This is a guest post by Susan Wells.
Pinterest is the most popular social networking site for bloggers right now. It allows us to share our own content and each other's content and enjoy the hidden treasures of the web and the blogosphere as a whole. If you're just now hopping on the Pinterest bandwagon, you may be wondering exactly how you should use the popular site to its full advantage. There's definitely a right and a wrong way to use Pinterest. Here are a few Pinterest etiquette tips to help you get on the right track:
1. Give Proper Credit
Always, always, always link to the original owner of an image you pin on your Pinterest board. If you don't, you'll be violating Pinterest's rules, and you'll be violating copyright laws. You don't want an image you pin to go viral and for the owner of that image to discover they weren't given proper credit. Be careful. Sites you link to on Pinterest will appreciate the recognition. Sites you don't link to might sue you.
2. Stay Social
If you want other bloggers and everyday internet users to follow what you're doing on Pinterest and check out your blog, it's best to be as social as you can. This means commenting on pins and following other Pinterest users as well as repinning and liking things you discover on the site. It's also a good idea to regularly keep tabs on which content from your blog is being pinned. If you notice something's been pinned from your site, make sure you leave a comment indicating your appreciation. If you focus on connecting with other Pinterest users, you'll attract a good amount of followers in hardly any time at all.
3. Don't Share Too Much of Your Own Work
Pinterest is all about people sharing cool content they find on the web. If all you share is your own content, people will be a lot less likely to follow you. There's no harm in sharing a few of your best blog photos and content every once in a while. Just try not to excessively self-promote yourself. The reason many businesses have struggled to attract a decent following on Pinterest is because they often share too much about themselves. No one is interested in seeing an ad for cheap insurance or discount furniture on Pinterest. Likewise, people won't be super interested in seeing pictures of your new cleaning supplies or your recently organized bedroom closet.
4. Avoid Excessive Pinning
Just as tweeting 70 times a day would irritate many of your Twitter followers, pinning everything you find on the internet will annoy your Pinterest followers. So, stick to a couple of pins a day or a handful of pins a week, and only share the content you really think will be of value to other people.
5. Use captions well
Every time you pin something, you should write a short, explanatory caption underneath it. This will make it easier for other users to find what you've pinned when they search for certain keywords on Pinterest. Although concise, detailed captions aren't mandatory, Pinterest users who write them make it easier for other users to discover new things and make the site more enjoyable to use.
You can use hashtags to make what you've pinned even more search-friendly. For interest, if you pin a picture of an adorable beagle puppy, a good caption to describe the picture might be: "Look at the floppy ears on this pup! #beagle #puppy." When users search for "beagle" or "puppy" on Pinterest, the picture you pinned will likely show up in the search results.
Follow the tips above to avoid rubbing other Pinterest users the wrong way. And, above all else, don't forget to have fun connecting, sharing, and pinning!
About the author
Susan is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. Susan welcomes comments and questions.