Pinterest has become the social media star over the last few months, now reaching 16 million users worldwide, according to Google Ad Planner. The virtual pinboard site is the next platform marketers need to take advantage of.
But as with other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, Pinterest comes with its own code of etiquette. If you violate certain rules, you risk becoming a virtual pariah—and that’s a marketer’s nightmare. Follow these tips and pin like a pro.
1. Source Images Properly
Sourcing the original link is the unspoken cardinal rule of Pinterest. Whenever you find and post an image to Pinterest, make sure to include a link back to the original source. For example, don’t link back to Google Image if that’s where you found a picture of the perfect flower arrangement. Instead, link back to the florist that created it. It’s only fair to the original creator and to your followers.
You can also help the community ensure these rules are followed. If you find an improperly credited source, Pinterest recommends leaving a comment so the original pinner can update the source.
2. Don’t Trick Users Into Following Incorrect Links
Unfortunately, some dishonest users have embedded incorrect links with their images so that when a follower clicks on an image, they’re redirected to an unrelated website or blog (giving the site extra page views and, as a result, extra income). This is a major marketing no-no and a surefire way to lose followers. Instead, make sure you are only linking to relevant content.
3. Write a Full Caption
Make sure you write a descriptive caption for each image you post. This is a courtesy to your readers, and a chance for you to describe why they should click on the link. However, avoid very advertorial captions. Pinterest is more about authentic communication, not a way to push ads into the community.
4. Don’t Become a Pin Addict
It’s fun to post to your virtual pinboard, but you don’t have to post every single thing you find (especially if it greatly strays from your brand image). Quality is key in the digital world—and what Pinterest followers love most. Don’t go pin-crazy if you want to keep your followers.
5. Think About Who You Want to Share With
If you synch your Pinterest account with your other social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook, everything you pin will be shared with your followers on those platforms. These updates can be considered a major nuisance, so carefully consider whether your pins are worth sharing.
6. Don’t Be Stingy with Interaction
Like all social media sites, Pinterest works best when users communicate with each other. And the more you give, the more you get. You don’t have to engage in a ton of communication, but a nice, short acknowledgment of a comment or liking someone else’s pin will keep a goodwill vibe going.
7. Always Be Respectful
The Pinterest community is about sharing the things you like. For that reason (and for the obvious fact that it’s a public forum), you should always communicate kindly and respectfully and avoid negative interaction, both in what you post and what you comment. Do not insult others or use unprofessional language.
8. Report Objectionable Content
Pinterest appreciates users who contribute and make the community a better place. No one likes to be a snitch, but sometimes it’s appropriate to report objectionable or offensive content (according to the Pinterest Terms of Service or Acceptable Use Policy). To report something, click on the pin, then click the “Report Pin” button that pops up in a sidebar to the right of the image.
Pinterest has become the social media star, so start pinning and connect with your consumer base, but remember to keep it professional.
Are there any Pinterest etiquette tips we missed? Let us know in the comments below.