Pinterest and Safe Pinning!

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites to date.  It is like an electronic bulletin board where you can pin things that interest you, engage in comments on things that you like and drive viewers to your website with photos and links that you pin.  It's fun, it's fast and addicting!

An exciting place to share photos, links and great ideas!  I can say, I am addicted to the photos at Pinterest!  The color is amazing and then being able to click the photo to read more about it with the back link makes it an incredible learning tool!  I am learning about gardening, cooking, travel, helpful household hints, crafts, home improvement and on and on.  There is no limit to what people can pin and share online with Pinterest.

Just know 12 step programs are available for everything and after you try Pinterest you might need one!

Remember….. there is "Danger Will Robinson" to pin without thinking!

Before you run off and start pinning there is a word to the wise……Don't pin without protection!  "Safe pinning" has to be part of your participation best practice when engaging on Pinterest there could be severe legal problems with copyright violations if you are pinning without protection! Take the times to READ the Terms of Service which are changing April 6, 2012 for the better.

Learning yet another social media platform is almost too much for anyone in business today.  It seems like we just get comfortable with how things run on facebook, twitter or Google+ and they change the format along the rules so it's like a never ending journey of new information. I am sorry to say this is the norm and in the 21st century as the Cosmic Shift Happens this is just the way things are going to run, constant change. 

We are living in a beta test world and the destination is yet to be determine so strap in, learn the rules, buckle up and hang on. 

Take a little time to read this post on how 11 huge brands are using Pinterest.  I uncovered a story about Kate Spade and her team pinning a Martha Stewart  St. Patrick's Day straw and neglecting to give her credit or link back to her blog post.  Now this is the SERIOUS copyright issue that you have to be aware of.  It might be gone by the time I publish this post but it was there before St. Patricks Day through March 29th and you can see the screen shots below. Try this link to see for yourself. Martha Stewart's team telling Kate Spade's team to link to the Martha Stewart blog post. Even a reader commented on the mistake. 254 Kate Spade followers repinned the Martha Stewart Straws and there was no back link to Martha Stewart.  This is not good!

Kate Spade Pinterest Board

This is the first in a series of posts on Pinterest, both the good and the bad.

In the blogosphere there are many types of bloggers with individual styles who have similar messages however, their information is presented in a different way.  Pinterest has taken on a love/hate position with many involved in social media so this post is to share the WARNINGS and DANGERS involved at Pinterest taking place right now with HUGE players not understanding the rules.  Therefore DEAR Reader… please take some time to read the links for more powerful information and learn for yourself how you might be able to use this venue to share your message.  Don't let FEAR take away something that could possibly be fun and profitable if you KNOW and USE the rules found in any copyright situations. 

Pinterest appears to be the latest greatest new Internet venue taking off faster than facebook or google+ during the same initial beta releases.  Inman Next has done several webinars showing how real estate agents can use Pinterest in their business to connect with people.  Follow the Inman link to see the webinar and what they are sharing about Pinterest.  You will find there are good and bad reviews on this social media platform.  If you create your own blog posts, you take your own pictures and know your community and what it has to offer this is the perfect place for you to share that information that YOU create yourself.  You can link to your community websites and pin activities to help the consumer find out more about your neighborhood if you are in the real estate industry.  This activity applies to businesses within a community as well, sharing information that is going on around them.

Pinterest is VISUAL, it's fun and you can spend hours clicking on the photos which link to correctly posted websites where you can learn all about something you are interested in.  The graphics are what stimulate the desire to find out more about the picture and what it represents. Your mission, should you accept it, is to provide beautiful photos so people will want to click through the picture and see what you are selling or providing as valuable content. The click through should go right to your website if you want to promote a business product or service.

The GOOD news is learning is less than an hour investment in time to figure out how Pinterest works and how fun it is. 

The BAD news is you can get in real copyright trouble if you are pinning photos and images that are not yours and have not been approved for pinning… so learning the rules of "proper pinning" is of upmost importance.

Advertising Lawyer Shares How Brands Can Use Pinterest Without Breaking the Law.  He says:

"We're not going to kid you, this risk reduction strategy will significantly limit your ability to pin and re-pin content found on Pinterest to your company's brand page. But unfortunately the way consumers are currently using Pinterest just isn't the same way that your brand will likely be able to use it, given that a brand's commercial use will be much more attractive to potential plaintiffs. Pinterest attempts to limit its own legal liability by providing in its terms that users are only supposed to post or pin content that they own or that they have the right to post. From a practical matter, this may give Pinterest some legal protection, but the same legal protections will not likely protect your brand page since you are directly pinning the images"

Another helpful article share by American Express talks about how a small business can be damaged by Pinterest so reading it is all part of the learning curve which will help you determine whether you want to participate or not based on your own investigations. 

The rest of the Kate Spade pinterest board story.…. I read the post on 11 ways to use pinterest and saw them talk about Kate Spade and how she was usin the boards.

I went to the boards and found a cute St.Patricks Day Straw in an orange soda.  I was going to pin it and saw the message from Martha Stewart's team letting her know that the pin should link back to their website.  It didn't.  This could be a genuine copyright violation because the Kate Spade team took the graphic without the link back to the original post.  If the big guys are making this mistake consider this a red flag that others will be doing it too and this mistake goes with the territory on the Internet.  As long as YOU are not doing it you should be fine.  The same photo of Martha's Shamrock Straws had been re-blogged on Tumbler 459 times and each person was NOT linking the Martha Stewart graphic to their own websites.  THAT is a NO NO.  Bottom line is to be careful with what you are repinning and making sure it links back to the source and you have the right to re-pin. 

The article 11 huge brands are using Pinterest…..shares:

"1. Showcase your products

Kate Spade does this particularly well, creating mood boards that showcase its products within different themes. 

The label's personality is bright and colorful, which is reflected in the naming of the boards – quite literally. This might just appear to be a naming convention, but the repetition means that the message sticks."

Kate Spade's team got the Martha Stewart Staws from night on the run tumblr where you can see how many people reblogged it on Tumbler not linking to Martha Stewart's blog post by clicking that link.

Advertising Lawyer said:

"We're not going to kid you, this risk reduction strategy will significantly limit your ability to pin and re-pin content found on Pinterest to your company's brand page. But unfortunately the way consumers are currently using Pinterest just isn't the same way that your brand will likely be able to use it, given that a brand's commercial use will be much more attractive to potential plaintiffs. Pinterest attempts to limit its own legal liability by providing in its terms that users are only supposed to post or pin content that they own or that they have the right to post. From a practical matter, this may give Pinterest some legal protection, but the same legal protections will not likely protect your brand page since you are directly pinning the images"

If you want to read more about Pinterest check out my "Everything Pinterest" board with both the good and the bad of what is going on today.

Follow me on Pinterest and let me know your favorite board. I will follow you back!  I have some homework to makes sure that all my pins go back to the original source after doing this research… so if you are just starting make sure your pins are approved and link to the source. 

Practice "Safe pinning" with Pinterest!

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