The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest Etiquette

pinterest etiquetteI’ve been thinking about “Pinterest Etiquette” lately.

To be candid, I’m not sure we really need a special set of rules for Pinterest.   Wouldn’t the same manners that work on every other social site, work on this one?

Still, a recent search on Twitter turned up these Pinterest tips:

Tip for @Pinterest: Even if you do not return with a Follow, repin something as a thank you to new followers! #pinterest #pinteresttips

Don’t forget to @mention the original poster when you repin #pinterest

Not to be the Emily Post of Pinterest, but exactly what are the social rules here?

The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest Etiquette (A Work in Progress)

With Pinterest emerging as a more important source of traffic for business,  and since there are quite a few bloggers who are upset about people not using the original source page when pinning*, maybe we do need a set of rules.

(* to learn more about why this is a concern, check out this blogpost by Kal Barteski or this one by Nicole Ann.

I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve listed a few categories below, and I’d love to hear from active pinners.  Any pet peeves?  What do you do?

1.  Following on Pinterest:  Do you automatically follow back?  If not, do you acknowledge in some way?

2.  Commenting or Liking on Pinterest:  Do you acknowledge each comment or like?

3.  Repinning on Pinterest:   Do you mention your source by name, i.e., by typing via @username or via <URL> in your comment, or just repin as is?

4.  Proper Attribution:  Pinterest guidelines say “if you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source …”

      • have you ever done this?
      • If repinning something unattributed perpetuates the original error, does that keep you from doing it?
      • Do you do this?  Is it welcome or manipulative?

5.  Self Promotion:  It’s OK to showcase your projects among other curated images, but how much “me” content is too much?

  • Have you ever un-followed someone on Pinterest?  Why?

6.  Business Manners on Pinterest:   Experts advise businesses to troll Pinterest for pins of their brands (or the lifestyle that their brand promotes), and start to like, comment, repin, or follow those people … but

      • Does unlimited access mean permission?
      • Is it creepy if interaction comes from a business instead of people who share your interests, style and tastes?

Please Help To Compile this List!

I’m looking for comments about Pinterest etiquette or how businesses should (or shouldn’t) use Pinterest?  Please comment below, and I will update this post with your comments and repost.

PS – Feel free to follow me on Pinterest, and if you need an invite, just ask.

Make my day … leave a comment! And, stop by and say hi on my facebook page, where I share marketing tips, opinions, and news. Thanks!


About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on
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9 Responses to The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest Etiquette

  1. Pingback: A Pinterest Tip Every Business Should Know | she means business

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  3. Nirel says:

    Pinterest makes it a bit difficult to show the love…within 3 re-pins you can lose the source, so I think the best answer is timing- respond quick and with appreciation. I really appreciated reading this post! Thank you!

  4. HB says:

    Yes, I want to acknowledge the poster all the time but I don’t know why Pinterest doesn’t automatically show the username. I don’t know if Pinterest is picking up my @username or not.

    • Agree, it’s important and it’s a shame to lose source with each successive pin. The technology exists for Pinterest to automatically show this info … hope they adopt this in a next generation version. Thanks for your comment.

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