SALT LAKE CITY — Pinterest has broken through to
the top of social media sites, what with
its 104 million users as of April. With so many users
generating content on the site, a look at acceptable use
and etiquette may be in order.
- Use descriptive and searchable captions
- Don’t give it all away
- Link to original image sources, when possible
- Don’t be an addict
A pitfall of giving so many users permission to
create content is that it is entirely up to them to
determine how searchable an image is. Many times, users
simply put a period or something along the lines of, “I
love this!” in the description box of a pin.
What is helpful to other users — especially those
using the search function on the Pinterest website —
is to use descriptive words, or keywords. The description
only needs to have three to five words at the least, but
feel free to use more.
One way to do this may be by using hashtags, or words with
the number sign placed before them. For example: “I love
these curtains. #purple #velvet.” When people search
“purple” or “velvet,” or either of those hashtags, your
pin will appear.
Crediting artists or photographers is also a good way to
create a searchable description.
If you are creating original pins, adding descriptions
with the “pin it” browser extension button is a breeze.
Highlight the text on the page you want to use as your
description, and then hit the button. The text you
highlight will automatically appear in the description box
after you select a photo. ou can select which board to pin
it to and then pin.
Bonus: using key words will get you more repins and likes,
and possibly followers. For businesses and brands, this is
not only polite, but crucial.
While captions are
great and useful, some pinners tend to go overboard.
Pinning an entire recipe or tutorial from a site is not
appropriate, and doesn’t leave future pinners any
incentive to click through to the creator’s site. This
robs sites of traffic and subsequently, revenue. A simple
description of the recipe encourage people to click
through, instead of reading an entire recipe on Pinterest.
Similar to the previous point, the purpose of this
point is to get people clicking through to the originator
of an image. This is not likely to happen, however, if
your pin links to a site that reused the image, and
especially if that site does not credit the original.
One way to ensure that your pin credits the creator is to
click through before you pin. If the image does not appear
to be from the site originally, (fairly easy to spot on a
blog, but much more obvious if it takes you to a tumblr
site) do a reverse Google image search.
To do so, save the image to your desktop, go to images.google.com, click the camera
icon in the search bar and click search. If the site with
the original image pulls up in your first search, click on
that page, and recreate a pin from that page. If it
doesn’t, try putting a few key words in describing the
image and search again.
If you can’t find where the image was created, it never
hurts to crowdsource; in your pin description, you can ask
if anybody knows who the designer/photographer/painter is
and edit if anyone guides you to it.
As a courtesy to those
who follow you, don’t repin everything you see. Be
selective. As Anna Post, spokeswoman for the Emily Post
it: “only repin as much as you would be comfortable
having repined from you.”
Some people may follow hundreds of other pinners, but
others may only follow a handful. If you are pinning
dozens of pins over the course of a few hours, you may be
the only person filling that homepage, moving others’
content to the bottom. On Facebook, this can get someone
hidden from a news feed, and on Pinterest, it may get you
unfollowed. If you pin many things and then never look at
them again (or ever use them), maybe it’s time to take a
break and limit your time on the site, and how much you