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Pinterest Do’s and Don’ts


Pinterest is one of the friendliest social networking sites out there, and users pride themselves on keeping the community positive!

If you follow these quick tips, you’ll be sure to have a great time using the site.

Let’s start with the do’s:

  1. Link to the original source. Whether you’re pinning something yourself or re-pinning from someone else, make sure the link you include actually goes to the content you’re talking about. Don’t just link to a Google image instead of the blog, and if you’re linking to a picture of a recipe, make sure the link you use includes the recipe. This way you don’t send your users on a rabbit trail to find the actual content you’ve shared with them, and you’re giving credit to the content creator.
  2. Keep captions short. Unless you’re sharing detailed instructions for a project (as you would in a recipe pin), your captions should be brief and descriptive. Pinterest is very visual, so too much text can distract from the flow. If you look at the “Popular” page on the site, you’ll notice that very few, if any, of the captions get anywhere near the 500 character limit. In fact, most captions are well under a hundred characters.
  3. Find ways to interact. This can include offering a contest where people enter by repining, offering a special discount for your Twitter followers, or allowing people to pin to a themed group board, such as “Share Your Tips and Recipes for Healthy Work Lunches”. You can also interact by following people’s who’s posts you like.
  4. Add a pin button to your website. Just as you can add buttons for people to easily share your blogs and articles on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, you can easily do the same with Pinterest. One of the key differences is that you must use an image in whatever you want people to pin, or people won’t be able to pin it.
  5. Pin regularly. Because of Pinterest’s set up, it’s pretty easy to get away without posting every single day. However, if you only pin a couple of times a month, people are going to forget you’re there. In general, it’s a good idea to post a few items throughout the day.

And now here are the don’ts:

  1. Don’t just advertise your own brand. I know I said this last week, but I think it’s important enough to stress again: interacting with others is key to creating a strong presence on Pinterest. Not only will only posting from your own site annoy the Pinterest community and keep you from getting a substantial following, but it prevents the community from getting to know other aspects of your personality. Don’t get me wrong: sharing your content is great! Just make sure you diversify some as well.
  2. Don’t pin what you think people want you to pin. The Pinterest community prides itself on authenticity, so people will see through this. Pinning things you aren’t interested in will also cause you to lose interest in the site quickly, since it won’t be a fun experience. Pin what you like, and the right people will find you.
  3. Don’t use boring stock images. Just like your captions, your images need to be engaging. On a site that’s visually focused, the image is the first thing people notice, and a boring or blurry stock image will not encourage people to click through to your site, follow you, or re-pin your content. You can use a stock image, but make sure it’s actually related to your content, and not just a random, smiling person.
  4. Don’t autofeed your pins to your other social media accounts. This is especially true if you post often. If you post several times a day, then your frequent posts will start to overwhelm your followers on other sites (while you don’t want to post a hundred times a day even on Pinterest, you can get away with posting more frequently that on other sites). If you’re posting a recipe or project instructions, then you’re caption will get cut off in a random spot.
  5. Don’t forget to follow other users. And I don’t mean go on a mass following spree of other users! Instead, search for the types of pins you’re interested in, and then follow people who have content you like. While you won’t gain a ton of followers overnight, many people will follow you back if you post similar content. After all: they’re looking for great new pins too!

Pinterest is a very welcoming and opening site, so it’s pretty hard to make a misstep as long as you follow the unspoken rules to be authentic and interact with others. Still have questions? Feel free to get in touch!