Monday, April 2, 2012

Rules to Live by on Pinterest

Getting Started: If you want to build followers, build your boards first, aka CONTENT. Few people follow empty boards. Basically, the first and only times people have a full look at you and your boards is when you first follow them. Use that wisely. 

Boards: Keep your boards well organized and interesting. Messy boards with everything from gazpacho to bicycle gears all thrown together on one board just have no flow. Group things by subject, type, style, even just color - like Tiffany Blue. These boards draw people in and make them want to follow and repin your content.

Repinning: When you repin, consistently repin things to the correct board. You can set up new boards very quickly if you find new content you want to start pinning, such as my board for 'Cool Cars'.  Personal project boards, like my quest to create an eclectic pendant chandelier collection over my dining table, don't have to matter to anyone but yourself, but still all the content is that one topic. Maybe someone else needs chandelier ideas. Apparently so, 228 people are following my personal project!

Naming: Name your own content appropriately. You need to state what’s in the picture if you want to be part of the search engine or even to just identify it. If you’re doing a color board, and you want people to find your pins based on that color, make sure every pin mentions it. Tiffany Blue flowers. Tiffany Blue sweater. Tiffany Blue nail polish. If it's an ice cream, is it vanilla, coconut or white chocolate? YUM just doesn't let someone know what they're looking at; it may not be self-evident.

Be specific. What is it? Don’t put ‘Wow’ on a pin you’re pinning. Wow what? Any idea how many people name their pins either Wow or just add a period for text? No search is going to find that pin. Are you just jumping on the bandwagon with the rest of your social media network? As an already too busy professional, you can ill-afford senseless work just to fill in spaces with people who already know you on 7 networks. Forget it. Take up cross stitch instead. You’ll have something to show for your hard work in the end. A fake Pinning score on Empire avenue isn’t going to garner you any real connections or business. Your genuine work, however, will reward you on on any platform.

  You want to create content, but also content that will increase your network by connecting people to your other passions that we don’t get across in our regular work-connected networks. Did you know I have a passion for metal work? Probably not, you just think I work with breast cancer, but I actually don’t do that, either! I work with breast surgery and I work with the healthy eating that gets people healed. Take some time to show your network who you really are through Pinterest, and you might find you’re heard a little more by the people you’re most wanting to connect with.  

Renaming: When repinning someone else’s pin, LOOK at the text in the pin first. Does it say, “My Aunt Bertha’s best crock-pot recipe!” Okay, she’s not your aunt and what is this recipe? How on Earth will anyone find this pin by searching and end up at YOUR content? They’ll only find you if they’re looking for Aunt Bertha.

Take a moment to rename it: Crock-pot Cheesecake. If the pin has no explanation and you’re not sure if it’s a DIY link or just a random photo, click on the pin and visit the source. Sometimes there is no decent content behind the picture at all, and it’s worthless, unless you’re just collecting that genre of photos. 

 Mind Your Brand:  When repinning, check for words or language that aren’t in line with your brand or persona. I would never repin any text that used foul language, and watch for misspelled or illiterate pins. FIX IT as you repin it. Also, if the pin has the name of the photographer or author, leave it, or add it on a new pin. Give them credit, particularly with the copyright issues flying around right now.

 Keeping Track:  When repinning a large number of pins off a particularly good board, click LIKE on the pin first, then pin it. Why? Well, you obviously like it, and I probably don’t need to teach you about the importance of liking stuff, but it will also act as a marker. That pin will show as ‘liked’ as you move through a large cool board, which can get a little overwhelming if you’re adding a lot of it to your own boards. You might forget if you repinned that fancy cupcake or not. Your ‘Like’ will stay, and alert you to the fact you’ve already pinned that one off that cool board.

Your Pins, Repinned:  When someone likes or repins your stuff, it’s a great time to go check out their boards. Since they liked or repinned it, they may have a treasure trove of truly cool stuff to add back to your board, as well as connect more with that person.

Connecting: Connecting on Pinterest, other than pins, isn’t like Twitter or Facebook. I feel Pinterest direct connectivity, person to person, is lacking, but it may improve. However, by commenting on a pin, I’ve connected directly with the person every time - they respond! You might expand your network by meeting someone new on Pinterest. Reach out.

Following: I read a post today from someone railing on about all cupcakes and hideous unconventional food she’s seeing on Pinterest.

 If you’re whining that you hate seeing cupcakes and crock-pot recipes on Pinterest, it’s your own fault. Choose who you follow carefully, and if necessary, only follow only a board or two from that person if they truly match your style, not the whole kitten cabooble. I would only do a ‘Follow all’ if ALL the boards were my interests, and yes, I’m open to new interests and I follow them as I find them!

  I won’t follow anyone just because I know them on Twitter, Facebook, or Empire Avenue. I’ll follow them because I’m genuinely interested in their content, because it helps build MY content. Why would I follow photography of the desert if I hate the desert? I don’t want to find dead cacti floating down my stream, thankyouverymuch.

 If Pinterest overall just has too many cupcakes, crock-pots or cacti  for you, then it’s your fault, again. Example - there aren't many pins on fly fishing lures. Despite not owning any, I actually love these 'little works of art' and would build a board of them, if people bothered to share their interest. The author of the cupcake and crock-pot rant never stated what HER interests really were. Focus on what you do want, not what you don’t want. (This applies not just to pins, but to life).

 What is it you’re interested in? PIN IT. Find others who share your interests, and by doing so, change the mainstream!  Maybe us cupcake/crock-pot lovin’ pinophiles will find a new passion beyond butter cream icing.

Don’t have any interests or passions, just want to be a sheep or find fault with everything? Doubtful, but if so, then Pinterest may not be in your best interests! 


  1. Excellent post again Anni! I LOVE the Tiffany Blue board. Nice find!

  2. Thanks, Kim! The Tiffany Blue board is awesome. It would take a good and patient eye to collect all that style in one place. Very inspiring! I want to do it.