25 things dumb pinterest

25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the hottest new social media networks for small businesses and nonprofits.

This highly visual platform rakes in 2 1/2 billion monthly pageviews from its 70 million users monthly. Pinterest users also buy more of the items they encounter in pins than items on Facebook, and spend 70 percent more money when they arrive at your website from Pinterest versus non-social referrals.

But how can you successfully use this channel for your small business or nonprofit without looking dumb?

Whether you’ve been too busy to figure out what Pinterest is all about or have fully embraced the social network, there are things you don’t want to do on Pinterest as you get started or more involved.

To help you begin pinning your way to success, we’ve assembled a list of 25 mistakes to avoid:

1. Not including your business information. The first step in getting started on the right foot on Pinterest is to create a profile that is full of details and represents your business. Upload a clear, easy to recognize logo for your profile picture and use your business name as your profile name.

2. Forgetting to link to Facebook and Twitter. If a customer is interested in your brand on Pinterest, they’ll likely want to follow you on Facebook and Twitter too. Make sure they can do so by linking to these social networks within Pinterest’s “Account Settings.”

3. Failing to complete your profile. When you have a business account, you can select your “business type,” add your location, verify your website, and create a short “About You” section for your profile. Completing your entire profile is important for SEO purposes and helps you look more professional.

4. Using a personal Pinterest profile instead of a business page. If you jumped on Pinterest in the beginning, you may still have a personal account. But as a business, you want to make sure that you setup a Pinterest Business Page. Without a business page, you’re missing out on valuable analytics! Make the switch to a business page today.

5. Not following other businesses. The nature of Pinterest is based on collaboration. Find other local businesses in your area to engage with and stay updated on what your customers are pinning alongside items from your business. Also, look to other businesses similar to yours on Pinterest for inspiration.

6. Mixing your personal interest boards with business-related boards. There are actually a few instances where I’ve seen this done successfully, but overall this tactic doesn’t work. Are your customers actually interested in the recipes you’re considering trying or the table settings you want at your fantasy wedding? Probably not. Keep your business account for your business and your personal account for your personal interests.

7. Pinning images that aren’t Pinterest-worthy. Avoid pinning content that is too big, too small, too blurry or simply low quality. NOTE: Max image size: 735 pixels wide X infinite pixels high.

8. Not installing the “Pin It” button on your browser. While this won’t actually make you look dumb on Pinterest, it’s simply something you’ve got to do! The “pin it” button makes it super easy to curate content from any website. With a quick click, you can pin an image that contains a description and a website link. Simply highlight the text you want as the description before you click “Pin it.”

9. Keeping your “Search Privacy” turned on. Allowing your boards and profile to appear in search engine results is a great way for new customers to discover your business. Make sure that you’ve turned your “Search Privacy” off within your “Account Settings.”

10. Using inappropriate pins or repins. Don’t forget that your Pinterest Page is an extension of your brand. Stick to images that you’d feel comfortable sharing with anyone.

11. Going on day-long pinning sprees. Posting too many pins at one time can overwhelm your fans. Try not to pin more than five images within five minutes. If you want to dedicate a specific time in the day for expanding your Pinterest channel, try to put at least five to ten minutes between batches of pins.

12. Neglecting to choose a category for each of your boards. For each new board you create, you should choose a “Category” from the drop-down list. Selecting an appropriate category for your boards will make your content searchable.

13. Not adding a pin description or link source to pins. You can write up to 500 characters within a pin description so don’t skimp on the information you add! Use keywords related to your business, words or phrases people would search for, and relative hashtags to maximize your description’s context. When appropriate, link back to your website, other social networks, and your blog to drive traffic to your business.
Insider tip: Pinterest is a powerful SEO tool!

14. Not enabling “rich pins.” By enabling rich pins on your website, real-time pricing will accompany the images that are pinned from your website. Pinners will also be able to see if the product is in stock, where they can buy it, and if your item goes on sale. Pinterest even alerts the people who have repinned your product when the price drops! Make sure you’re enabling “rich pins.”

15. Abusing #hashtags. Only use necessary hashtags and delete the rest to avoid looking spammy.

16. All of your content is the same. Include various types of content throughout your boards such as repins, content from your own website, content curated from other websites or uploaded content. Don’t forget, you can also pin videos!

17. Not finding a balance. Pinning too many images from your website or blog or only pinning images from your website or blog is not ideal. Vary the content you post to keep it fresh and engaging. See mistake #16.

18. Not telling anyone your business is on Pinterest. Use the networks you already have (Facebook, Twitter, word-of-mouth,  etc.) to spread the word. You can use Constant Contact’s email templates to let subscribers know you’re on Pinterest. Adding a Pinterest logo to your website or blog will also help grow your following and act as a reminder to people who visit your website to pin your content.

19. Dumping all of your content into one board. Use numerous boards to keep your content organized and easy to navigate. Smaller, more specific boards allow your fans to quickly pinpoint content that interests them, spurring engagement.

20. Ignoring Pinterest Analytics. As a small business owner or nonprofit, your time is limited. Don’t waste it! If you’re not reviewing the analytics Pinterest provides, how will you know if your efforts are having an effect on your business? Knowledge is power.

21. You pin anything. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of stunning images where you might find yourself repining anything that catches your eye. Don’t do it. As a brand, you’re trying to relay a message that portrays what your business is all about. Plan out your boards and outline what message or information you want your fans to walk away with before you start pinning.

22. Forgetting traditional social media best practices. Commenting isn’t the most popular form of engagement on Pinterest, but it is still important to monitor what your fans are saying and doing. Look for opportunities to respond and engage with potential customers too. Also, similar to other social networks, always remember to stick to a consistent content frequency that works for you.

23. Neglecting Pinterest’s unique features. You can enable Pinterest’s collaborative function “me+contributor” on the boards you select. This function allows others to contribute to your boards as “guest pinners.” You can also create secret boards to develop content before publically showing it off.

24. Overlooking your website’s content. Is it pinnable? Make sure your customers can pin from your website or blog. Test it out before you encourage customers to pin your images and if you don’t have great visuals on your site, get some!

25. Thinking that B2Bs don’t belong on Pinterest. As a B2B on Pinterest, there’s actually a lot you can do to humanize your brand and tell your story through visuals. Pinterest allows you to showcase the people that make your business a success, industry statistics or news, your brand’s content or useful information, and tips your customers can benefit from. You don’t need to be a retail brand to be successful on Pinterest either. Just take a look at the Constant Contact page. I created our channel in January 2012, and in less than two years we’ve added over 15,000 followers! We even won some trophies along the way!

Thought pinning was as simple as picking up a corkboard and tacks from your local craft store? Don’t worry, by being aware of what makes you look dumb on Pinterest, you’ll find success!

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed about getting started on Pinterest, you’re in luck. At the end of this month, we’re hosting an hour-long session designed to answer your biggest Pinterest questions.

Want to learn more?

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Leave a comment »
  1. Good info! I’ve been trying to concentrate more on #13 on your list. It’s easy to get lazy and not provide a good description with appropriate keywords.

    • Danielle Cormier •

      Especially when you’re pinning a lot of content!

      For us here at Constant Contact, we’ve had a lot of SEO success with Pinterest. We rank third on Google for ‘small business quotes!’

  2. Judy Bellah •

    What is the policy on posting copyrighted material? I’ve found copyrighted photos of mine on Pinterest without anyone asking for my consent.

    • Danielle Cormier •

      Pinterest addresses this topic in its Terms of Service, which all Pinterest users agree to when creating an account on the site. According to Pinterest, as long as users are not misrepresenting the pin as your own work and as long as the content you share refers back to the source, you should be within the copyright guidelines. http://about.pinterest.com/terms/

      As a brand, you always want to give credit where credit is due. If you’re sharing images of your products or services that link back to your site, make sure to use your pictures—not ones from other sites.

      • Hi, I wanted to chime in here cause I’m an artist/designer and I always add a link to my website or the link to the actual product within the pin’s description. But! I continually have people repin my designs, etc and they strip out my links and whole descriptions. I’m flattered they like my art but they shouldn’t do that. I wrote to Pinterest about this last yr and didn’t get any help from them.

        • copyright symbol + your name in a spot where the image would look crappy if cropped? Seems to be working okay for me – altho sometimes it doesn’t.

  3. You are so right! I love the way photos are there forever, with their provenance (I started pinning because there were photos of my driftwood headboard all over the internet and people obviously didn’t know where they were from. Hey ladies, it’s my bed!)

    It is the easiest way to collate all the things which interest you – Pin away and suddenly realise you have a theme, so create a new board. Also I now have an inside track on people who share my love of Japanese boro, so I’m collecting lovely images from them, and sharing my own. Pictures from my website are up there too, I can let people know where they came from and keep Rough Linen images under my watchful eye. I can even see what grabs people’s imagination – market research!

    Best of all, it is pleasurable. We Love Pinterest!

  4. Danielle thank you so much for the content and helpful tips, just when you think you know all there is to know, there is still more info. Everything is very valuable on this list, thanx again for the great info.

  5. I think that the worst thing you have can with any type of digital marketing effort is to not follow through with your plan. Starting off strong then stopping or slowing down is what I see quite often with failed SEO campaigns. With Pinterest if you sign up to your account one day and add all of your images then don’t have any fresh, new content. If this happens then you don’t really have a consistent plan.

  6. […]  4. http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/pinterest-for-business/ […]

  7. […] http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/pinterest-for-business/ and http://www.pinterestfail.com/ both of these blogs provide examples and explain what not to do on pinterest. By following the checklist, you can get a pretty good idea of how to be successful while simply not doing things wrong. […]

  8. Having too many specific boards with not enough pins is another one.

  9. joeblogs •

    Actually, Pinterest doesn’t support hashtags, https://en.help.pinterest.com/entries/23027692-Hashtag-searches

  10. #2: Link to Facebook: Is there a way to link to a Business facebook page yet? As far as I know, you can only link to a personal facebook page which is pointless for many businesses. Has this been corrected?

    • I don’t see this happening until both companies somehow merge. Surely pinterest isn’t interested in directing away from their site unless there is money to be made

  11. […] Pinterest, and Constant Contact couldn’t have explained them any better in there post about “25 Things That Make You Look Dumb On Pinterest.” Abiding by rules such as not pinning anything you want and finding a balance in the things you pin […]

  12. Starting off strong then stopping or slowing down is what I see quite often with failed SEO campaigns. With Pinterest if you sign up to your account one day and add all of your images then don’t have any fresh, new content. keep posting.

  13. […] 3. Looking for more Pinterest success? Check out this board on how to have more success with your pins. On the flip side, beware of these 25 things that make you look dumb on Pinterest. […]

  14. […] 25 Things that Make You Look Dumb on Pinterest […]

  15. This is my absolute favorite Pinterest guide. I’ve kept it open in a tab for over a month now, and I get more out of it every time I re-read it.

    Because it’s so awesome, I added a link to this article to my Ultimate Product Photography tips list (http://diycraftphotography.com/ultimate-product-photography-tips-list/). Let’s face it – looking good on Pinterest is *critical* to the success of any craft business!

    I’m addicted to your site’s guides to social media! Keep up the awesome work.

  16. […] you’re using Pinterest for business, go beyond sharing your products and services, and pin things that are interesting to your audience […]

  17. If this is a double post, my apologies. I wrote and almost at the end it seemed to disappear.

    Thank you for writing and sharing. Very helpful. Does anyone know if it’s possible to have separate personal and business accounts? I would like to maintain my personal boards, but agree, they are not for public consumption from a business perspective. I haven’t been able to figure it out… any help would be much appreciated.

    • Yes Lindy, you can have a personal account and a separate business account on FB. I think that is what you are asking. One you just keep to yourself and not share, the business one you can promote and share. Just be sure it is an actual business account)- it is very easy on Pinterest to convert to a business account through the help center. Or I keep everything together but make some boards private that are for just me!

  18. I really enjoyed your tips to help out small businesses! Very helpful, thank you.

  19. Great list. I’ve always had one question about the description section while adding pins. Is it better to leave a link to your blog in the description or in the source? Or both? And when to avoid doing so? Thanks.

  20. Lori •

    I work from home and do all my work from my iPad. I would like to create a second account for my business and was wondering if I can have two Pinterest Apps on my iPad? One for my personal account and for my business?

  21. Naomi •

    Can I use a pin as my profile picture. If so, how?

  22. Im searching for the same answer as Lori and no google search brings me a solution – do we have to keep logging in and out when we have second business? When are social networks going to catch up that we are all multipreneurs now


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