Pinterest Guide (2022): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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August 14, 2015

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What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that helps users find ideas for projects and interests.
  • Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that helps users find ideas for projects and interests.
  • Users search and browse through posts, (called "pins") relating to their topic of choice.
  • As users find pins they are interested in, they can save the pin to their own folders (aka "boards") for later reference, or upload pictures, links and descriptions to share with others.
3.5% of all Pinterest users are US teens at the age 14 to 17 year old

Why we like Pinterest

  • We like Pinterest because it comes up on the first page of Google and can help you put your best foot forward to tell your story
  • Pinterest can have a positive impact on your digital footprint if it is used for showcasing your accomplishments and interests

Benefits of Pinterest for students

Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. Students can find crafting, cooking, photography, drawing, fashion, and more on the site. They can also find guides, tutorials and instructions. Pinterest can also be helpful while working on school projects.

If Pinterest account was created under a student's real name, then colleges and employees can easily find it.

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Login or join the SmartSocial.com membership to read more about the dangers and safety tips of Pinterest.

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

Pinterest is a social media app and website students can use to discover new ideas and share what matters to them. Learning how to use the app with a positive intention and safety settings will help students stay safe and Shine Online.

Overview video for parents & educators

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that helps users find ideas for projects and interests.
  • Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that helps users find ideas for projects and interests.
  • Users search and browse through posts, (called "pins") relating to their topic of choice.
  • As users find pins they are interested in, they can save the pin to their own folders (aka "boards") for later reference, or upload pictures, links and descriptions to share with others.

What does Pinterest’s marketing say?

  • Discover and save creative ideas for every project or interest
  • Find things to make, buy and do
  • Use guided search to find anything you are looking for
  • Save good stuff from around the web
  • Collect your finds in one place

Who are Pinterest users?

  • Pinterest has 70 million users
  • 85% of users are women
  • 60% of all users are from the US
  • 3.5% are 14-to-17-year-old US internet users

Source: Digital Marketing Stats

What should parents know about Pinterest?

Pictures that your kid pinned on Pinterest can appear when colleges search for your kid’s name online.
  1. There's some not-for-kids stuff on Pinterest (for example pins that include nudity in the lingerie category or pictures of people drinking alcohol in the wine/beer section).
  2. Pinterest accounts (especially those that are under real names) are searchable online and Google will find them.
  3. Pictures that your kid pinned on their online boards can appear when colleges and employers search for your kid’s name online.
  4. Pinterest has become a new type of online shopping site. Most of the pins of clothing, shoes and cosmetic products are linked to online stores.

What do students say about Pinterest?

Kids think that Pinterest is helpful. They use it to find life hacks, studying tips, DIYs and much more.
  • 11 years old: Pinterest is VERY helpful! I use it a lot and so do my friends and family. I think it's good for 11 and up!
  • 13 years old: Although it is considered social media, I think it’s okay. I use it to find life hacks, studying tips, DIYs and much more. You need to know what your child would look up but other than that it's a great app and has a nice website too. You can also control what comes on your feed.
  • 13 years old: Pinterest has so many pictures that you will love. As long as you don't search for anything inappropriate, there won't be anything bad.

Source: Common Sense Media

Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for students. They can use it to find studying tips, DIY’s and more.

Benefits of Pinterest for students

Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. Students can find crafting, cooking, photography, drawing, fashion, and more on the site. They can also find guides, tutorials and instructions. Pinterest can also be helpful while working on school projects.

If Pinterest account was created under a student's real name, then colleges and employees can easily find it.

Can people find students on Pinterest?

  1. Yes! Pinterest boards are public. Search for your student on Google using these terms: First + Last + Pinterest
  2. Next, Search for your student on Pinterest.com Make sure each board and pin is something you want a college to find.
You're allowed to have fun on Pinterest, just make sure that you post something that is Light, Bright and Polite.

Parent & student training videos

How to Set up Pinterest: A Guide for Students

How to Shine Online with your "Pins"

What we're covering in this video:

  • Who can see your Pinterest "pins"
  • To pin or not to pin... how to create your online brand using Pinterest boards

How can Pinterest improve your online reputation?

Consider uploading Light, Bright and Polite™ photos of:

  • Volunteer activities
  • Helpful ideas
  • Funny quotes
  • Food
  • Topics that will be on your college application (second language, travel, interests, etc.)

You're allowed to have fun on Pinterest, just make sure that you post something that is Light, Bright & Polite™.

Most popular categories on Pinterest are Food and Drinks, Crafts, and Women’s Fashion.

What do people pin on Pinterest?

Most popular categories on Pinterest are:

  1. Food and drink
  2. Crafts
  3. Home decor
  4. Women’s fashion

Read more at Business 2 Community

Pinterest prohibits users under 13 years old to create an account. However, younger kids are able to register too.

What is the Pinterest age restriction?

13 yrs+ Anyone under 13 yrs is prohibited However: It’s rated 4 yrs+ years on iTunes

It's very easy to create a Pinterest account. You can register using your email or Facebook profile.

How to create a Pinterest account

  1. You can create a Pinterest account using your email or Facebook account.
  2. You can use your real name or a nickname.
  3. After registering, users can connect their Pinterest account to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other email accounts.

Why we like Pinterest

  • We like Pinterest because it comes up on the first page of Google and can help you put your best foot forward to tell your story
  • Pinterest can have a positive impact on your digital footprint if it is used for showcasing your accomplishments and interests

How colleges search (and what they want to find)

  • Colleges want to discover students who are positive and full of gratitude
  • Colleges and employers should be able to find you somewhere online. If they find other people, they will be confused
  • Colleges want to see who you are off campus
  • Colleges, internships, and employers are going to want to ask for your social media info, so they can check. It’s better to be upfront and show that you have nothing to hide

The top 7 ways that colleges will search for you online

  1. First Name + Last Name
  2. “First Name + Last Name” (in quotes)
  3. “First + Last” + City
  4. “First + Last” + School
  5. First, Middle, and Last Name
  6. Social Media Usernames
  7. Image Results

How to improve your search results with Pinterest

  • Use your real name. Example: Josh Ochs
  • Choose a good username avoiding underscores and dashes. Example: @JoshOchs
  • Link to your other social profiles/your personal url. Example: https://JoshOchs.com
  • Post consistently
  • Write meaningful captions that showcase your knowledge or gratitude
  • Curate Pinterest boards to highlight your knowledge around your area of study or industry

Branding in a positive way for your college or career

  • Write a clear bio
  • Post a good clear photo of you in your profile picture. Use this photo as your profile picture across all of your other social media accounts

What should you post?

  • The content you pin tells more about you than the message below each image. However, don’t disregard the caption. Use the caption as an opportunity to show gratitude, positivity, or knowledge
  • Pin content from your personal website, articles or tutorials from your industry, interviews with thought leaders in your area of study, or helpful content
  • Students should also consider using Pinterest to curate a “mood board” for their own personal brand
  • Avoid pinning content from controversial sources, negative commentary, or inappropriate images  
  • Consider your Pinterest profile an extension of your resume

More resources

Click here to go to Navigating College Readiness on Social Media Networks: LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube (VIP Course for Students & Parents)

Conclusion

Pinterest can be a fun place to get ideas for hobbies and projects. Students should consider every "pin" to be a permanent part of their online reputation, even if they think it is hidden or secret.


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