxically, even a lawyer, if he or she understands how does Pinterest works, could use it, perhaps with some practical tips that everyone could use. In this way, on the one hand, it would be useful for the firm, and on the other hand, it would be useful for its brand to make itself known and showcase its expertise. That is why I would leave the door open for everyone. The important thing is to play with imagination with a view to being useful for as many people as possible.

Making a career in digital work with social media, such as Pinterest, is possible




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