pinterest white paper (pinterest specialists question and answer)

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The what, the way, the how guide for Pinterest. Tips for beginners, businesses and non profits. Offers great insight into what makes a great pin, boards and offers real suggestions for success. Includes question and answers from a journalist, communications director, community managers and company directors.


  • 1.Pinterest: The Q And A White PaperThe what, the way, the how guide for Pinterest. Tips for beginners,businesses and non profits.Collated by -Danny

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The IntroThis small project started off as an idea for a small blog post to show how different Pinterest is andwhat it means to different sets of people, it quickly became a dedicated Q and A session from UK toboth coasts of the US, but by compiling the answers it seemed only right to convert it into adedicated white paper which people can take inspiration from and understand the differentpersonality that Pinterest bring out of people.The PurposeThis white paper is to guide you through what Pinterest is, what the difference is between personal,business and non profit boards and top tips from top pinners.The People...There is a great diversity of people involved; all varying in professions - from a successful journalist,to community managers, social media consultant, communications director and a CommunityDevelopment Manager.The Questions...Name:Pinterest URLWebsite or Twitter handle (where applicable)OccupationLocation3 reasons why you love PinterestWhy are you on Pinterest?The reason you pin?Your favourite ever pin?In your opinion what makes a good pin?Top 3 tips for Pinterest?What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?Any tips for companies on Pinterest?Any advice for non profits/charities?If you could change 3 things about Pinterest what would they be?What would make you leave Pinterest?Top 3 social mediaPage 2 3. The Key Take Aways...Reason for loving PinterestEasy, visual, creative.Reason to be on PinterestCurate, share, inspire.Reasons to pinFun, beauty, motivation.What makes a good pin?Personality, beauty, inspiration.Top tips for Pinterest?Be yourself, use clear image, be mindful, use as a mood board.What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?Corporate voice essential pin what reflects you and your firm.Tips for companies on PinterestDont self promote, pin to reflect your company, make itAdvice for non profits/charitiesProvide good insight, share great images, get infographic designers.Things user would like to change about PinterestPrivate boards and approvals on shared boards.What would make you leave Pinterest?Nothing.Top 3 social media1. Facebook2. Twitter3. Pinterest Page 3 4. Name: Jewel FryerPinterest URL: or Twitter handle: Community managerLocation: Northern CaliforniaQ. 3 reasons why you love Pinterest:1. Ease of use.2. Endless links and ideas3. Excellent easy way to curated and reference material.Q. Why are you on Pinterest?It is a fun and beautiful way to find new things on the internet and the best way to organize them.Q. The reason you pin?It is relaxing and I love finding new things.Q. Your favourite ever pin?I cant pick one. I like them all.Q. In your opinion what makes a good pin?Visual appeal and linked back to the source.Q. Top 3 tips for Pinterest?1. Pin what inspires you.2. Remember you can follow single boards you dont have to follow everything.3. Always pin for the permalink, original source. Dead end pins suck.Q. What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?Personal boards should be whatever you like with no thought to what others like or think of you. It isan excellent way to organize many different things in one place so that you can find then again easilyor share them with others. If you just like the look of a photo then just pin it for that.Corporate pins should have a purpose to share who you are and what you are about to everyoneelse. They should have well thought out categories and they should always link back to the originalsource, and give due credit. Hashtags and simple information in the comments is more important. Page 4 5. You should consider the balance between promoting others, sharing information about yourself andpromoting your own content. You should pin with a purpose on a corporate board and you can justpin what makes you happy on a personal board.Q. Any tips for companies on Pinterest?Pin with purpose and dont just sell. It is more important to share useful things and ideas. Use it toshow people who you are, what you care about, what you do. Always link back to the source andprovide accurate information. Do not just use it as an outlet for self promotion.Q. Any advice for non profits/charities?Same as companies. Let people know what you are about. Give them different ideas of how they canhelp.Q. If you could change 3 things about Pinterest what would they be?1. Private boards2. Ability to block people3. Better support for questionsQ. What would make you leave Pinterest?Nothing.Q. Top 3 social media:1. Facbook2. Twitter3. Pinterest Page 5 6. Name: Kelly LiebermanPinterest URL: handle: Social Media Manager and Social Media ConsultantLocation: Atlanta GA USAQ. 3 reasons why you love Pinterest:1. So easy to use2. Focuses on interests3. Creative and inspiring outletQ. Why are you on Pinterest?Personally I am using Pinterest to learn more. Pinterest is full of so much creative inspiration curatedby a diverse community. It allows me to easily catalog, search, and share my interests with peoplethat I know in real life and with a much larger community that I have yet to meet. Professionally ithas been a wonderful way to connect beyond business and also focus and share my expertise.Q. The reason you pin?Easy way for me to catalog things that I am interested in and easily recall them for later use or forsharing.Q. Your favourite ever pin?My favorite Pin, this is so hard but this one also happens to be one of my favorite quotes In your opinion what makes a good pin?Visually striking, compelling, tells me something without having to read the description.Q. Top 3 tips for Pinterest?1. Be yourself. Pin what you are actually interested in not what is trending or popular.2. Be mindful of the content that you share, you are what you Pin.Page 6 7. 3. Respect other peoples creative property if they do not want to be Pinned respect their wishes.Q. What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?A personal profile is a complete reflection of you and your personal interests - it says who you are. Corporate Pins must reflect the corporate voice, tell the story of your brand - who you are, whatmakes you unique, showcases your past, present, and future. Must be cohesive and consistentrepresentation that highlights what is important to you and what you value. Ultimately sharing withthe Pinterest community how you fit into their life.Q. Any tips for companies on Pinterest?Do your homework. See how you are being Pinned, learn user sentiment about yourproducts/company/brand. Think beyond your products and how you fit into the life of users of yourproduct. Share relevant content and images -- from how tos to new products.Q. Any advice for non profits/charities?Share compelling images, educate, create awareness, offer resources that are easy for people tounderstand. Connect the community to Facebook, Twitter, website, blog for ongoingcommunication. Share success stories, highlight who you are helping.Q. If you could change 3 things about Pinterest what would they be?1. Love to have a few private boards2. Easier to switch between profiles3. See individual followers on boardsQ. What would make you leave Pinterest?I cant imagine anything driving me away from Pinterest.Q. Top 3 social media:1. Pinterest2. Twitter3. FacebookPage 7 8. Name: Samantha LollPinterest URL: or Twitter handle : Communications Director at a Nonprofit Campaign Management CompanyLocation: Atlanta, GAQ. 3 reasons why you love Pinterest:1. You can be very personal, pin your interests, your dreams, your desires, without being tooexposed. You dont have to provide tons of personal information to get started, and theres a certainfreedom in that. I would never approve a friend request from a person that I didnt know on FB, but Iget so excited and feel like a rock star when I see new people follow me on Pinterest!2. I love the control I have over what I follow. I can follow a person, their board, or just repin a singleitem of interest. It allows you to filter your interests so you dont get overwhelmed.3. How easy it is to use!Q. Why are you on Pinterest?I started out on Pinterest at a friends recommendation to get inspiration for my wedding. I quicklybecame obsessed, spending hours a day pinning, and I kept having thoughts like, "This nonprofitshould be on Pinterest. That nonprofit could create such a cool board about this. I know a nonprofitthat would really benefit from following this board," and thats how Pin4Nonprofits came about. Ijust had to find an outlet for all the ideas that kept popping into my head.Q. The reason you pin?I pin to inspire myself, motivate myself, and (oddly enough) educate myself. People are usingPinterest to organize so much great information now, and I find out about all sorts of great nonprofitfundraising campaigns via Pinterest. Im a total slacktivist, and Pinterest feeds my need to helpnonprofits with just a few clicks of the mouse.Q. Your favourite ever pin?This is cruel question and I refuse to answer it! I love all my pins. Thats why I pinned them! I doregularly shout pins that are so awesome I just have to share them on my twitter page though. Mymost recent "Genius!" pin is this one: Thisnonprofit, the Heritage Humane Society, totally capitalized on the popularity of the Ryan Gosling"Hey, Girl" memes to promote their cause. I can only imagine how many women stumbled acrossthis pin on accident, and I know I voted for them (4 times!) just because of this pin. Keep in mind Ivenever even visited the state of Virginia before, much less visited this animal shelter. Page 8 9. In your opinion what makes a good pin? Inspiration. A great pin inspires you. Whether its to makethat recipe for dinner, do that project with your kids, help that nonprofit, or learn more about thatissue, a great pin should always inspire you to take action.Q. Top 3 tips for Pinterest?1. Make sure that any images you pin have a clear focus. Most people are scanning on through smallthumbnails. If you take a picture with lots of little details, odds are they wont get noticed.2. Keep your boards organized and on topic! I personally wont follow any boards that seem to bejust a jumbled collection of pins. There are so many people on Pinterest now, why should I followyour "cute puppies" board that has pictures of kittens, cows, and rainbows on it? Im sure I can findanother board that will give me exactly what I want: cute puppies.3. To any nonprofit working on Pinterest, ask yourself, "Would I stop to look at this picture?" Part ofwhat makes Pinterest so appealing is how pretty it is to look at. Make sure that there is somethingabout your image that stands out in the crowd so that people will take the time to look, click, andlearn about you and your mission. This might not always be possible, and there are certain instanceswhen thats ok, but most of what you pin should be visually appealing.Q. What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?Personal pins dont have to have any rhyme or reason. I can pin a picture of a boat just because theocean is pretty shade of blue and I want to paint my walls that color. Its all about what makes senseto ME. Corporate & Nonprofit pins have to have more intent behind them. What is the point of thatpin? To promote an event? Demonstrate a need? Give a "behind the scenes" look at yourorganization? Its all about what makes sense to THEM. If the person looking at your pins doesnt getthe message youre trying to share with your pins, even if they do follow your board of "neat lookingchairs," they wont take them time to learn more about you.Q. Any tips for companies on Pinterest?Q. Any advice for non profits/charities?Use Pinterest as a way to complement and enhance your other social media efforts and promoteyour cause! For instance, Im working with a nonprofit that provides affordable housing to lowincome families. They recently received a large donation of books from a major book store chain.Were asking all of the kids in the program to pick out their favorite book and tell us why its theirfavorite. Then, well create a Pinterest board called "Our Favorite Books," Pin images of those booksfrom the donors website (which is great for them), and use the kids comments in the descriptionboxes. It will be great way to round out the donation accouncement in their upcoming newsletter, itlets volunteers and donors feel more connected to the members of the program because they canget personal stories from the pin comments, and its the type of simple, eye pleasing content that isgreat on Pinterest!Page 9 10. Q. If you could change 3 things about Pinterest what would they be?1. I could create "private" boards. Its hard to plan a surprise party for a friend if they are followingyou online! Likewise, for a nonprofit, maybe they are updating their office and need to organize allthe furniture they like somewhere. Pinterest is great for that, but it doesnt exactly enhance theirmessage.2. If you could easily switch between accounts. Like FB, I forsee people becoming content managersfor several accounts (I already manage 3!), and its a pain when I am logged in to Account A and seesomething that would be a great pin for Account B. I have to save the URL, log out, log back in, andthen pull up the image and pin it.3. If you could "approve" content on shared boards. I think that collaborative boards offer a lot ofpotential for nonprofits, but its scary to have something out in public with your name on it whenyou cant control the content. It would be nice to have a "manager" that allows others to pin to thatboard, but the manager has the ability to approve or delete pins.Q. What would make you leave Pinterest?For me personally, nothing. I am perfectly happy to ignore everyone else on Pinterest and just use itto organize ideas I get from other places on the internet. From the point of view of a nonprofit,however, I could see them leaving Pinterest if their content was getting missused. For instance,spammers lifting their images and redirecting the links to bogus sites. Nonprofit organizations havetoo much to do with too little time and money. If someone was able to undo their hard work, therewouldnt be much point in investing their time there.Q. Top 3 social media:1. Pinterest2. Facebook3. Twitter Page 10 11. Name: Juliette RulePinterest URL: and @sierratp and @jkruleWebsite: http://www.sierratradingpost.comOccupation: Community Development Manager for Sierra Trading Post, a top 100 Internet RetailerLocation: Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Seriously! Were based in Wyoming!)Q. 3 reasons why you love Pinterest:1. I see stuff there Id never see anywhere else who can spend that much time online in search ofcool infographics, time-saving tips and polyvores? Pinterest is very rewarding. It lights up my brainshappy center in a big way.2. I love the idea of knowing people through the things/ideas/infographics they pin. What weshare says a lot, I think, about what we value and the essence of our humanness.3. I love filing systems, and boards are a natural intersection in my mind of filing and list making.Boards are now the file folders of my brain. Three years ago I cut back way back on my printsubscriptions and my home deco file folder with the pretty stenciling on it died with those ignoredrenewal notices. Enter Pinterest Boards!Q. The reason you pin?Oh, my motivations are completely selfish to keep track of all the places I want to go, the things Iwant to make or (perhaps more accurately) cajole my boyfriend into making.Q. In your opinion what makes a good pin?Its got to be positive, inspirational in some way. And if its useful, too, I am all in!Q. Top 3 tips for Pinterest for marketers?1. Dont pin exclusively from your eComm site. Be useful to your audience. Share good stuff, andtrust your instincts that youre communicating your brands values to your audience.2. Display some brand personality and authenticity.3. Take risks. I put together a board on sports bras, and it was a complete failure. I wasnt sure it wasthe right fit for Pinterest, but other things told me it could work sporty, athletic women looking fora great price on a sports bra from a company well known for its extraordinary returns policy should Page 11 12. dig that board, right? Not a single re-pin. And I can see why. To which of my personal boards would Ipin a sports bra? It just didnt resonate with pinners.Q. What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?You know, I dont think there has to be a difference exactly. When I pin for,my emphasis is clearly on sharing the new stuff in inventory, but I repin our followers stuff andother items that support the mission of each board. Our Share Your Adventure Photo Board, forexample, displays the monthly winners images, but it also includes repins of content we didntcreate, including photo tipsheets.Q. Any advice for non profits/charities?Spend some money on or find a talented graphic designer to put together a few very attractiveinfographics for you. You can use those images as office art, in a booth at a community event, andon Pinterest to spark some interest in your mission. Thatd be a great way to ramp up a capitalcampaign or advance another fundraising initiative.Q. If you could change 3 things about Pinterest what would they be?1. Metrics.2. Analytics.3. Statistical Insights. (Hey, Im in marketing!)Q. What would make you leave Pinterest?Nothing would prompt me to leave the platform. In social marketing, you get used to rolling withthe punches and adapting to the algorithms.Q. Top 3 social media: Im not sure what this meanstaking a wild guess here.1. Facebook2. Twitter3. Pinterest Page 12 13. Name: Allison TylerPinterest URL: and handle : http://www.wtfPinterest.comOccupation: Publishing employee by day, artist/writer by night. Oh, and I curate a site where I share pins Ive seen on Pinterest that make me say WTF?, as well asvarious creative projects. Feel free to send me your submissions [email protected]: New York CityQ. 3 reasons why you love Pinterest:1. Discovery.2. Inspiration.3. Social interaction minus the interaction.Q. Why are you on Pinterest?It relaxes me pure fun.Q. The reason you pin?I like to share the things I find as much as I like exploring the shares of others.Q. Your favourite ever pin?Wow, thats a hard one. I love so many that it would be impossible to pick, but this one comes tomind because it cracked me up enough that I tracked it down to give to my fianc for ValentinesDay. In your opinion what makes a good pin?Hmmm, like beauty, its all in the eye of the beholder. Something I might find hilarious or curious orexciting or insane might be completely banal to someone else, and vice versa. I can say that a badpin is one in which the original source is not credited. Things pinned from Tumblr are notorious forbeing dead-ends. Im working my way through everything Ive ever pinned in both my accounts to besure I have no dead-ends.Q. Top 3 tips for Pinterest?1. CREDIT THE SOURCE OF THE IMAGE. I cannot stress this enough.2. Pin your own finds, as well as repinning the things you like of others. Let your boards express yourpersonality.3. Get creative with your boards they dont just have to contain things you want to acquire ormake. Find a new use no one has tried before. I recently interviewed the first guy using Pinterest as Page 13 14. a dating site. The article is now being picked up by news media across the country. Is there anyone you look up to on Pinterest?I wouldnt quite put it that way, but I love finding people harvesting the power of Pinterest in uniqueways. And some pinners pin things that just make me smile. I absolutely adore nearly everythingthat Kitschy Cupcakes pins Shes happy-making!Q. What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?If I am pinning something for the company I work for, to me that wouldnt be considered a personalpin. Getting paid to pin is corporate in my opinion as well. Not that it lessens the merit of a pin,but I do like to know which pins are there because someone paid for them to be. So I guess thequestion to ask is, "Were you paid to pin this?". If so, its no longer a personal pin.Q. Any tips for companies on Pinterest?Mix it up. Dont just pin your own companys products. Get creative with contests and other formsof interaction with your followers. Get their input. And listen to it.Q. Any advice for non profits/charities?Theres a category that I think is utilizing Pinterest very well. Its a great format for advertising forvirtually no cost.Q. If you could change 3 things about Pinterest what would they be?1. Better spam control. Theyve been told who the spammers are and they still do not remove theaccounts. The site is really still in its infancy in so many ways.2. Implement better communication of likes/repins/followers/etc. beyond email notification. This issorely lacking. When you sign in, you should receive an alert and a simple way to see and managethat you have new pins/likes/comments/followers/mentions, rather than receiving this info solely byemail. The little ticker is worthless. And they definitely need to overhaul the follow process. I havenearly 1,600 people following one of my boards, but Pinterest doesnt allow me to see who isfollowing an individual board if you dont have email notification turned on, so I cant follow themback, and Id like to follow them back. Id also like a quick way to see if Im following everyone who isfollowing me.3. I think it would be cool to have the option to keep corporate/sponsored posts and individualsposts separated somehow perhaps if you had the option of filtering out corporate/sponsored postsas you look through the site. Page 14 15. Q. What would make you leave Pinterest?I currently love it, but if I grew bored of it, Id turn my attention elsewhere. It might become toocommercial for mewe shall see.Q. Top 3 social media:1. Real-life communication2. Pinterest3. TwitterPage15 16. Name: Lauren OrsiniPinterest URL: Handle: @laureninspaceOccupation: ReporterLocation: Arlington, VAQ. 3 reasons why you love Pinterest:1. Its completely different from every other existing social network2. It focuses on topics, not people, so I can customize the experience to be more "me"3. I love discovering the creative ways people use it to report the newsQ. Why are you on Pinterest?Im an early adopter from Jan 2011. When I saw my favorite fashion bloggers talking about it, Idecided to join, too.Q. The reason you pin?To relax and waste time.Q. Your favourite ever pin?I dont have a favorite pin per se, but Im most proud of my Celebrities on Pinterest board. In your opinion what makes a good pin?Like my celebrities board, a good pin is something that adds new information or ideas to Pinterest.Q. Top 3 tips for Pinterest?1. Read the terms of service and know your rights.2. Be on the lookout for spamand report it when you see it.3. Join #pinchat on Twitter to keep up to date on the latest Pinterest happenings.Q. What is the difference between personal and corporate pins?Page16 17. If done well, there shouldnt be a difference. But I guess corporate pins are for monetary gain whilepersonal pins have a personal motive behind them.Q. Any tips for companies on Pinterest?I wrote three articles on the subject!Q. How Pinterest works for businesses, large and smallMcDonalds shows the right way to build a brand on PinterestQ. Any advice for non profits/charities?Focus on the visual. If you help people, let me see their faces. If you do good in third world countries,let me see some landscape shots. Get some infographics up. Dont rely on captions to send amessage.Q. If you could change 3 things about Pinterest what would they be?1. Give Pinterest HQ a bigger staff to deal with customer service2. Educate everyone on Pinterest about copyright and trademark3. Get rid of spam!Q. What would make you leave Pinterest?Really, nothing would make me leave Pinterest unless I lost my job. Pinterest is my living!Q. Top 3 social media:1. Pinterest2. Twitter3. TumblrThank YousA huge thank you to everyone involved in this white paper please follow and engage with them.Please look out for #pinchat and #toolchat on Twitter.Logo download -