The P’s and Q’s of Pinterest

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I’m cheating a little today with the #AtoZChallenge. It’s the Easter weekend and between children, calves, lambs and writing my second book, I’m going to have to double up on two of the letters – P and Q.  I had thought of doing a ‘Quick Guide to ……’ for the Q post but I know that realistically, a quick guide is always a long blog post!

Ps and Qs of Pinterest

So here we have it – the good manners, the P’s and Q’s, the pinetiquette of Pinterest.

  • Saying Thank You - Pinterest doesn’t have the ‘chat’ of twitter and facebook even though the commenting facility exists so how should you react when someone repins one of your pins? Should you say thank you? That could get time consuming if you achieve a lot of repins. I would suggest following those who pin from your website, engage with them at some point by repinning their material or commenting on one of their pins (you can find this out easily by using Pin Alerts) .  I would also check your most popular repinners on a tool like Tailwind and engage with them at some level. See our post – Understanding Pinterest Analytics which shows you how to do this.

Ps & Qs of Pinterest

  • Share - Nobody wants to follow a pinner who only pins their own material. The whole ethos of Pinterest is to pin images that are beautiful, striking or useful to share with other people so it is a case of pinning images that you know your followers will like. Yes, they will include your own pins but it’s good manners to pin and repin other people’s material too. Don’t self promote too much. Share and others will share your material too.
  • Pin Little and Often - Pinning at various times of the day means that there’s a higher chance your pins will reach larger numbers but it also means that your pins aren’t flooding people’s gallery pages so they appear like spam. Pin little and often to give others a chance but also to reach more people.
  • Name Your ImagesWhat does naming your images have to do with good manners I can hear you ask? Well, if your blog post and website images are named, it saves the person pinning from your website having to write in a description. In other words, you are making life easier for them. Yes, they may edit the descriptor but it may be exactly what they wanted to say.  I have to admit I have cancelled a pin occasionally when I’ve gone to pin a blog post and found either no suitable images or loads of gobbly gook as the descriptor. Therefore, name your images when you are uploading them.
  • Credit the Source – Never change the link on someone else’s pin to your own site or add anything in a comment when repinning it that would suggest it is your own content. Always credit the source of the pin.  Similarly, when repinning, check that the source of the pin doesn’t lead to spam or anything unsavoury.
  • Auto TweetingPinterest permits us to send out our pins as tweets and also as updates to our personal Facebook profiles. However, don’t overdo this. Like in number 2 and 3, don’t flood the timeline with pins. If you are sending pins as auto tweets, remember to check into twitter to see if anyone has sent you a tweet in response to a pin.


  • Useful / Beautiful – Do exactly what Pinterest was invented for, to create and share beautiful images. Therefore, to alter William Morri’s quote – have nothing on your Pinterest account that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

What do you think? Do you think the P & Q’s are important? Do you have any to add?

photo credit: J. Star via photopin cc


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Posted in Blogs, Pinterest
  • Jeanette Darbyshire

    Thanks. I am quite new to Pinterest so always happy to learn more about good etiquette.

    • Lorna Sixsmith

      Thanks Jeanette :)

  • Amanda Webb

    Totally agree with the saying thank you thing. I think that works whichever social channel you use. I have to say I absolutely hate automated tweets from Pinterest though… maybe a personal bug bear :)

    • Lorna Sixsmith

      I have to admit I use them very rarely now. Prefer to send the tweet separately if it is good for sharing there too.

  • Vincent Ng – MCNG Marketing

    I’ve noticed as time goes on that there are moments when pinning too often through the day can seem like a drag at times. I think that’s when I realized it’s time to look for new inspiration and creativity. I think anytime pinning feels forced, it no longer is fun, which is not what Pinterest is about. I think the small piece of advice I would have, is pin what inspires your followers as well as yourself.

    • Lorna Sixsmith

      I think you are right Vincent and it’s what is behind the whole Pinterest ethos too – it’s definitely worth remembering :)

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