So, you want to be an active member in sharing the gospel, eh? Among striking up conversations with strangers concerning the gospel, why don’t you try sharing a spiritual message on Pinterest?
Individuals who now have Pinterest accounts most likely signed up without knowing much about the site or how it worked. An individual may have signed up for an account because he saw his friends using it, wanted to find out a recipe or a tutorial, or stumbled upon it while surfing the web. Those who still use the site are united in a single way: all have found what interests them on Pinterest.
Who is on Pinterest?
Unlike most social media platforms, Pinterest offers a unique spectrum of users. On Pinterest, one can find single mothers, older men who hunt, younger men who like cars, artists of every sort, taxidermists, survival experts, teenagers, chefs, grandmas who enjoy cooking, gamers, bucket list champions, carpenters, crafty mothers, DIY specialists, and more. Fortunately for those seeking to share the gospel on social media, there’s a large number of Mormon users that have Pinterest accounts. Following faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has never been easier, and will help you with your efforts when it comes to publicizing uplifting religious messages.
According to Digital Market Ramblings, the average Pinterest user is a woman who is a U.S. citizen that spends approximately 14.2 minutes per day on the site. Within the U.S., 20% of women and 5% of men are Pinterest users. Females who have a Pinterest account have an average of 67 followers. Worldwide women account for 94% of all Pinterest activity and 92% of all pins are created by women.
What Features does Pinterest Offer?
Pinterest really is all about the feed. Scroll through limitless pins in the most visually stunning content feed of any of the most popular social networks. On Pinterest you can spend an unlimited amount of time looking at home decor, wedding cakes or just about any other type of imagery you can imagine. And there is plenty of great content available to help you share the gospel!
According to the Help Center on Pinterest, any user can create up to 500 boards. What you choose to title and add to those boards is completely up to you.
To access your boards, click on the top right rectangle that displays your name.
From that point, your profile will display your name, a picture that represents you, and all of your boards you’ve created. It will also show the number of pins, likes, followers, and those who you’re following as well. It should look something like this:
You can also create secret boards that only you can see and access.
To send a pin, move your cursor over the pin (or picture) you want to send. Next to the “Pin It” button will be an option to send it. Once clicked, you can search for people on Pinterest to send it to. Usually the options that will show up will be people you’re following or those who follow you. Add their name or multiple names and send away!
Editing & Deleting Pins
To edit a pin, direct your cursor to the pin (or picture) you’d like to delete or edit. On the right side of the picture you should be able to see a symbol that resembles a pencil. Once clicked, a box should pop up like the one shown below:
Once there, you can edit which board you want the pin to show up on, the description of the pin, the source of the pin, and a place or name that relates to it. You can also see on the bottom left side an option to delete the pin from any given board. It’ll delete the pin from your board, but probably not from the website as other people circulate similar pins.
Your profile reflects you as a Pinterest user, but it definitely doesn’t have to reflect you as a person. You can sign up with your real name, or your infamous supervillian alias. It’s really up to you. You can access editing options to your profile by clicking on your name in the top right corner. After it takes you to your profile there will be a red button underneath your name in the right corner of the screen that reads, “Edit Profile.” From there, you can change your name, upload a picture of yourself, your username, write under your “About You” section, write in your location, and add a website your affiliated with.
Pinterest is available on most mobile app platforms, including iPad, iPhone, Android devices, tablets, and more. It offers everything that you can access from a laptop or desktop, making any changes or edits easy while being abroad.
What Makes Pinterest Unique?
interest is unique in so many ways. As one of the most popular photo sharing sites, Pinterest has created an individualized social media platform different from any other. According to Today who interviewed Dr. Christopher Long,
Today also mentions how Pinterest channels in to humans’ innate desire to collect things and how that contributes to its popularity.
Pinterest boards are like its users’ personal happiness collages. (They represent) things that I appreciate, that I desire, and that express who I am, whether the things are cupcakes, shirtless David Beckham or an inspirational quotation.
What Do People Talk About on Pinterest?
Unlike most social media platforms, Pinterest users don’t often converse with each other. While the site offers ways to chat with other users, most Pinners prefer to communicate using pins. One of the ways people communicate on Pinterest is by pinning inspirational, love, or literary quotes. Often users will also communicate by repinning powerful and historical photographs and other moving images. Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest users find themselves using the site’s features for their individual needs. They often avoid confrontation that can be found on other sites such as BuzzFeed, Facebook, and Twitter. Pinterest has used pins to create unity among users as they repin images, life hacks, DIY tutorials, and inspirational quotes which cycle throughout the site.
Should You Use Pinterest?
Now this is the big question: should you? It’s completely up to you, but if you enjoy individualized collages of your favorite things and discovering new things you’ve never even dreamed of, then a Pinterest account is definitely something you should look in to. Pinterest is also perfect for those who are on the go or have a minute to sit down and enjoy various pins. If you’d prefer saving 14.2 minutes per day and keeping your life at a steady, predictable pace, then you may want to pass on creating a Pinterest account.
Signing Up for a Pinterest Account
Setting up a Pinterest account is very easy. You can either authenticate with a few clicks using another social profile (like your Facebook account) or you can enter a username, password and email address. The set up process only takes a few minutes and you’ll be ready get pinning.
Finding People to Follow
After putting in your name and age, Pinterest will take you to a page where you can add your friends and acquaintances from Facebook and Twitter. Even if you can’t find all of your friends from these two networks, you’re always welcome to add more later. To do this, click on the Pinterest “P” symbol in the top left corner to access your feed. Once there, in the upper middle section of the screen will be an option button that reads, “Invite Friends” with a paper airplane next to it. A box will then show up allowing you to invite or add friends from Facebook, Twitter, or your email.
Creating a Pin
To create a pin, access your list of boards and click on the board where you want your pin to show up. Under the title of the board you will see your latest pins, and next to your most recent pin will be an option box, “Add a Pin.” From there, you can choose to upload a pin from your computer or find one on the web.
Here I am, using all of these terms that you’re probably not familiar with. Writers at Blogelina.com have created an easy list to understanding Pinterest lingo:
Boards: Think of these as cork or pin boards, much like you may have or have had in real, but now they’ve gone virtual. You can set up topic-specific boards and add pictures that are relevant to those boards. For example, you might create a “Places I Want to Travel Board” or a “St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party” board. How general or specific you want your boards to be is completely up to you.
Pin: The main idea with Pinterest is to “pin” pictures to your boards. Pin is used both as a noun (what you put on your board is a “pin”) and a verb (the act of putting a picture on a board is “pinning”). For example, you might pin a picture of The Great Wall in your “Places I Want to Travel Board”
Repin: When you see someone else’s pin that you like, you can “repin” it and place the picture on an appropriate board of your own. It’s a way of showing appreciation for a great find by another Pinterest member and it also helps you create an even better board for yourself.
Like : If you see a pin that you like, but it doesn’t necessarily fit into your own boards, you can click a button to “Like” it. It helps you show appreciation for other people’s pins and Pinterest also keeps track of all your “Likes”, so you can refer to them later on.
Comment: You can also leave a comment on other people’s pins or respond to comments on your own pins.
Measurements of Success
You’re interested in sharing the gospel through Pinterest, but don’t know if your efforts are being noticed. With Pinterest, it isn’t as hard as it seems.
Most people aren’t familiar with this term, conversation rate means the number of people that are talking about your pin or image that you’ve shared. On the far right side right next to your name is a text bubble with two thumb tack symbols in it. It will turn red when you’ve received any notifications. It will also allow you to see how many people have commented on your pins.
Similar to the Conversation Rate, the Applause Rate relates to the number of “likes” or “favorites” received on a single pin. To “like” a pin, scroll the cursor over to the pin or image, and click the heart-shaped button on the right corner of the image. Within the chat bubble next to your name, it will show you how many people have “liked” or “favorited” the pin you posted or repinned.
The Amplification Rate also falls into a similar category as the rates above. Mainly, the Amplification Rate is associated with how many shares a pin or image gets. You can find out how many shares and repins a pin will get by clicking on the thumbtacked speech bubble as mentioned above.
Sharing images, quotes, scriptures and pins on Pinterest isn’t a game. It’s not something to be competitive over, especially if it relates to the gospel. If you’re aiming to share more gospel-related things on Pinterest, keep track of the number for yourself to create goals, but don’t compare yourself to others when it comes to the amount of likes, shares, and repins. What matters the most is that you’re doing it and inevitably people will see it.
If you don’t live in Utah or a tight-knit religious community, finding other LDS pinners can be a challenge. Try adding your LDS friends to your Pinterest profile and feed. You can also follow some of the more official LDS Pinterest accounts: Mormon Channel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Bonnie Oscarson.
Here are some other good profiles to fill your Pinterest feed with positive content.
Connecting with our prophets and other spiritual leaders on Pinterest is always a good idea. Just make sure that it’s actually run by them or with their intentions in mind and not an impostor or anti-Mormon activist.
Increasing Your Connections
Once you’ve found people and pages to connect with on Pinterest, you’ll probably want to expand. The more people you follow, the more pins show up on your daily feed.
Follow Other People
For those who want to share the gospel online and with the suggestions provided above, try also seeing which users the Church and other spiritual leaders follow, as they would follow pinners that post religiously relevant pins.
Complete Your Profile
The two most neglected areas pinners forget to pay attention to are uploading a profile picture and changing their privacy settings for their profiles. To upload an image as a profile picture, click the red box that reads, “Edit Profile” and follow the instructions provided. To update your privacy settings, click on the the little gear symbol next to the red “Edit Profile” box. Once clicked, select “Account Settings” and scroll through the account setting options. You can also log out by clicking the gear symbol next to the red “Edit Profile” box.
Focus on Now
If you’re seeking to improve your applause, amplification, and conversation rates, the biggest thing to recognize is that the most popular pins and posts are relevant to the things that are trending. That being said, don’t feel like you have to navigate away from gospel-related topics and pins to try to increase your rates. Try incorporating trending topics with gospel-centered topics. For example, post images or videos to Pinterest that have to do with Mormons participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, or 4th of July ideas that are Mormon-friendly.
While focusing on trending topics, don’t allow certain pins to degrade the value that the gospel brings. That being said, don’t be lazy or make memes you plan on sharing on Pinterest half-heartedly. Show those who follow you that you mean business and that you always provide valuable pins and posts.
Advertise Your Username
Sharing your username over social media or through emails is always a good way to obtain more followers. On Pinterest you can obtain hundreds of followers, but what’s the beauty of it? Having hundreds of followers allows you to see your work, especially if you’re trying to share the gospel, blossom. Only a fraction of your followers may repin or comment on what you post or share, but at least they’re seeing it, right? Another great thing about it is no matter how many followers you have, you will likely never receive any pins or content from them unless you follow them back. So reach out and get your name and purpose in to the world.
For some people, this can be a really difficult thing to tackle, but for others it can be a breeze. The biggest aspect to focus on is trying to be unique and creative. If you’re a creative person but often hit roadblocks or don’t find yourself to be an artsy person at all, try expanding your areas of influence. Search for your favorite things on deviantart.com or follow unique individuals on Instagram. When you stumble across something you find inspiring, try to wrack your brain to see which ways you can turn your inspiration into something gospel-related. Or try to find artistic people on Pinterest that have good, religious tastes and repin their positive messages.
You’ve committed yourself to the social media mission, but now you need to commit yourself to a set schedule. You don’t have to visit and pin things on Pinterest everyday, but try to set up consistent times when you can. Aim to visit the site a few times a week or every two weeks, but any greater amounts of time, such as once a month, year, etc., will cause you to lose followers. Be consistent in what you post as well.
Pinterest is one of the best social networks to post edifying messages or pins on. Often, edification happens through DIY tutorials or through inspirational quotes. Just make sure the quotes are accurate, positive, and doctrinally sound. Avoid posting tutorials that go against the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, or are racist, misogynistic, sexist, homophobic, or negative in nature.
What you post and pin on Pinterest doesn’t have to revolve around Church messages, though the Church pushes out many messages to share every day. If it’s from a different religion, group, or organization that falls easily into the standards that the Church sets, then it’s probably something ideal to pin.
When using Pinterest and all of its features, please use your brain. Before posting any content, ask yourself the following questions:
- Would my mom appreciate what I’m posting?
- Would the prophet appreciate what I’m posting?
- Would Jesus appreciate what I’m posting?
Give credit to the rightful owners of anything you may find and pin, don’t upload anything that would cause you to be embarrassed if someone you respect came across it, and don’t post anything that’s against the Church if you’re sharing gospel-centered messages on social media.
Following the most trending topics and sharing them quickly requires superb vigilance. Be careful as you scan stories that relate to the Church to make sure the messages you’re thinking about are positive and uplifting. It’s best not to post concerning negative topics as it will most likely stir up other users and those who follow you. Make sure if you’re posting about a controversial topic or article that you read not only the title, but the whole article or story. Be aware of loaded or sarcastic terms that are tied to Church topics as the Church has obtained many haters.
One of the easiest thing to do on Pinterest is plagiarize. With every pin, image, quote, idea, whisp of inspiration or particle of dust, make sure you’re giving credit to the rightful owner, even if it’s a pin you’ve made!
As great as Pinterest can and may be, there are always things to watch out for.
With any social media platform, there is always the danger of wasting time. According to mashable.com, the average Facebook user spends approximately 6.75 hours a month, (22.5 minutes a day) on the site. And how often do we complain that there isn’t enough time in the day? For certain individuals, the number of minutes per day and hours per month is much higher. If you struggle with keeping track of the time you spend on social media, try setting a timer on your phone, stove, microwave, or watch. And don’t just set a timer; keep to it. If the timer goes off, shut down the computer or put down your phone. Don’t become sucked into the empty promises that the irrational part of your brain tells you.
Though Pinterest may seem pretty innocent with the silly putty recipes and inspirational quotes from Robert Frost, there is a darker side of the website. Disguised as art through photography, drawings, paintings, and sculptures, pornography is extremely prevalent on Pinterest. So, how do you avoid it? One of the many nice things about Pinterest is that you can view someone’s pins on any board open to the public. If you’re interested in following something, scroll through the pins they’ve posted and see if they’re appropriate to the content you’re seeking to share.
This one requires a bit more thought and introspection compared to the other topics we’ve covered, so put your thinking caps on. Pinterest is popular for tutorials, correct? Then anyone can find a tutorial to say…make moonshine, or DIY piercings, tattoos, and anything you can think of, really. Pinterest users are really good at making things look appealing and attractive. So that nose ring pin? Super cute, but against everything members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in. Pinterest users also must have enough self control to not make all the dessert recipes they find. It’s a struggle.
Pinterest doesn’t support ads on their site, but as a user you still must be aware of spam sites. Often other pinners will pin images of food, recipes, photography, tutorials, artwork, anything you can think of, that links back to a spam website. Some of the sites even will try to upload viruses to your laptop or other mobile device. Be aware of this when you click on the image after you’ve enlarged it, as all images will take you to the source of the picture.
Though Pinterest provides awesome privacy features for its users, sometimes accessing them can be difficult. If you’re concerned with people seeing your profile and boards, please see the sections above that direct you to how to set your privacy settings. Also, please don’t use the privacy settings to make inappropriate boards secret. If you’ve read this article from start to finish, I feel for you, but now you know almost everything about Pinterest! Please use Pinterest positively and #ShareGoodness!