Pinterest Group Board Etiquette

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pinterest Group Board Etiquette

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A look at the etiquette of pinning to group board and the etiquette for running group boards. Very informative!
By now, loads of bloggers and social media managers are well aware of the benefits gained from promoting content on Pinterest.

If you still need convincing on just how great Pinterest is, do a quick Google News search. You'll find articles about the power of Pinterest and how it is beginning to rival even Google and present itself as an alternative, visual search engine.

When used correctly, one particular aspect of Pinterest has the power to catapult your pageviews exponentially. That aspect is the group board.

With this tutorial, I'd like to look at the benefits of group boards and discuss group board etiquette from the point of view of the pinners as well as board owners.

Pinterest Group Board Etiquette

Written by: on

Here's the question that sparked this article:
I have a question about collaborative Pinterest boards - are you only supposed to pin your own stuff or is it OK to repin other people's stuff too?
Pretty straightforward, right? Well, here's my opinion on what good group board etiquette looks like:  

Etiquette for the pinner:
  1. Follow the rules!
    Double check before you invite people to pin to the board, as some board owners don't allow this. Also check that you're pinning the type of pins that the board is in favor of. If you belong to a vegetarian recipes group board, don't pin your latest roasted chicken recipe. No matter how mouthwatering it is. It won't be received well.
  2. Pin relevant pins!
    It's an offshoot of my last statement, but it's one that's worth repeating: keep it relevant. By their nature, boards keep things that are associated with one another in a nice, tidy parcel. Group boards aren't an excuse to disrupt this harmony.

    When you agree to join a group board, you agree to pin things that are relevant. If you've got a massive amount of really niche pins and nowhere to put them, start your own group board. You might find someone else struggling to pin their ultra-niche pins, too.
  3. Pin quality content!
    • Make sure you pin photos that you own or that you have persmission to use
    • Make sure you pin from the original source
    • Make sure the page you pin from is of good quality. This means:
      xx spam
      xx broken links
      xx glaringly obvious typos and incorrect communication
  4. Don't just self-promote!
    Pinterest boards are best when they are collaborations with varying points of view. My most popular board isn't the board where I only post my blog posts on. While it's safe to say that a number of people enjoy my blog posts, not many of them want to follow board strictly dedicated to just my posts. Pinners look for variety; for different voices and different opinions. The best way to give them this is to pin from a wide variety of sites. Even if you stick with one subject, attach variety to the source of your pins.
  5. Don't bombard the board!
    Bombing group boards with 20 of your greatest pins is rude and overwhelming. If you plan on pinning to group boards regularly, you should develop a system. I have a very rudimentary system in place for pinning to group boards, but it helps me to ensure that all my content is getting evenly promoted and it keeps the boards fluid.

    Here's what I do: I assign each group board I belong to a day. (There are about four or five boards each day). Then on that specific day I pin only my relevant posts from the last week. If I don't have a post that's relevant to the board, I don't pin anything. Through the week, in promoting other bloggers, I'll pin some of their content to the board, but for self-promotion on group boards, I restrict my activity to times when it is most beneficial and in such a way that my content isn't constantly clogging up the board, nor is it consistently being pushed off the page by other pinners.
  6. Use the board properly!
    Check out some of your fellow collaborators pins from time to time and pin what you like. Re-pinning from the group board shows interaction within the board, which can be appealing for other users and can encourage them to re-pin content as well.
Here's one of the group boards I run:

If you'd like to be invited to pin to it, fill out this form.  

Etiquette for the board owner:
  1. Establish board rules!
    From the start, set out clear rules about the type of activity this is encourage and is not allowed on your group board. Common rules include rules regarding inviting other people to pin to the board, the types of pin that are allowed and the frequency of pinning that is allowed.
  2. Enforce the rules or don't bother having them!
    As a board owner, you'll be responsible for ensuring all of your collaborators have a positive pinning experience. That's where establishing rules can come in handy, but there's no point having a laundry list of rules if you aren't prepared to enforce them.
  3. Handpick your collaborators!
    It's not a popularity contest, but it is a good idea to handpick who you allow to contribute to your board. Being selective make it easier to maintain what happens on your board. If you handpick quality bloggers or content creators who share your values and your blogging morals and give them free reign to invite pinners of a similar ilk, you'll fare much better.

    Alternatively, you could do as I do and have interested parties fill in a sign up form to show that they would like to be considered for the inclusion into the board. Once you have their details, you could look into who they are and determine if they would be a good fit for your board.
  4. Monitor the pins!
    If you have a board populated by very specific, niche pins or if you don't have any parameters in place to control who can get added to your board, you will need to spend more time monitoring the content that is pinned. Remember, if a group board you own gets overrun with spam and dodgy links, it reflects poorly on you as the owner. Keep your name clear and your board clean!
  5. Give them the boot!
    Are there a few people on your board who don't pin well with others? Are they constantly spamming or doing things that go against your board rules? Then give them the boot! You have two options for removing people: you could simply remove them from the board, denying them the ability to pin to that board in the future. Or you could remove them, all their content and any pins they pinned from the board as well.

    To remove individuals from your boards, edit the board and click on "remove", which is next to their name in the list of approved contributors. When you click on "remove" the two options I just mentioned will be displayed. Choose the most appropriate one.
  6. Encourage new pinners!
    If you're looking to grow your board quickly, make it easy for interested pinners to get in touch with you to request to be added to your board. You've seen the form I use. Simply insert the URL to the form or your email address in the board's description on Pinterest. Interested pinners will see it and get in touch.
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  1. G'day! Great tips Anyonita and I hope to learn heaps more from you!
    Cheers! Joanne

  2. That initial question looks familiar :) Thanks for the tutorial! I totally agree with having a schedule so you don't bombard boards. Often I'll write a blog post that I feel is relevant to 1-3 of my own boards and 1-5 of my collaborative boards. As excited as I am to pin it, I limit myself to pinning the same pin only once per day, and only during my "target" time where I know I'll see the most response. As for pinning other people's content, I just pin it as I see it. Maybe that means they don't get as much exposure, which I guess kind of sucks for them, but at least I'm pinning it! And that way I don't clog up the feeds during peak times. Plus, it's just way too much work to keep track of what time to go back and pin other people's stuff!

    I really like your tip about repinning other stuff from the collaborative boards to my own boards. Why didn't I think of that? I guess I just assumed people following me would see it, but not everyone follows ALL my boards so it's possible they wouldn't see it. I'm going to start doing that from now on. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for sharing! This looks fun and beneficial at the same time, but how do you find group Pinterest boards? I've been reading all your tutorials as I contemplate transitioning to a self-hosted site.

  4. Thanks for sharing! This looks fun and beneficial at the same time, but how do you find group Pinterest boards? I've been reading all your tutorials as I contemplate transitioning to a self-hosted site.

    1. Hi Rebekah,
      You can find group boards to join through blogger groups or by looking at some of the group boards you'd like to be able to pin to. Often, the board owner has put instructions for how to join in the board description. :) Hope this helps!


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