A lot has been written about the advantages of Pinterest, how benificial it is for growing brands and drawing traffic to your website. So instead, we thought we’d look into something a little different – Pinterest etiquette and how better to understand the kind of engagement a brand needs to effectively avoid becoming a relentless self promoter or a plagiarizer.
Here is our take on the top two etiquettes that matter to PR agencies, looking to promote brands using Pinterest:
1. Be Authentic
“Pinterest is an expression of who you are. We think being authentic to ‘who you are’ is more important than getting lots of followers. Being authentic will make Pinterest a better place long-term.”
Not much else can be derived from the above statement, besides the fact that being true to yourself is important. And any seasoned social-media user will validate the importance of staying original and honest. Like every other bookmarking network, the content on Pinterest is largely curated and all about visual appeal. So it’s largely advantageous for photographers, visual artists, graphic artists, fashion designers, food critics and a host of other people who have that kind of visual content to share. To the rest, who are not so well versed with infographics and internet memes, Pinterest might prove a struggle as far the authenticity of their visual content goes.
What it means for PR people:
A lot of promotional activities are looking to social platforms and ‘Social Content’ as their key ingredient. So authenticity and content ownership have become very important for social users who continue to look for real information that has a value or entertains. Pinterest can be the greatest referral source for website traffic, but that won’t happen unless one starts using original content. And eventually this will help in building a community of followers for one’s brand.
2. Credit Your Sources
“Pins are most useful when they are linked back to the original source. If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as an Image Search or a blog entry.”
The concept of track-backs proudly highlights the kind of data sharing that is expected on Pinterest. Crediting the original source is one way to get around the dilemma of “being authentic”. Pinning authentic content can boost your engagement on Pinterest but re-pinning other’s pins is a step further, and in a more wholesome direction.
What it means for PR people:
“Going social” means interacting with users, more than just disseminating information. Social media interactions have some norms such as sharing and mentioning. One can’t be a standalone brand on social media and expect to sustain conversations. Which means re-pin relevant content from your followers and other users and credit their contributions. In this way you can reach out to a bigger audience. All information that you put up on a brand pin-board needs to engage the users and prompt them to click on the links to continue reading. If there are no links for your pins and the image aren’t anything more that visually appealing, then there is no practical utility for your pin. Always link your pins to the original source and prompt others to do so as well.
Written by Koustubh Bhattacharya for Image Management.