Everyone always talks about things you should be doing on Pinterest, but today I want to focus on things Pinterest says we shouldn’t do. Hopefully by looking at these suggestions you will be able to improve your pin strategy and create Pinterest Perfect Pins.
Before I dive, I want you to know that I’m not making these things up, nor are these my personal opinions. Everything on this list comes directly from Pinterest’s guides.
10 things you shouldn’t be doing on Pinterest.
- Don’t include hashtags in either the image or description.
- Don’t use images that are poorly lit, out of focus or otherwise appear amateurish
- Don’t use more than four separate images in a Pin
- Don’t add a border or alteration to Pin images
- Images shouldn’t contain promotional information, calls to action, or references to Pinterest functionality.
- Don’t promote spam or other bad stuff.
- Don’t use affiliate or redirect links
- Don’t just pin your own stuff.
- Don’t make your logo so big that it covers the image.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Let’s talk about this list a little bit. Some of these seem more like suggestions while others could actually have a big impact on your visibility on Pinterest.
1. Don’t include hashtags in either the image or description.
Hashtags don’t work in Pinterest. Test it out. Click on a hashtag and it will bring up completely random results. For example, I clicked on a pin that had the hashtag #workathomemom. This is what showed up in the results:
As you can see, hopefully, some of the pins matched the hashtag while others were far off. If you want your pins to be searchable, you are better off including actual keywords instead of hashtags.
I also noticed when I was deleting my pins, the majority of ones that did not receive repins had hashtags in them. This tells me that Pinterest ranks pins with hashtags lower.
2. Don’t use images that are poorly lit, out of focus or otherwise appear amateurish
I know we aren’t all photographers. I too wish I could be better at taking fabulous pictures. I am working at improving my pictures and you can too! There are a lot of great resources out there. For tips, check out my board photography tips for bloggers
Or, you can also find beautiful images to use on your blog. Canva has a great list of places to find images.
3. Don’t use more than four separate images in a Pin
I was pretty surprised by this “don’t”. We’ve all seen pins that have more than 4 separate images in them. I think the main take away is to not let your pin get too busy with too many image. I know that some collage styled pins with lots of images are hard to see because the images are too small. Use your best judgement here. Test it out. If it works, do it.
4. Don’t add a border or alteration (like rounded corners) to Pin images
I found this “don’t” under the section about paying attention to composition. What do you think, why would borders make a pin less successful?
5. Images shouldn’t contain promotional information (“10% off” or “Two for $9.99!”), calls to action (“Call now!”) or references to Pinterest functionality (“Click here to pin!”).
The full documentation said not to include these in the picture or the description. Pins stay around forever, which is why you shouldn’t put promotional information on a Pin. In a week, your product might not be 10% off, but that might just be when the pin becomes popular (hint: if you want promotional information to show up on your product pins, apply for Product Rich Pins – it will auto update!).
6. Don’t promote spam or other bad stuff. People should be safe from that on Pinterest.
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. If you are wondering what constitutes as spam or other bad stuff, you can read the section “Stuff you can’t post” in Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy.
7. Don’t use affiliate or redirect links
In February 2015 Pinterest made changes and decided not to allow affiliate links in Pins. If you have pins that use affiliate links as the source, Pinterest can delete these pins and mark you as a spammer.
Their purpose in asking us not to use affiliate or redirect links is to ensure quality pins for Pinterest users. They want the pin to go exactly where it says it will go.
8. Don’t just pin your own stuff.
Not only will your followers get bored of you pinning only your own content, but Pinterest algorithms also notice if you are only pinning from one source. Pins from your own site have a better chance of showing up in someone’s feed if they are intermixed with pins from other sites. Plus, people like it when their content is pinned. Maybe they’ll pin something of yours as a favor.
9. Don’t make your logo so big that it covers the image.
Branding is important, but don’t let it take over your pin. You want the pin to draw potential readers in. Let the image make them curious enough to click on the pin.
10. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
This one shows up on Pinterest a lot. Whether in the guide, or in posts on their blog for business – Pinterest frequently talks about being Creative on Pinterest.
Here are a few examples of this phrase being used by Pinterest
There’s not a single right way to present your products, so don’t be afraid to get creative! –Source
Dozens of television shows are using Pinterest to reach their viewers in creative ways. Lots of Pinners have their own humor boards, so don’t be afraid to make them laugh with fun, original Pins if it feels natural to your brand. -Source
Don’t be afraid to get a little creative and sprinkle in some extra movie magic, like Kansas City Public Library, which made a board of books that inspired movies, or Skyscanner, a travel search site that made a board showing where nominated movies were set. -Source
Give your boards clear names so people can tell what’s on them, but don’t be afraid to get creative–just keep it to 20 characters or less so it doesn’t get cut off. -Source
When planning your pins and finding things to pin to your boards, think about how you can be creative.
What do you think of these Pinterest no no’s?
(Yes, I spend the majority of my time with a 2 year old.)
Are you guilty of any? Are there any that you disagree with?