10 essentials of Pinterest etiquette

Continuing with our series on social media courtesy, PR Daily turns its attention to online pinboards, each brimming with more ‘things you love’ than the one before.

This is the third installment of a series in which PR Daily looks at decorum for brands and individuals to employ on various social media channels and platforms.

Few social networks have seen the rapid growth that Pinterest has enjoyed since its launch in 2010. With nearly 50 million users viewing 2.5 billion pages per month, it’s an increasingly valuable tool for individuals and brand managers to share themed photos.

In the last couple of weeks we’ve shared 10 essential etiquette tips for LinkedIn and Twitter. Of course, there are also guidelines to follow when you’re pinning, repinning, commenting, and “liking” on one of the Web’s most addictive sites:

1. Match the link to the expectation. You have a sort of social contract with your audience on Pinterest. For example, if you’re clicking on a pin of a delicious-looking pasta dish, chances are you’re expecting to click through to the recipe—not just the photo itself. You’re also not expecting to be taken to a blog or website’s home page. Don’t make your audience dig through a site to find what you pinned in the first place.

2. Pin only the things you have permission to pin. This is especially important when it comes to managing brand pages on Pinterest. The platform has been called a “legal minefield,” and although major legal action hasn’t been taken against a brand over something it has pinned, you absolutely do not want to set that precedent.

3. Avoid over-repinning. Eighty percent of pins on Pinterest are repins. Keep that in mind when you’re repinning like crazy. No one likes a willy-nilly repinner. Repin only those things you find truly valuable and worthy of sharing.

4. Remember that this is a social network-so be social. So often on Pinterest, we like something or repin something to our followers, but seldom do users take the time to actually leave a comment. Especially if you’re repinning something from the original pinner, it’s good etiquette to reach out to that person with an encouraging comment.

5. Avoid pinning low-res photos. No one likes fuzzy, grainy pictures. They don’t serve you or your brand well.

6. Limit the self-aggrandizing posts. Pinterest is all about balance. In addition to avoiding excessive repinning, you also don’t want to inundate your followers with self-promoting posts. Links to your own work (blog posts, etc.) are fine and encouraged, but those shouldn’t be the only things you’re pinning.

7. Check your links; then double-check them. Few things are worse than when you’re sailing through pin after pin and you click a broken link. It’s especially unprofessional when brands pin something with a broken link, which could lead to unfollows.

8. Link to sources, or credit them. If you repin something, make sure you’re repinning it with the original URL. When you repin something, it’s a good idea to name the source in the pin description.

9. Respect your fellow pinners and keep it positive. You’re likely to come across something in your Pinterest wanderings that doesn’t suit your taste. Rather than chiming in with your scornful thoughts about that garish article of clothing or unappetizing appetizer, simply move on. There are plenty of pins in the Pinterest sea.

10. Make your contests foolproof. For brand managers, contests can be a valuable tool to expand your Pinterest community and increase engagement, but the goal is lost if you make your contests too cumbersome or invasive. Companies such as Curalate are simplifying the process and making contests easier on Pinterest; brands would be wise to take advantage of such services.

Readers, do you have any additional guidelines for the Pinterest community?

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