Pinterest is not just for pinning pretty pictures. It is a valuable tool, as well. For example, I am able to keep all the recipes I want to try in one place. Want to try a new cupcake recipe? Open my Cuppycakes board, find a pin that I am interested in, and click to go to the website that will give me that recipe. Piece of cake! (yes, pun intended.) This is the genius of Pinterest. Everything in its place and easy to find. It makes those of us who are unorganized, organized. Seriously, sometimes I just open my boards and admire all my beautiful pins. Very gratifying.
If you are new to Pinterest, you may be interested in a quick course on what to do and what not to do. If you are not new to Pinterest, you might still find these informative. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Many of these are from personal experience, some I learned from others along the way.
1. Play nice. Yeppers, it’s that simple. You will find some pinners who like to post harsh comments or use Pinterest as their personal soapbox. I simply choose to ignore them. I’m here to have fun, not get all preachy. If you see a mistake in a pin description, simply tell the pinner in a nice way. Telling them they are an idiot will not do anyone any good. Yes, I have seen this. Some people are just mean, I guess. In the end, though, they look like the idiots.
2. Always pin from the original website when possible. And pin the permalink, not just the main blog page. Many bloggers like to share their fellow bloggers genius ideas on their websites. And that is wonderful! I hope I get shared one day! But when you find a pin you like and have to open link after link to get to it, it becomes a task. If pinning from the source is not possible, please credit it in your description to save us all time and frustration. Also, pin the permalink, not just the main website page. Same principle. It’s not fun to have to search the source site, especially if they have a lot of pages. When you re-pin an image, if it is already linked to the source, then you are good. No need to go out and pin it from the site. But not everyone follows this rule, so you won’t know if it’s original until you try it.
3. Do not pin a Google or other search engine image. Again, frustration. Doing this will not bring me to the website. Take the time to open the website and pin from there, please and thank you.
4. Use the description box properly. Your photo is lovely, but please tell me what it is. A simple phrase, nothing fancy. A good description is useful when searching on Pinterest.
5. Hashtags. Don’t be afraid to use them. This goes along with using Pinterest to search for inspiration. Write a brief description and add hashtags to help us find it. What is a hashtag, you ask? It’s a word preceded by a pound sign to further describe something. Like this – #chocolate. You do not need to hashtag a word if it is already in the description, but you can if you want.
6. Do not copy the instructions or recipe to the description. This makes for not only a very long pin, but also doesn’t give anyone incentive to visit the website that originally posted it . Bloggers and web authors spend a lot of time, money, and energy to provide you with great ideas. They deserve to have the traffic sent to their site. Besides, who wants to try to follow instructions written in a tiny box?
7. Do market yourself, but don’t overdo it. Pinterest is a great marketing tool, however that is not what is was designed to do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to use it to share your ideas or product, but don’t overpopulate the site by pinning your stuff over and over. Honestly, I have yet to see this become a problem, but I think it should be said. It is very exciting having someone pin from your site! And I give myself a high five, so to speak, when something I have pinned gets lots of repins. Makes me feel like I have good taste. 🙂
8. Pinterest is NOT kid-friendly. Is it really necessary to get your point across by using the f-bomb? Browse the humor section (and sometimes other random categories) and you will be bombarded with foul language and lewd jokes. And yes, if I don’t like it I don’t have to read the Humor section. I get it. Some of them make me laugh, too. But, parents should be warned. Besides the language, be aware that there are a few nude images. I have never found one to be distasteful (okay there was one so awful I shudder to think about it), but parents should know that they exist and pop-up in the oddest places. I have even found one while browsing recipes. I think it was simply pinned it to the wrong board. Pinterest is an amazing tool and I wish my daughter could share it with me. But I am concerned about what she will find. For now, she will have to browse along with me.
9. Beware of the grammar police. I am guilty of this, I can’t lie. When I see a word misused or misspelled, I get a twitch and I yell at my computer screen. Do I point it out? No. I am not perfect, so I don’t think I should be correcting others. Other pinners will, though. So at least try to be correct because the grammar police are not always nice about it.
10. Do you have to follow someone if they follow you? From what I understand, it is considered rude not to follow someone who follows you on Twitter. I do not think the same rule applies on Pinterest. However, the jury is still out on this one. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If it’s a friend, I will follow back. If someone I don’t know is following me, it is probably because they have like my pins and have similar interests. To me that is a compliment! I always take the time to browse their boards and follow any that I like.
I hope this has been informative and will help us all have a great Pinterest experience. One more thing I want to point out. Spam sucks. I have seen a lot of pins saying “Pin this and Pinterest will give you free Starbucks, or free KFC, or free gift cards.” Sorry to break the news to you, but that is not going to happen if you pin it. Really people who create spam are just so irritating! I think we are all smart enough not to fall for that, but I still keep seeing it, so maybe we are not.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the list. Please!!!