Avoid Pinterest Marketing Frustration with These 11 Tips

Pinterest-marketing

As a virtual pinboard, Pinterest offers the ability to upload, share, and “pin” images to your bulletin boards, also known as pinboards. From the very first day of using the site, users have found an immediate obsession to the site due the various uses and images they are able to save. There are benefits to Pinterest for both general users looking for some inspiration, as well as business owners who want to further their influence.

On Pinterest 

Plan Ahead 

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When you first open your account you probably have a lot of ideas, but take your time. You want to hold some things back and time your pins to go out on a regular basis. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers. But, you want to keep putting things in front of your audience too. Therefore, take the time to plan out how you are going to infiltrate the Pinterest community with your creative and informative boards and pins.

If you have it planned out before you start, it will be easier to stick to a plan of action. Slow and steady wins the race. You don’t want to just pin in bursts of energy every month or two, you want to do a little every single day. Plus, you want what you do to be highly focused and relevant to your audience. That will take some work. 

 

Be Relevant 

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There is no point putting up boring pins that no one cares about. Make sure that every board you create, and every pin you add to a board has a purpose and is interesting to your audience. If you keep your audience in mind with every creation you make, you’ll become very influential among your audience.

While you’re being interesting it’s also important to be informed about your niche. If you don’t understand your niche well enough, it will be hard for you to go from zero to influential on Pinterest. Take the time to learn your subject matter, check the veracity of information before you share, and don’t be afraid to disagree with popular people based on that research. If you’re informed and interesting, you’re bound to become influential too. 

 

Make Your Boards to Stand Out 

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Most people follow certain boards over following an entire profile, so if you heavily promote each board that you create you’ll get more followers. When one board starts showing more promise than the others, promote it even more. As you get more followers for a specific board, you’ll have an opportunity to get them to follow your entire profile.

As a board gets more popular it’s kind of like a snow ball rolling down hill. The momentum gets faster, and the ball gets heavier so it collects more snow and grows faster. Your boards are like that. If one is getting a lot of attention, share and promote it even more than you did before. Plus, add to it more than you do the other less popular boards. Any board that is getting a lot of attention, if you’ve defined the subject of the board well, will give you more ideas for creating even more popular boards.

 

Choose The Right Influencers 

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You want to ensure that the people you follow also have access to the same audience that you are trying to attract. You can get a lot of insight into your audience by following others who share your audience. You might not want to follow direct competitors, but you might decide that you can differentiate yourself enough that it doesn’t matter. A lot of competitors collaborate on Pinterest with group boards, and it works out lovely for them.

To start with, you can simply follow people, and invite people who already follow you on other social media accounts. You can also announce your new Pinterest account to your blog readers and invite them to follow you right away, and you follow them back. You have to get started someplace, but you don’t want to follow a traditional bakery if your audience can’t eat wheat. Be thoughtful with all interactions.

 

Choose Smart Interactions 

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Speaking of being thoughtful with all interactions, remember to really think about your comments before you hit enter. We all love it when people comment on our work, but it can get lame and old to see so many “great jobs”, “beautiful” and other “ata-boys (or girls)”. It’s so much better to give each comment a lot of thought. Say something that really matters. People will appreciate your intelligence and start seeking you out for information.

Creating effective comments that draw attention to you without being obnoxious takes some practice. Try this method: Complement, critique or add to, and back it up. So if someone posts something about Sugar Free Bran Muffins, you might say something like: “Those look delicious, I’m going to try them, but I think I’m going to add pureed dates and Stevia in place of the NutraSweet.” For a nice touch you could tag someone who will find that interesting who is an influential person in that niche.

 

Call Out Others

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As mentioned above, it’s nice to tag others who are relevant in the niche when you make a comment. It’s a great way to get more attention to a comment. When you comment, call out others by name because when you mention people on Pinterest you’ll attract their attention and they may follow you. When you tag others using the “@” symbol your comments stand out, get attention, and attracts more followers.

You can do this in comments and on your own boards and pins. You can do it in the pin description or on the comment area. They even offer a drop down of friends when you start typing. This is a great way to get more interest and “name drop”. You can also use #hashtags on Pinterest. By mentioning popular people, words, events, places, and names you’ll attract more followers.

 

Share Others Content, Too 

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Sharing your own boards, pins, and others’ relevant pins is a great way to get attention. Don’t be ridiculous and share everything, but do share anything that your audience would have interest along with a smart comment. By sharing regularly what other people are doing as well as what you are creating, you’ll get known in the Pinterest community for someone who can be trusted for good information.

Do be picky about what you share though. You don’t want to go off your target and attract the wrong audience. Always keep in mind the question of whether or not what you’re about to share has any relevant or interest to the audience you want to influence. If not, don’t share it. If so, share and comment freely. 

 

Shine as a Guest Pinner 

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When you are invited to a group or collaborative board that is relevant to your niche, try to contribute something meaningful to it as soon as possible. By contributing regularly to other boards you’ll up your influence quotient exponentially. Be very particular about what you contribute so that it fits their audience and yours. Think of it kind of like guest blog posting. You want to attract your audience, but you need to fit in with their style.

Create your own collaborative boards and invite influential people who follow you to contribute. Only invite people you trust to collaborate on a board with you. You don’t want someone who is going to post overtly advertorial content or inappropriate content. You can set up guidelines for pinning, and you can also create an open board where people can request to pin to it. All of the above are great ideas.  

 

Outside Pinterest 

Add Pin it Buttons On Your Website and Blog 

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This is a no-brainer when it comes to getting more followers on Pinterest. The easier you make it for people to pin your stuff, the easier it is for people to follow you. It’s easy to do too. You simply use a plugin for WordPress or grab the code from Pinterest to create pins and widgets to add to your website.

Don’t just put the “pin it” buttons and follow widgets in one spot on your website or blog. Put them in multiple prominent places so that your visitors will have no reason not to pin it. In fact, ask your audience to pin your blog posts and information within as your call to action. People will do it if you ask them to.

 

Add the Profile Widget to Your Website 

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Most people like to just follow boards and pins, but adding the profile widget to your website gives people the option to follow everything you do. They may click on it to see what else you have to offer if you’ve done a good job with your blog post and website to attract them to it. You can add these buttons and widgets to all of your online real-estate for best results.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a product, a service, or an infographic, adding the buttons and widgets will encourage more sharing and more following. You want to make it as simple as possible for your audience to find you and engage with you in the manner they want to. The follow widget gets people to look at your Pinterest page rather than just one of your boards. 

 

Connect Your Social Media and Cross Promote with Ease

social-media-mistakes

You can connect other social media accounts directly to Pinterest, which is a great way to attract your followers from those social media sites. There are a lot of ways to do this with plugins and social media management apps. 

By connecting everything together you can cross promote with ease. However, this can become tiring to those followers who follow you everywhere. So, don’t forget to also do some promoting specific to each social media network. You don’t want the exact same thing on all of them or you’re missing the point.

Pinning for Fun? Why Not Becoming a Pinterest Expert

Pinterest Best Practices for Beginners and Not Only

Pinterest is providing amazing results for small business owners who have jumped on the bandwagon. If you want to use Pinterest to gain influence then you need to be strategic in your actions. As you get started with Pinterest understand what you’re doing and do it with purpose. Pinterest can drive traffic to your website, products, services and more, but you need to go about it the right way.  

#1. Know Your Audience 

audienceIt’s not enough to simply know how to use Pinterest. You also need to learn how to conduct market research. It’s an imperative, if you want to understand your audience. If you don’t know who you want to influence, it’s hard to know how to proceed. Take the time to research your market so that you know who they are, what they like, and what they like to do on Pinterest. Your market is the group of people who are interested in the products or services that you want to promote. The products and services that you want to promote should be solutions to your niche market. If you can provide solutions to a group of people that really work you are bound to become influential.  

#2. Set Realistic and Specific Goals

set-goalsBefore you get started with creating even your first board, it’s important to understand what you hope to accomplish with the board. Do you want to get more followers, get more traffic, cause some other action? Know what it is so that you can create relevant boards. Once you know what your goal is, write it down in a very specific way. Remember that a goal should be possible and specific. Your goal in this case is to become an authority, or influential person to your niche using Pinterest as the catalyst. Write down what you are going to do on Pinterest to achieve those goals. How many boards are you going to create per week or month? What will the topics of the boards be? How will you create the boards? Will you hire someone, or will you do it yourself? What data will you use to create the boards? Be specific, and you will succeed.   

#3. Define Your Boards by Subject, Topic or Category 

boardsEach board should have its own topic or subject. That’s how you keep them organized and relevant to different segments of your audience. Every board should be relevant to your overall audience. Just like you have different categories on your blog, or pages on your website, so you should also have different boards on Pinterest. Start with four or five different boards covering the different categories that you have determined are important to your audience. Most people will not follow every board. They will choose a specific board to follow. Once you create a board, ensure that you keep it updated on a regular basis. Starting with more than four or five boards will be too much work because you want to keep boards updated so choose your categories and topics carefully.  

#4. Be Visually Creative with Your Boards 

creativeDepending on what type of business you have it can sometimes be hard to come up with creative ideas. In order to be super creative use mind maps and other brainstorming ideas to come up with ways to present your information graphically. The more original pins you can create the better. If your pins are created by you then it will show as you being the originator so when it’s shared people have the opportunity to find you. Your creativity will really matter when it comes to creating boards. Pinterest, as you know, is a very visual medium. You’ll have to think outside the box to create images that represent the message you want to send to your audience. If you want people to pin your blog posts, ensure that you’ve added a creative visual element to encourage pinning.  

#5. Engage and Be Engaging with Your Followers 

social_mediaPinterest is social media, and the idea of social media is to be, guess what? Social. Therefore, interaction is key getting people to re-pin your Pinterest content and to follow you. When you think about social media realize that it’s a conversation you’re having with your audience on a regular basis. You wouldn’t just ignore comments made to your face, don’t ignore them made on Pinterest. Don’t just communicate on your own boards either. Engage with others on their boards, and mention people by name when relevant. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going, and bring other people in. Sharing, commenting, and being social is what social media is all about so ensure that you are engaging, in more ways than one.  

#6. To Be Super Influential Seek To Be The Hub 

google-hangoutBeing seen as information nucleus of information that’s interesting to your audience should be one of your goals when seeking to influence others. To succeed, you need to study what they need to know and want to know. That may mean creating new boards, but it might also mean curating other boards of interest for your audience. You can not only curate other people’s information, but your own too. People are very visual and this lets you curate the information in a beautiful way. If you are super organized, and only allow the best quality information to be on your boards, you are creating an image for yourself too. The image of an someone who can influence others.  

#7. Give Credit Where Credit is Due 

When you use an image or idea from someone else, always be kind and credit the information. If they have a “pin it” button on their site you can assume they want you to pin it, but it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. When Pinterest started there was a lot of buzz about plagiarism and copyright infringement. You can avoid any problems with this by following a few simple rules. Only re-pin other people’s stuff, don’t down load it to your computer, then upload it back as an original board or pin. Try taking your own pictures, or using only legal images in the boards and pins that you create. Be sure to credit properly all images that you use. Don’t separate an image from the creator without express permission to do so. Even when given permission it’s a good idea to credit the source. (Note: Watermark your own creations with your name and website information to avoid being copied.)  

#8. Nothing’s Done until the Numbers are Evaluated 

computerIt’s kind of like the saying that “Nothing is complete until the paperwork is done.” Well, paperwork always involves numbers. As such, nothing can be deemed successful (or a failure) without studying the metrics. Look at how many followers you get for different actions. How many people re-pin something you’ve pinned. Can you figure out why they re-pin one thing over another? How many people pin a blog post with no images compared to an infographic? How many click-throughs you receive and any other factor that can help you determine the effectiveness of your boards is an important metric to understand. Pinterest has its own analytics tools today that are quite good at giving you the information you need. That combined with Google Analytics and there isn’t much you can’t determine by looking at the numbers. If you want to be a real influencer and an authority in your niche, it’s important to know what is working and what is not working. Getting started with a goal in mind, and developing your Pinterest presence over time will reap many more benefits than going in without a clue as to the direction you want to go. Having goals and understanding your topic and your audience will go far in helping you pin your way to influence. One way to become more influential is to build your following.

How to Become an Influencer on Pinterest

influencer

Pinterest began as a beta site just a few short years ago as a way for others to share what they love and create virtual bulletin boards for all their favorite things. Now users are amazed with the potential of the site and can’t wait to share with their friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and acquaintances. As a smart person with information to share that will be of interest to your niche audience, you stand to benefit from the millions of members that visit the site each month.

In order to pin your way to influence keep these takeaways in mind:

 

Don’t Advertise

Be more than just a company advertising a business. Think beyond advertising to create interesting and entertaining infographics and visual elements to share with your audience that they will enjoy sharing too. Create information that will pull heart strings, entice a giggle, or make people think of the data you provide in a new way.

 

Be Social

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Social media, is after all, supposed to be social. Become involved in Pinterest and with the users of Pinterest. Communicate with the other users and all the creators of amazing and awe-inspiring pinboards. Share other people’s pinboards, and make useful and smart comments. It will only enhance your experience and increase your influence.

 

Be Creative

Use the virtual pinboard site as a way to express your creative side both as a business owner and as a lover of beautiful things. Even if you’re an accountant, there are ways to express numerical data in new and visual ways that will make people take notice. Let your imagination flow.

 

Remember your Audience

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When using Pinterest for marketing and advertising a product, service, website, blog, or build influence among a group — always keep the viewers and consumers in mind. Put yourself in their place every step of the way, and imagine what you would want to learn from your time on Pinterest. Remember to think in terms of solving problems and answering questions and your influence will grow.

 

Check Your Metrics

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By knowing what works (and what doesn’t work) you’ll be better able to determine where to spend your time. If you check the numbers, you won’t be mistaken and waste your time on creating pinboards that no one pays attention to. Being aware of metrics will help you to increase your potential and become a true influential leader in your niche on Pinterest.

Building Brand Authority with Pinterest

brand

Using Pinterest offers you a unique opportunity to influence your audience and build the visual message of your brand. Pinterest is free to use and since it has over 70 million users, you have a large audience to reach out to. This is also an audience that has money to spend. With over 25 percent of the majority female audience having household incomes of over 100K per year and a bigger buying mindset than any other social media, it would be crazy to miss out.

Becoming a major influence on Pinterest is more than being an everyday user; you will be taking advantage of every tool and benefit Pinterest has to offer. During which you will discover that Pinterest may be the best opportunity to help you build influence with your target audience.

  • 2-insightsGain Consumer Insights — Using Pinterest to test marketability of new product or service ideas is an excellent way to gain consumer insights that will help you improve your brand visibility. Using Pinterest analytics will help you know how many people pinned your information from your site, and what pins are most popular right now among all pins being pinned. If you have insight into what your audience wants and needs you’ll be that much more likely to become an influence to your market. 
  • Make Valuable Connections — By creating a group board you can invite others to contribute to your board, creating a valuable way to connect with other movers and shakers. Even with regular boards, if you are creative enough and promote it well enough you can connect with others and become the influencer. 
  • Develop Authority — By demonstrating your knowledge about a certain topic through your boards, and through the boards and pins that you share from others you can become a thought leader in your industry. 
  • Get More Traffic — There is no doubt that Pinterest, when used right is a dynamo at helping improve traffic to your online real estate. Most businesses report getting more traffic from Pinterest than any other social media. 
  • Showcase Your Work — Boards are a great way to demonstrate what you do. If you have a visual business it will be easier but there is no reason you can’t create visual elements to any number of bits of data focused toward your audience. 
  • Get New Product Ideas — Surfing around Pinterest looking at other people’s boards and pins will enable you to spark ideas for new products. People who are on Pinterest are product and service minded, therefore you will find a lot of wish lists and vision boards that can give you terrific ideas. 

There are so many benefits to using Pinterest that it’s hard to list them all, but I think you get the idea. Using Pinterest can help you build the authority you need to become an influential voice in your niche.

Top 10 Ways for Creating an Effective Online Brand

brand

If you’re not actively branding your business, you are wasting golden opportunities to strengthen your online position in your niche.

Creating a uniform goal and plan can help you  make sure all your branding efforts are on target.  Then incorporate the following top ten ways for create an effective online brand.

1.  Identify Your Brand Clearly

Make it easy for people to see at a glance what you and your business are all about the moment they arrive at your web page, read your email or newsletter, pick up your business card or check out your social media pages and posts.

Show (don’t just tell) people:

  • What you do
  • Who you are
  • How you can help or even just entertain them

Letting people know what they can expect from you and your business and what they can trust you to deliver, as celebrity Jackie Chan demonstrates here,  is what branding is all about.

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2.  Pay Attention to Voice

2-voiceOne other aspect of your business needs to be clear and distinctive: Your voice.

“Voice” is the personality you project across all your websites, social media and other forms of contact.

Your voice can be any type you want it to be…  But it should fit your mission and your target market consistently, like a favorite pair of slippers.  It should be reflected in everything from website colors to the music clips you use with your videos.

Individuality is another important part of creating a consistent voice.  You want to show that you can take a secure place among your competitors – but also stand out.

People should feel they know you, when they see your communications and materials.

 

3.  Know When to Use Professionals

Using the right help at the right time will actually increase your branding.

Trying to do it all yourself leads to overload and overwhelm; and that leads to losing track of your business as an entity and brand because you’re too close and too busy being reactive.

Become a true CEO, instead of your own eternal employee.  Plan for support that will leave you free to focus on customers, clients – and your branding.  Then decide:

  • What type of help you need
  • Who you are going to choose to provide that help

Check into potential candidates. See if they have package rates (many contractors do).

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 This will leave you free to focus on only the essentials of growing your business, allowing you to maintain a focused overview, as well as network and serve your customers and clients to the best of your ability.

And focus is what strong, successful branding is all about.

 

4.  Manage your Online Reputation

One negative comment – deserved or not – can really affect your online reputation.  Check comments and feedback regularly to see what people are saying about you.

One easy way to do this: Set up a Google Alert for your name and your business name (if the two are different).

You can set your Google alerts up so that they are highly reactive, if there’s a particular situation you want to monitor, or barely intrusive – simply by setting the frequency at which the results are delivered to your email address (text or HTML).

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You can choose to receive alerts:

  • As it happens
  • Once a day
  • Once a week

You can also export your alerts to your hard drive.

But managing your online reputation doesn’t just mean monitoring what’s said:  It’s really all about giving people no reason to badmouth you in the first place!

  • Keep in touch with clients and update them if there are hitches or problems.
  • Process payments and refunds promptly and cheerfully.
  • Thank people who do you favors or submit work.

Reputation management is all about giving people reason to praise you and your business.

(And don’t do anything on your social networks that’s at odds with your branding and voice!)

 

5.  Tell Your Brand’s Story

Use your online footprints to tell your brand’s story.  Doing this well means knowing:

  • Where you’ve been
  • Your mission
  • Where you are heading

Your “About” Page is a good place to provide a brief history of your business:  What inspired it, how old it is, what it looked like at inception and how it has been serving its clientele.

Sending out regular newsletters and press releases, posting articles to your blog and sharing photos with social networks continues your story.  But even as you do share your history and story, make sure it’s really all about your customer or client (as Eugene Saturday Market expertly does here on its Facebook Page)

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Even though everything you present should be geared towards your end client or customer, they will connect better if they can also relate – and see that you do too.

 

6.  Be Consistently Active and Actively Consistent

The word “consistent” is the real key to branding.

Interact regularly and consistently:

  • Across all your social platforms
  • In the type of material you share
  • With your unique voice
  • In all your content
    • business pages
    • buttons
    • flyers
    • prizes
    • surveys
    • emails
    • newsletters

And  every piece of content you put out (e.g. Burt’s Bees).

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7.  Use Templates

This simple tip is one that, when put to work, can help you easily create a cohesive feel to all your marketing venues.  You can create:

  • Email templates featuring your colors, logo, headshot and signature
  • Flyer templates
  • HTML templates for your newsletter
  • HTML templates for your landing and sales pages
  • MS Word templates for business correspondence

And for anything else you re-use frequently.

With a template, you don’t have go through your content, second-guessing things like what your exact shade of sub-head red was.  Templates saves time as well as helping you instantly brand your business without effort.

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8. Go Visual

What were two of the hottest trends in 2012?

Pinterest and Instagram.

If your business doesn’t have a Profile created with each of these two graphic-based social networks, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with your market.

Once you’ve created a Pinterest for Business account (it’s free), be sure to create more than one Pinboard.  (Read site instructions – which are simple – and look at examples; especially your competitors’, if they’ve been more socially-savvy than you.)

Make sure you create an overall plan for your Pinboards.  And that each one:

  • Is interesting and visually dramatic
  • Triggers emotion, whenever possible
  • Reflects your brand consistently

Put a “Pin it” button on your site, and activelyask customers to pin your photos.  (The Pin it button such as Split Coast Stampers displays makes it as easy as one click for them to do so.)

8-pin-from-websites

Make sure you have yummy visual content for them to pin. But don’t stop there, however:  Re-pin customer content that fits your brand onto your boards.

Use Instagram to capture photo opportunities and share them.

Finally carry this through to YouTube videos.  Create your own channel and brand it with:

  • Your logo
  • Your colors
  • Your graphics

Then create lively videos to regularly share with customers.

 

9.  Go Mobile

What was the hottest trend in 2011?

Mobile marketing.

2011 saw the introduction of QR codes to the Western world.  Now you see them everywhere – even on sandwich boards outside your local grocery store, making it easy for you to use the QR code to enter their survey.

When customers use your QR code, reward them with coupons, discounts, or even just great photographs they can share.

Go one step further in using your QR codes to help brand your business:  Don’t just use a plain, generated QR code:  Have a custom QR code designed containing or incorporating graphics such as your logo – one that makes people instantly think of your business.

(If you can’t yet afford a designer who specializes in QR codes, do it yourself with generators such as Unitag that allow you to incorporate your own graphics into your QR code in a variety of styles.)

9-unitag-qr-code-generator

 10.  Optimize Your Signature

Don’t miss the opportunity to make the most of your signature.  Include anchor text to your blog or website, as well as your tagline.

 10-graphic-signature

Make sure your signature is as consistent as possible, everywhere you use it – forums, flyers, membership sites and in your emails and colors.

Think of your signature as yet another handy branding tool.

 

Although these pointers include the most basic elements of branding, you’ll find they are still the top ten ways to create your most effective online brand. Get into the habit putting them to work – and watch your branding results soar.

Popular Humor Pins on Pinterest – What Makes People to LOL

funny

Make someone laugh, and you’re probably going to get them to share. Laughter is one of the most easily and powerfully accessible emotions on the internet. You’ll rarely be able to get someone to burst out in anger or cry in sadness; but you can easily get someone to laugh suddenly and unexpectedly.

It’s hard to design humor. Instead of trying to make it happen, have an attitude of trying to capture humor when it happens. When a co-worker says something funny for example, write it down and create an image out of it. Or if you think something funny, have a journal nearby that you can use to jot down ideas.

Here are a few examples of funny pictures that got a lot of traction in Pinterest’s “Humor” section.

When Life Gives You Lemons …

This photo is hilarious, because it completes a sentence everyone has heard in an unexpected way. Comedians know this as a twist. Taking a common idea and giving it an unexpected twist is a good way to come up with funny ideas.

This pin got over 2,000 people to like it! Out of just 8,000 repins, that’s quite an achievement.

 1-Lemondade

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/257690409898121390/

 

Smile!

This is one of the most repinned photos of all time in the humor section, with over 25,000 repins. Its attraction is simple: It makes the baby look like it’s grinning hugely.

This is a great example of a moment you can’t really plan. When you see it, you know it – So just take out your camera and capture the moment.

2-Baby

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/272467846175644883/

The Cutest Dog on Pinterest

This photo is very plain and simple. It’s a picture of a dog – An outrageously cute dog. People love photos of dogs, cats and babies online. There are sites with millions of visitors that do nothing but gather cute cat and dog images.

This photo got over 15,500 likes. Again, with photos like these, it’s more about capturing the moment than creating the moment.

 4-Cute-Dog

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/56506170294168687/

Sleep Ninja

This image really paints an image. When you read it, you can literally see her jumping out of her bed. You might also flash back to times in your life when you did the same. The key word here is “like a ninja,” which really makes this line come alive.

If you’re using a text-based humorous image, see if you can throw in words that create mental imagery. This image got almost 13,400 likes.

5-Sleep-Ninja

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/161918549072313024/

Dude … You’re Not Adopted (And Controversy)

Market research firms have proven it again and again: People are drawn to faces. Women are especially drawn to baby faces. Faces with strong expressions are especially hard to look away from.

This image combines all these principles in an image that’s nearly impossible to ignore. The words match the image perfectly. It’s a joke, illustrated with baby actors that couldn’t have been more realistic.

If you find a good image on the internet, see if you can find a line, thought or joke that goes well with it. Alternatively, if you find a joke you like, see if you can find a picture to go with it.

6-Adopted

This image also caused a bit of controversy because some people are offended by the perceived message that being adopted is a bad thing. This controversy possibly contributed to this image’s popularity as well. Of course, many can look at this picture and relate to it as the joke is a frequent childhood occurrence. It’s not intended to say, being adopted is bad, but a statement from one sibling to another that ‘I couldn’t possibly be related to you’.

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/217439488228703636/

I’m So Glad You’re Home!

Here’s another great example of superimposing text on the perfect image. The joke is quite old – But add it to the right image and you really dimentionalize it.

If you’re trying to get an image to go viral in your niche, try finding a joke in your niche to start with and add an image to it. For example, if you’re in the cooking industry, you might Google “cooking jokes.” Find one or two you like, then find an appropriate image and you’re set!

 7-Glad-Came-Home

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/68719857009/

 

Toilet Paper Origami

Do you have a devious side?

Don’t be afraid to let it come out a little. Deviousness or prankster-ness is an oft underestimated force online.

Here’s a great example. This image got over 10,000 repins. Someone suggested that you could fold other people’s toilet paper into origami.

You can bet that gave someone pause…and perhaps sparked a few ideas.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/142356038191141805/

Life Was Easier …

This image was posted some time ago, when Apple and Blackberry were still battling it out in the marketplace. This took something that was really hot in the news and turned it into a funny image. If you’re using humor to get more repins, try to tie in current events somehow. That way you tap into an already existing vein of interest.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/29273466297411774/

When I Yawn

When you take an experience and greatly exaggerate it, it’s often very funny. This photo does that by poking fun at how people think they look when they yawn. It’s also a good example of using an internet meme, which is kind of like a running joke with the internet community.  This photo got more than 10,000 repins.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/112730796892735654/
As a rule of thumb, if your humor photo can make someone burst out laughing unexpectedly, it’ll probably do well. Publish it to your own audience first to give it an initial push. Then get as many repins as you possibly can.

DIY and Crafts Popular Pins Tips

DIY

Does your audience like getting their hands a little dirty? If so, Pinterest’s DIY and Crafts section might be a good place to reach them. It’s one of the most active categories on Pinterest, full of people who are doers.

Photos that tend to do well on DIY and Crafts tend to be “in action” photos of people applying some creative principle to something they’re doing at home. Are you creating art or making things easier in your house in a unique way? Take a high quality photo of it and post it on Pinterest!

Here are some of the most successful DIY and Crafts examples.

Melted Crayons

With over 64,000 repins, this image is by far a very popular DIY and Crafts photo on Pinterest right now. This image looks gorgeous and showcases a really unique idea. It’s photographed clearly and was done right all around.

This goes to show you really don’t need a heavy budget to succeed on social media. This whole project could have been done for under $100.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/154600199677838775/

Daddy Hands

This photo is simple, yet touching. It has over 36,000 repins and is one of the most popular photos in the category.

This photo is a good reminder for social media users and marketers that sometimes it’s not all about strategy or technique. Sometimes just showing some emotion is all you need to build a connection with your audience.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/68719867588/

Glue Gun

This pin shows people how to do something they’ve probably seen in other places before. A lot of people have seen these “writing on the bottle” kind of jars before, but never knew how to do it before. Chances are people have wondered how it’s done. This pin answers that question.

Showing people how to do things they already want to know how to do is a fantastic way to get repins and praise. Over 33,000 people agree.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/60869032433376674/

Glitter Keys

Keys are something that people have with them all the time, all day, every day. It’s a chance to really show off your style in a subtle way. A lot of women who see a picture like this instinctively think to themselves: Wow, I’d love to have a key like that.

This pin shows a great example of what a finished product looks like, as well as shows people exactly how it’s done. It also illustrates how to get the glitter to stay on with nail polish.

Finally, the webmaster included a link back to their site. This link was seen by hundreds of thousands of people, making it not just a successful photo, but a successful marketing campaign, with over 31,000 likes.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/235946467947459609/

 

Born, Met, Married

If you can make love shine through your images, it’ll probably be shared. This photo showcases a couple’s love for each other in a very artistic and creative way. Piercing pennies from the year you were born, the year you met and the year you got married really shows off two people’s commitment to each other. Many of the 100+ comments this photo got shared this sentiment.

How can you creatively use props to bring emotions alive?

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/271834527477959049/

Glowing Things

Things that glow, spark, explode, flash or look brilliant in other ways catch a lot of attention. This photo does this really well. It teaches people how to make a glowing, sparkling jar by pouring glowstick fluid and glitter inside and shaking it. About 23,500 people thought it was worthy of sharing.

Is there a graphically impressive way you can showcase your product or your ideas? A good example of a retail company doing this would be the “Will it Blend” BlendTec YouTube videos. They made strong graphic attraction the core of their business.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/69594756711563191/

Memories

Telling a story can be a great way to get your stuff out there. Let people into your personal or business life, so people can get a sense of who you are. This photo does this spectacularly. You really get how much life these two people have lived.

Almost 20,000 people repinned this photo. Is there a way you can wrap a story into your photos?

 7-Memories

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/46795283597795618/

Color Leaf

Sometimes spontaneity is what gets people to share. Thinking it through too much doesn’t help at all. For example, someone can just take a leaf, dunk it in paint and press it against a sheet of paper – And create one of the most widely pinned photos in Pinterest, to the tune of about 18,000 repins.

Have a crazy or wacky idea? Don’t filter yourself. Just do it and snap a photo.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/68719922915/

Practical Clothes Hanger

Giving practical how-to tips is always in fashion. Especially if you solve a problem that everyone has, with a creative solution they never thought about. Capture that solution on film and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Everyone’s experienced having their clothes fall off the clothes hanger. Most people assume it’s just a problem they have to live with. Not so! This photo illustrates an exact solution. And over 18,000 people shared it.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/178314466466089780/

Clean Shower Head

Here’s another example of someone solving a solution for their audience. Again, the formula for success is:

1)     The problem is widespread.

2)     The solution is simple.

3)     You can capture the solution on camera.

In this case, how do you clean a dirty shower head? Just follow these directions. Over 3,500 people liked it and over 178,000 repinned it.

Look around you. Are there creative problems you can solve?

The DIY and Crafts section of Pinterest can be an abundant source of traffic for anyone targeting people who care about their home, or feel artistic in any way. It’s also a great way to reach creative women. Be on the lookout for unique things you can share.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/272116002454689738/

What Makes a Food & Drink Pin Famous?

 food

Food and drink is one of the most popular categories on Pinterest. People love sharing the amazing foods they’ve cooked, as well as the amazing foods that they want to try. Photos that tend to do well in the Food and Drink section tend to look so good that you can almost taste the food on your tongue.

Many of the foods that do well involve quite a bit of creativity. They take an old concept that people are used to, then add something completely new. Let’s take a look at some examples and examine why they were successful.

A Very Popular Recipe

One of the most popular pictures in the Food & Drink section is the garlic cheesy bread photo. Most people love the taste of garlic bread. Most people like cheese. The photo is taken at an active moment, just when you can see the cheese strings and when the bread is tearing.

But what really made this photo popular was – Get this – Its popularity. At a certain point, it just kept getting more repins simply because it was famous. It has over 104,000 repins.

1-Garlic-Cheesy-Bread

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/238550111481940397/

Simple Recipes

This recipe for a simple summer drink did spectacularly well. It got over 50,000 pins. People commenting really loved how simple it was to make, as well as how great it tasted. The photo also really brings out the multi-flavored nature of the drink.

 2-Fresca

Sometimes complex recipes really can work against you. If you can give someone an amazing beverage or food and make it easy, it can really take off.
Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/54958057922471691/

Fruit Popsicles

Who wouldn’t love fruit popsicles? The photo really showcases how much fruit is in these popsicles. Looking at the shot, one can’t help but imagine how great these would taste, especially on a hot summer day. These got nearly 7,000 likes!

 3-Fruit-Popsicles

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/30680841181208128/

No Bake Oreo Cake

This cake is made with zero baking. It looks fantastic on camera, almost like an iceberg. But what really made this photo take off was, again, how simple the recipe is. It’s listed right below the Pinterest photo.

People often think cakes are really hard to make. This cake certainly isn’t. Just mix all these ingredients together. Making hard things easy for people is a great way to gain popularity. This cake got over 48,000 likes and 150 comments!

4-Cake

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/127578601913771758/

Moscato Wine and Raspberry Lemonade

The photography on this photo is nice. But a nice touch – Intentional or not – Was the swirlyness of the ice. The ice cubes appear to make some kind of a tornado. This slight touch turned the photo from an average one to a superb one, netting it over 50,000 repins.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/90072061267146340/

Chocolate Fruit Cones

These are ice cream cones coated with chocolate on the inside and filled with fruits. The multi-colored nature of the photo certainly helped its popularity, though it’s also important to note that the Pinterest user who posted it had quite a few followers. This photo got over 41,000 repins.

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Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/17240411043010353/

Chocolate Carmelitas

This is a great example of a photo that you can just about taste. Any cookie or chocolate fan looking at this photo is sure to salivate. With over 41,200 likes, this photo really showcases the power of photography and food. Notice how they got the chocolate, the caramel and the cookie all clearly in the shot.

 7-Chocolate-Caramel

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/128915608053168972/

Strawberry Yogurt

There are three things that work really well with this pin:

1)     The photography is great. The contrast between the red and the white really makes the strawberries stand out. They look crunchy, even if the reader has no way of knowing what its texture is really like.

2)     It’s practical. People can easily replicate this at home.

3)     They gave alternatives, such as using grapes or bananas.

This pin got over 37,000 repins and around 100 comments.

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/224124518925434115/

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Baked Smores

A lot of people have fond childhood memories of baking smores over campfires as a kid. This photo evokes those feelings splendidly. These baked smores with chocolate are hard not to love.

The photographer deliberately chose to shoot a smore with a teardrop-like shaped chocolate on top. Notice how some of the other smores have flatter tops, but the one showcased has a little more style.
Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/64528207130482734/

 9-Baked-Smores

#10 – Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Now for something completely different, let’s look at something much more juicy, tangy and salty. Looking at this photo, one can easily tell how fattening and yummy this dish is.

This photo has over 34,000 repins.

 10-Bacon-Wrapped-Smokies

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/269582727664371543/
These are some of the most successful pins on Pinterest in the Food & Drink category. Use some of these principles to help make your own pins more successful. And keep on pinning!

How to Plan an Event Using Pinterest

Plan-Event-Pinterest

Planning an event involves juggling many different balls and handling a lot of different people. If you happen to be a visual person, one of the most creative ways to help you manage this whole process is Pinterest.

Pinterest is an online photo sharing tool that works a lot like a virtual corkboard. Just “pin” up pictures of what you want to organize on this virtual corkboard and share it with other people, who may also want to pin up ideas for your event.

Here are some suggestions on how to plan an event using Pinterest.

Step 1: Create a Board

To create a board, click “Add” in the upper right corner.

1-Click-Add

Click “Create a Board.”

2-Create-Board

Enter your board’s details. If you are planning a public event and want to build interest for your event, choose a name that is very descriptive and something interested parties would be interested in. For example, if you’re organizing a business seminar, use seminar’s name and planned date for the event. Or if you’re planning your wedding and want to build up excitement, use the name of the bride and groom.

 3-Board-Details

Step 2: Install the Pin It Button

Throughout the process of planning an event, you’re going to have to pin a lot of images. While you can pin each image individually by uploading it or pointing to a web address, the fastest method by far is by installing the Pin It button.

To install the Pin It button, click “About” then “Pin It Button.”

 4-Pin-It-Button

Drag your Pin It Button to your bookmarks.

 5-Add-to-Bookmarks

This will allow you to use the “Pin It” at the top of your browser to pin photos from whatever page you happen to be visiting.

Step 3: Create Boards for Each Category

What are some of the most important things you need to organize and share in your event?

For a party, you might want to have:

  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Music

For planning a business seminar, you might want to have:

  • Guest speakers
  • Location (hotels, conference halls, etc)
  • Food
  • Equipment (microphones, projectors, etc)

 6-Example

Before you begin, brainstorm a list of categories that you will need to plan and then proceed to create boards for all those categories. That will make it easier to pin as you start getting into the groove of researching ideas. All you have to do is pin and keep going.

 

Step 4: Add Pins to Your Board

To add pins to your board, simply navigate to a relevant webpage and click “Pin It.” Choose the image you want to pin, then select its board and give it a description. If you plan to collaborate on your panning, make sure to list some pros/cons or reasons for wanting to consider the particular item.

 7-Add-Image

Rinse and repeat until you’ve pinned up all kinds of interesting or useful photographs on your various boards.

Step 5: Invite Collaborators

Few events are organized by single individuals. Instead, most events are organized by people brainstorming. One of the best ways to use Pinterest is to have other people also add photos and ideas to your Pinterest boards.

To invite others, click “Edit” under the board in which you want collaborators.

8-Click-Edit

Select “Me and Contributors” under “Who can pin?” Then add the names of the people who you want to participate.

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Step 6: More Ways to Use Pinterest for Planning Your Event

There are so many ways you can use Pinterest to help plan your event. You can …

  • Help brainstorm ideas. For example, if you’re picking flowers, you can pin 30 different kinds of flowers that you might consider. Take a vote or simply get some feedback if the end decision belongs to you.
  • Create a photo guestbook. Pin a picture of everyone who is attending or who you want to attend.
  • Create to-do lists. For example, you could create a Pinterest board that has only photos of things that you need to buy before the event.
  • Activities. Use the Pinterest board to show people what kind of activities they might expect.
  • Brainstorm. Use a Pinterest board just for sharing wacky ideas.
  • Share photos after. After the event, have everyone pin up their photos. It’s much more efficient than hoping everyone will tag everyone in their Facebook uploads.

Pinterest is a powerful tool for planning, managing and hosting an event. Use it to help make the whole process smoother, easier and more creative.

10 Creative Ways to use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest_for_BusinessPinterest is the fastest website in history to hit more than 10 million unique monthly visitor – Faster than Facebook, faster than Twitter and faster than Google. It went from 4.8 million unique in November 2011 to 11 million in January 2012, a mere three months.

While many business people consider Pinterest to be a small site, it’s really not. Its user base is already huge and it’s growing at an astoundingly fast face. Business owners simply can’t afford to ignore Pinterest anymore.

Over 80% of Pinterest users are women. Pinterest is a powerful tool for interacting with female buyers and decision makers online. Here are ten creative ways to use Pinterest for your business.

1 – Buzz for Your Product with a Photo Contest

 

Pinterest is a great platform for contests. You can use it in conjunction with another tool like Facebook to organize the details of the contest.

Host a contest for the best pin of pictures of your product or wearing your logo gear being used in the real world. People from all over the world will pin photos of your product in action or sharing your brand, bringing in more traffic and free branding.

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2 – Become an Authority on Pinterest

 

Much like on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere, one of the best ways to get attention is by providing high quality content.

If there’s an industry you know like the back of your hand, create content-based boards that give other people ideas and help solve problems. Keep doing this until people see you as an authority on Pinterest.

 

3 – Shopping Lists

 

Create helpful shopping lists. For example, let’s say you run a party supply company.

You might create a Pinterest board for each different kind of party: Kids’ party, surprise party, office party, etc.

For each party, create pins as shopping lists. For example, a kid’s party would need a cake, party hats, noise blowers, confetti and so on.

Provide real value with your pins and if it’s appropriate you can slip your own products in there.

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4 – Add the Price Tag to Suggest a Gift

 

Have you noticed how some items on Pinterest have a price tag on them? You can do this just by adding the price in the description while using the $ symbol.

For example, if you say “This bowl only $9.99” the price tag $9.99 will appear on the image and it will also appear in the “Gifts” category.

 

5 – Market Research

 

Use Pinterest as a market research tool.

What are your customers thinking? What do they want to buy? What are their hopes and dreams? What products are trending?

Figuring out the answers to these questions has traditionally been quite tough.

With Pinterest however, you have a live feed of exactly what everyone in your target market is thinking about and cares about right now.

 

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6 – Product Bundles

 

Use Pinterest to create product bundles. Group several different items together and promote the whole package as a bundle.

You can even put out product bundles on a regular basis. For example, if every week people know that you’ll have four product bundles out, they’ll subscribe to your feed to see if you release a bundle that they’ll be interested in.

7 – Future Product Ideas

 

What kind of ideas is your company considering?

One way to let your users participate in the decision making process is to just throw up all the possible ideas on a Pinterest board.

If there are ten different products and ten different directions your company could take, just throw them all up there and let your customers decide.

 

8 – Coupon Pinboard

 

A coupon pinboard can help you give value to your customers by helping them save money while giving you a chance to promote your own products.

Create a pinboard out of all the coupons and discount codes you can find in your industry. Slip a couple of your own in there as well. Customers who’re looking to cut costs will come, find your pin board and buy from both your recommendations and from your company.

 

9 – Show the Behind the Scenes

 

How is your product made? What does your back office look like? Who runs the company? What ingredients or components go into your product?

Believe it or not, consumers are actually very curious about the behind the scenes of the products they purchase. One fun and education pin board you could create is the “making of” photos of your products.

 

10 – Vision Board

 

Create a pin board of where you want your company to go in one, five and ten years. Use this to guide your decisions and boost employee moral.

What products do you want to be selling? What customers do you want to be serving? What countries do you want to operate out of? What size do you want your business to scale to? What should your office look like?

 

How Following on Pinterest Works

 

One of the core features of Pinterest is the ability to follow other people’s pins. By following them, you cause their pins to appear in your feed. They’ll also see that you’re following them, making it more likely that they’ll follow you in return. Here’s how to find people and boards to follow.

Finding People You Know

If you have already connected your Facebook account to your Pinterest account, it’s easy to find people you know. To find and follow the pins of your existing connections, just hover your mouse over your name in the upper right corner. This causes the drop-down menu to appear. Click “Find Friends.”

1-Find-Friends

You’ll be taken to a page with all your friends’ names displayed. Just click “Follow” to follow them.

 2-Follow-a-Friend

NOTE: When you choose to follow a specific person, this will have you follow all their boards and their pins. Alternatively, you can choose to follow specific boards only.

Follow Specific Boards Only

What if you only want to follow a specific board and not all of a person’s pins? You can do that and it’s a feature that’s useful if you only have some interests in common. Just click on their name, which will bring you to their profile page.

On their profile page, choose the specific board you want to follow and click “Follow” at the bottom of that board’s detail.

If, it at some later point, you want to follow all the boards of the individual, just go to their profile and click “Follow” from that page, instead of just on the board.

 

Finding Boards from People You Don’t Know

One rich source of images and ideas is boards by other people. People you don’t know. To find these boards, just click “Everything” along the top. A drop-down menu will appear with the topics of all the boards you might be interested in. Pick a topic.

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A large feed of boards will appear. Click on a specific board to open the board. Click on a name to view that person’s profile. If you see a board or person you like, just follow them by clicking “follow” as shown above.

By selectively following people who pique your interest, you’ll be able to create a diverse, interesting and stimulating feed of pins for you on your home page.

That’s all it takes to start following people and just like it’s easy to follow them, you can remove a board or person from your stream, just as easily.

 

Pinterest and Potential Copyright Concerns

 

One of the big concerns that plagues the Pinterest community is the question of copyright. Simply grabbing an image off the web and putting it on a board could be perceived as copyright infringement.

Is Pinterest legal?

At the moment, there is no concrete court ruling that answers one way or the other. These are the most important things you need to know about Pinterest copyright issues before you jump right in and get started.

User Holds All Copyright Risks

Pinterest does not take responsibility for the content on its website.

According to Pinterest’s Terms of Service, the user takes explicit responsibility for any and all images that are posted on their Pinterest account.

By using Pinterest, the user agrees that in the case of a copyright lawsuit they and they alone are responsible.

Here’s an excerpt from the terms:

“[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Y]ou either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms.”

Furthermore, Pinterest’s Terms of Service agreement say that not only is the user responsible for any damages and legal fees that arise out of a lawsuit, but they’re responsible for Pinterest’s legal fees as well if Pinterest gets sued as a result of a copyright infringement on their account.

Is Pinterest “Fair Use?”

Again, there is no precedent setting case for Pinterest yet. However, the rough consensus by the lawyers who’ve looked at Pinterest say “probably not.”

In order for the use of an image to fall under fair use, the image must be used for parody, journalistic reporting, for commenting, for teaching or for research.

While a case can be made that Pinterest is a means of commenting on an image, it’s a weak argument. Most lawyers agree that Pinterest probably does not fall under the fair use act.

Kelly vs. Arriba Soft Corp – Thumbnails

One case that’s often brought up in relation to Pinterest is Kelly vs. Arriba Soft Corp, where a search engine was sued for using thumbnails of images. The court ruled that the defendant was not guilty of infringement, because they only published thumbnails and not the entire images.

However, this case does not really set a precedent for Pinterest, because Pinterest actually stores the entire image on their servers.

While a loose connection can be made between the Kelly vs. Arriba Soft Corp case and Pinterest, most legal experts also agree that this case doesn’t give Pinterest much protection.

Appropriate Image Credit May Not Be Provided

Pinterest is a thriving community because users can pin images they find and they can also repin images. The ability to provide appropriate credit for images sources relies on the person who originally pinned the content to provide that appropriate credit.

 

To break it down, here are a couple of examples of potential issues:

 

  • Instead of pinning from a website, a user decides to save the image to their computer and upload the pin. The original “pinner” has not provided appropriate credit for the image. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Once anyone else repins the image will further perpetrate the problem.

 

  • Licenses to use specific images are often negotiated through 3rd parties. For example, if a blogger purchases a license to a stock photo, the blogger is usually only allowed to publish that photo on their own website. They do not have the license to allow others to republish that photo, but through the use of Pinterest, this can happen. So while someone might pin a photo on a blog post and provide appropriate credit to the blog post, the blogger is not the actual source of the image.

 

There are many other scenarios that can play out and can potentially be problematic. It’s definitely something to think about with your participation in Pinterest.

 

Site Owners Can Opt Out

 To combat copyright issues, Pinterest has recently crafted a special piece of code that allows site owners to prevent their images from being pinned. The code looks like this and should be placed in the header of your HTML.

<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” />

When someone attempts to pin a photo from a website with this coding on it, they will see message that looks this:

Of course this won’t necessarily stop copyright lawsuits as it requires website owners to be aware of the code. It also doesn’t preclude people from simply going to Google Images and pinning the images from there instead. However, it is one small step in the right direction for website owners who don’t want their content pinned.

So the question remains…is Pinterest legal? Or does it promote copyright infringement? Right now Pinterest lies in a legal grey area that will likely need to get cleared up as the site progresses.

 

Pinterest is an extremely fast growing website that’s only going to get more and more relevant as time passes. Are you ready to get involved?

 

Follow Nicole’s Pinterest boards for Start Ranking’s Now design portfolio examples or Infusionsoft tips.

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