Three Basic Rules for Using Pinterest

imgresI love Pinterest. I love it so much that I had to cancel my account. I was spending too much time on it, and it was entirely unproductive. Now, a few months later, I’ve reopened my account; I just couldn’t stay away.  I’ve cleaned house and reorganized my pins and boards, I’ve stopped following some people and I’ve began following others.

I love Pinterest. Did I mention that? I love how it inspires me to bake, cook delicious, exotic foods, and make mixed drinks such as a S’mores Martini. It makes me want to knit a Dr. Who sweater, tend a garden, paint the living room, and make incredible furniture out of pallets, not that I have any pallets.  Sometimes, just sometimes, I even attempt something I’ve seen on Pinterest.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 4.35.12 PMOther than following my friends, favorite bloggers, and brilliant strangers, I like following brands and keeping up with new products (oh, Burberry, how I do love your trench coats!). I especially like it when brands share more. For example, Lindt Chocolate’s Pinterest is full of recipes. The U.S. Army’s Pinterest includes history, food, fashion, and humanitarian efforts. There are a lot of ways to use Pinterest, but the best way in the one that is engaging.

Yet for all that I love about Pinterest, I have three pet peeves and I’m surprised to discover that businesses are just as bad as regular users.  It seems obvious, but it’s not obvious enough apparently because I keep seeing this over and over. Let’s return to basics:

Use a big, beautiful image.
I view Pinterest mostly from a mobile device. Small images are difficult to see and don’t do much to highlight a product. Pinterest is all about visuals so make the most of them.
Pin_01 As you can see in this image comparison, the pin on the left from Honda is far too small. Compare it to the pin image on the right of the Tower Bridge in London from Lindt Chocolates.

Give your photo a title and/or description.
I like to know what I’m looking at and I bet other users do too.

Make sure the link works.
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a product I want to buy, a recipe I want to attempt, or an arts and crafts project I want to create, and then discovering the link to the sales page or instructions is broken.  It’s a good idea to revisit your pins from time to time and make sure the links are still current.

Look at this example from Lindt Chocolate to see it all done right. It has a large, beautiful, mouth-watering image, a good description, and the image links to the recipe.Pinterest has a unique interface that allows you to show off your product, tell me about it, and then show me where or how to get it. Take advantage of all three of those features to get the most out of Pinterest for your business.

Cosette Paneque
Project Manager

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