4 Ideas for Pintastic Pinning

I love Pinterest. The inspiring images of kitchen designs, beautiful bathrooms, travel getaways and more are hard to resist. As we all explore this newish social media site, though, there is much to learn about how to best use Pinterest.

Here are some recommendations I’d like to offer based on my joys–and frustrations–with pinning:

1. Provide links from images! I’m  flabbergasted by how many pins I run across daily that do not link from the image to a blog, website or other source. A pin without a link is simply a dead end, a missed opportunity to engage someone who has shown interest. That’s just sad.

The power of Pinterest is:

1) roping eyeballs with amazing images, and

2) turning eyeballs into serious clickers who may take the important next step of asking for more information, which can then lead to business.

Curious Pinners should be able to click on the image to immediately go to the source where they can learn more about a design/trend/idea or even buy the item shown.

If you’re pinning from a site that has a Pin It button, then the link is automatically established. But if you’re copying and pinning from other sources, you may have to insert the link yourself. To insert a link to your Pin after posting it: Hit the Edit button in the top left corner, copy a URL into the Link line, and save.

2. Are you sure you want to share that? The beauty of the online world is that your photos can be spread at the speed of light. The danger of the online world is that your photos can be spread at the speed of light.

I visited a designer’s site this week, and one of the images was marked “Not for sharing on Pinterest.” Huh. If the image is online, expect it to be pinned. Sure, people shouldn’t pin an item if you tell them not to do it. But if the image is too precious or private to be shared, think twice about posting it online.

Yes, you may take protective measures, such as adding a watermark to your images that identifies your business. Once it’s online, though, consider it gone and out of your control.

3. Give credit where credit is due. Partly, this is about honoring copyright laws, and I’m all for that. But it’s also about making it clear on Pinterest which images are yours vs. someone else’s. No one likes an idea thief. If the image or source tag (shown in the shaded part at the bottom of each pin) doesn’t show the originating source, then use the description in the pin to indicate which images are yours and which come from magazines or other sites. It’s just the right thing to do.

4. Sharing a photo is part of your image.  Think about what you’re pinning or repinning. Pins reflect on you and lend credence to–or detract from–what you’re trying to accomplish by pinning. If you just want to elicit “awwws” from the pinning world, then go ahead and pin cute photos of toddlers dripping ice cream. If, however, you want to network, make connections and find new customers, then pins showing your design work and demonstrating your style or creativity would be a better idea.

Lest you think I’m a curmudgeon who hates toddlers or whimsical pins, let me assure you that I am not. It’s great to sometimes pin images that are slightly off focus, yet inspire you or make you smile. Pinning IS fun, so enjoy it. Happy pinning!