In the online business of social networking, many sites are here today and gone tomorrow. Many would only dream of becoming as popular as Facebook, with over 1 billion active monthly users. I think the main reason for the popularity of certain social networks is that they have found a niche and cornered the market in that area.
We all know why Facebook is so popular – because it helps people to see what their friends are up to at a given time, and is also a pass-time for many.
Youtube is the main go to site for video. Linkedin is mainly used for professional networking. The main website for images among many is now Pinterest. Pinterest (nearly 49 million users) still hasn’t surpassed Flickr (87 million users) in popularity, but is quickly catching up.
Pinterest’s quick growth is why I think it is important for artists to have at least some sort of presence there at this stage. Pinterest has grown by leaps and bounds in the past while, and is actually expanding its features to better serve users. They now have analytics for websites, and a brand new pages feature. The site also has a new streamlined layout. Pinterest updated their TOS a while back in response to an internet outcry from many concerned with them claiming ownership of images. It appears this site is in it for the long haul, and is set to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
With the large influx of Pinterest users comes the issue of etiquette. Some things people do at other social networks would not be appropriate at Pinterest. Pinterest has created their own page with etiquette rules, to educate users on appropriate actions when pinning. I also have included some additional recommendations here as well.
If you have not read our earlier post on Pinterest, please read this one first:
Pinterest Etiquette Rules
- Be Respectful
This is a rule that is standard to any of the main social networks. When commenting, always realize that the comment is public and can be read by anyone. Pinterest is not a place for hateful or slanderous statements, and such can get you blocked.
Also keep the images clean. Pinterest is a family site and no violent or sexually explicit content is allowed.
- Be yourself
Pinterest is about sharing images which you actually like. Don’t pin and repin just in the interest of gaining followers. Your boards will be more honest and will tell the story of who you are and what you like.
Think of Pinterest as a visual blog. The images pinned to your boards should say a lot about who you are and your interests.
- Give Credit
This is such a BIG issue with Pinterest. I don’t think the fault is with Pinterest. Some users just don’t give credit when they should, or link incorrectly. ALWAYS pin images from the original source, so that they receive the credit.
There are some who pin images from Google images. In this case, the image does not link to the original source but to Google.com. Before you pin or repin, always make sure the source is the correct one.
If you see a pin which is not properly credited, Pinterest recommends you leave a polite comment under the offending image. If you know the source, place it in the comment.
If you are worried about attribution, then the best remedy would be to watermark all images on Pinterest, along with the images on your blog and website.
- Report pins that are not appropriate
Facebook is often plagued with spam and inappropriate images. Lets hope that Pinterest does not end up that way.
If you see something offending, there is a simple way to report it by clicking the flag icon to the bottom right of the pin when your cursor is hovered. Select a reason and submit your report. Offending users can be reported by visiting their profile and clicking the same flag icon. Report comments by hitting the Flag Comment button.
- Don’t post everything at once
As with other social networks, pinning of images should be spaced out over a period of time. Don’t post 50 images at once just because you have some time to spare. This gives the appearance of spamming, and also does not have the same promotional effect as spacing out your posts.
Followers do not want to be barraged with emails stating you have uploaded another image. Their inclination may be to unfollow. But they may decide to repin if they receive just one image daily.
- Don’t follow indiscriminately
It’s a general rule at social networks to only follow those with whom you have a genuine interest. Don’t follow loads of people just for the sake of inflating your follow count, and hopes that they will follow back. It is more beneficial to target who you follow. I like to follow other artists, gallery owners, webmasters and those who have an interest in art.
It’s very easy to find other art lovers to follow at Pinterest. You will know who they are if they have a board dedicated solely to art, or have been liking and commenting on artworks.
The main reason to follow others is to make connections. When followed, people sometimes visit that person’s profile – and hopefully will follow some boards and repin a few images while they are there. For the same reason, it is advisable to spend time liking and commenting on other’s pins.
Pinterest is a very visual and inspirational site. Lets hope it stays that way and will be for a very long time. Following these rules of Pinterest etiquette will help!