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Pinterest: Your Questions, Answered

Original artwork by hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

This post was written by social media manager and Cision Blog author Lisa Larranaga and media statistics specialist (and Pinterest-connoisseur) Amanda Yang.

We recently hosted a Pinterest webinar and got flooded with wonderful questions from our audience. We didn’t have a chance to answer everything you asked, so we have answered questions here! We have created subheads so you can find different categories of questions, including Before You Join, Once You Have Joined, and The Technical Side.

Before You Join:
Q: Is Pinterest a good option for our business?
A: This is a question only you can answer. While it’s great that you’re asking and deciding if it will work for you – instead of just jumping on – only you will know if it’s the right outreach for your business. Right now, Cision is not on Pinterest because we’re still evaluating if it will be a good way to connect with our audience. When deciding, you should first look to see if your market is using the site. Once you know if they’re there, see what they’re pinning (personal pins or industry-related). You can also look for guidance from others in your industry and see if they’re pinning and if so, the type of content they’re sharing. After that, look at what you have to add to the conversation and decide if you can dedicate time to another platform.

Q: How about using Pinterest if you don’t have a website?
A: Before joining any social networks, you should first work on having a “home” for your clients. This can be either a website or a Facebook Page, but you want to have somewhere for current or prospective clients to go to if they want to view information or get in contact with you.

Once You Have Joined:
Q: Are there any good examples of Pinterest being used to promote nonprofit campaigns and organizations?
A: The V Foundation does a good job, as does PHSA. We especially like how The V Foundation creates a “Random Things We Love” and “Staff Favorites” board. It gives them a personality and a reason for people to connect with them outside of those specifically tied to their industry, which is important.

Q: Do you have examples of higher education institutions using Pinterest successfully?
The American Council on Education uses Pinterest and The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote a useful article on how colleges are exploring Pinterest. Want something else to consider? If you don’t think maintaining a Pinterest account is right for you, you can give your audience the ability to pin images and articles through a Pinterest plugin on your website.

Q: How often should you create new boards and update pins?
A:  Like any other platform, you don’t want to just create noise. The amount of content you upload should be based on the worthwhile content you have to share. The difference with a site like Pinterest is: in addition to uploading your own images and creating boards for them, you can get inspiration from others. If you see something you want to retain for future use, you can pin it to a board. This is a great practice because you should be using Pinterest – and other social sites – to post your own content, but also to communicate with and share content of others in your industry.

Q: Do you know the percent of women in 45+ range using Pinterest?
17.9% according to Modea in February.

Q: Are they working on updating the app? It is slow and takes to long to load.
A: Pinterest is listening! And they must have heard you.

Q: How do you track referral and analytics?
There is Pinerly, which a lot of people know of, and Jay Baer just recommended Pinfluencer.

Q: Is there a risk in running a contest if you don’t have a big follower base?
A: There is always a risk when it comes to running a contest but the good thing is, people love free stuff so it will usually result in a heightened awareness of your brand. Share the contest and its details on all of your channels – company blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – and all your loyal followers will be aware of your Pinterest presence and will hopefully join in on the fun.

Technical Side:
Q: When you use a hashtag to find content on Pinterest, do all the pins with this hashtag come up or only those with more followers?
A: All the pins come up. If you use a hashtag, it will pull up all of the instances of “cat” in a pin caption, album name, boards and people. You can then select if you want to look at all of those instances or just one.

Q: When you put a pin it button to a site, does it pin the whole website or can you just pin the image?
A: You can pin a particular image or link an entire web page. Once you enter the URL of the page you’d like to pin and the image you’d like to display on the pin, the Pinterest site will autopopulate HTML for you to put onto your website. Here is some more information.

Q: Is there a way to control user generated content?
A: No, unfortunately at this time, there is no way to delete a comment. The only option in place is to Report a Comment left by another user.

Q: Does Pinterest release a list of most searched key words?
Not that I know of, since the API hasn’t been set up yet, I’m not sure if there’s anything available to the public yet. They do, however, send you a list of recommended pins once or twice a week to show relevant/popular pins. Check your e-mail preferences to make sure you receive this type of content if you want it.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Yang

Q: How do you create a user generated pinboard?
A: This is a great way to create a dialogue via pictures to see what your clients really want. Unfortunately, you have to have a list of either their email address or already be following them on Pintrest to add them to a user generated board. This is because each time someone adds a pin in the group board, all users receive a notification email. This may become tiresome if tons of people are constantly upating the board. As seen here, Pintrest automatically populates current followers.


Q: Can content be removed or is it like Facebook and it is  public domain?
Although their Terms states that “You retain all of your rights in all of the User Content you post to our Service,” once you post something onto Pinterest, it can be repinned and modified by other users. They also store all data in archives for “back up, archival or audit purchases.”  Earlier this year, Pintrest faced Copyright Infringement Lawsuits and changed their licensing/terms to better suit the needs of businesses and the users who were sharing their content.

Let us know if you have additional questions in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

About Lisa Denten

Lisa Denten is the Social Media Manager of Cision U.S., where she leads social strategy, coordinates the blog editorial calendar and manages public relations campaigns. She regularly hosts Cision webinars, was chosen as a #FollowFriday guest on industry blog Spin Sucks, and has spoken on panels for Inbound Marketing Summit and Publicity Club of Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry before joining Cision in 2008. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @lisaml15.

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