How To: Properly Use Pinterest
Pinterest, oh Pinterest. You are such a blessing and a curse. We seem to hate you and need you all at the same time. Going down your rabbit hole can be such a dangerous game to play. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a bride say “so I found this photo on Pinterest…”, I would no longer need to work. However, I talk a big game, but in reality, Pinterest is one of my very favorite designing tools. See what I called it there? I called it a tool. This blog post is all about discussing how to properly use Pinterest because believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to use this social media tool. There it is again, that dang word… tool. So, what am I trying to get at here? First, we need to start by defining Pinterest.
Pinterest is a visual search engine for finding ideas and inspiration. Essentially, Google, based around pictures and blog posts. There are quite literally billions of Pins catering to almost anything and anyone who needs that little spark of inspiration… weddings, recipes, interior design, DIY home renovations, gardening, birthday party themes, and on and on and on. So, how does this magical portal to all the beautiful things work exactly? Well, just like Google, you can type anything you desire into the search engine, and it will pull up all the pictures & links Pinterest has (hopefully) matching what you are looking for.
You want to keep your search words short and concise. Unlike Google you are not looking to answer a question, you are simply looking for inspiration. For example, good searches are… dinner ideas for two, blush and green wedding ideas, lantern wedding centerpieces, color combos for a fall wedding, diy home décor, bride and groom portrait poses, etc., etc. Searches that are not good for Pinterest are… Idaho wedding venues by the water, where to have a wedding dress altered in Washington, how to train the dog to bring me a beer, etc. These are searches better suited for Google because of the specific question you are wanting answered.
Other than the obvious, in my opinion, the most fabulous way that Pinterest differs from Google is the ability to save and organize these Pins into different “boards”. Through your Pinterest account you can create as many boards (and sections within the boards) as you want. And you can save as many Pins to each of those boards and/or sections as you can imagine! This concept is fantastic because I don’t know how many times I have been scrolling through Facebook and see something that cracks me up, but when I want to go back to it to show someone a few hours later, there is almost no way I am going to find it unless I know which person or page posted it. Not with Pinterest! Even in a 10-minute span of scrolling through Pinterest I can Pin hundreds of inspiring things to different boards, making it super simple for me to go back to.
This is where that rabbit hole I was talking about can get dangerous. Two things are bound to happen. 1. You will think that you have been scrolling Pinterest for only 10-minutes, but once you finally glance at the time, you will realize it has actually been 30-minutes or even an hour. Seriously… it has happened to me more than once. 2. You are going to get so sucked into everything beautiful, that you end up creating this magical fairytale land in your head where any and all things are possible. But hopefully after you look up from that phone and have a few hours or a day to digest everything your brain just consumed, it will also tell you to rein it back in and filter out the few best ideas that are actually possible.
Let’s take a for instance. How many times have you seen the videos where someone has watched a professional decorate this beautiful cake into, let’s say, a bunny? You think, oh yeah, I could totally do that – they make it look so easy! Yes, they do, because they are a professional who has probably spent years honing their skillset. As the video continues, you then see average Joe over here (nothing wrong with Joe, but not everyone can be a cake decorator) bake the cake and attempt to decorate it the same way only for it to turn out like something that walked out of your worst nightmare. Sometimes Pinterest can trigger those same receptors in your brain.
Now there is nothing wrong with dreaming big and everyone deserves to have their dream wedding, but there are also such things as reality and practicality. This is why I say, be cautious when using Pinterest to design your wedding. These photos should be used to spark inspiration… not used to create an exact copy. Many times, you see something on Pinterest and you think – oh yeah, that’s easy, we can totally DIY that. When, in reality, you do not have the skillset to DIY that project, and to hire a professional to create exactly what you see in that photo would be way outside your budget. So instead, look at that photo and think, what are they trying to accomplish with that décor element (or whatever the photo is highlighting)? I love that look! Is there a way we can create that same feel, but do it within our budget and make it logically feasible for our venue? THAT kind of question is music to my ears!! Because now, instead of trying to emulate this fairytale picture, we get to use the creative sides of our brains to come up with something unique to you and your wedding. THAT is what Pinterest is meant to do.
I love Pinterest. Not joking… I love Pinterest! But I also know and understand how to use Pinterest. If you are scrolling through this app specifically looking for photos, recipes, and/or projects that you can copy exactly, then you are going to come up for air disappointed and frustrated. BUT, if you are scrolling through Pinterest looking for general ideas and creative ways to make a home your own, or a wedding unique, or a recipe that will blow your significant other’s socks off, then you will come out on the other side inspired and reenergized. Because you understand you are meant to take that general idea and mold it into something that fits your home, your wedding, your taste palate… the vision in your head – not someone else’s.
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