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I am writing this post for anyone who is a relative newbie (like myself) to the world of Pinterest (if you are such a newbie that you have never heard of it then check out http://www.pinterest.com/yumboxuk/ ).

As part of my social media marketing I dusted off my old pinterest account (I had opened one a few years back, pinned a couple of things and promptly forgot about it) and got stuck in adding photos and creating boards.  This week one of my favourite lunch bloggers Grace from @EatsAmazing contacted me and warned me that I was probably on the road towards causing major offence in the blogging community and was I aware (luckily she is lovely and assumed – rightly – that I had made a genuine mistake).

I had been making a few rookie errors which I will share with you here:

1)      In some cases I had been manually saving photos I liked from twitter and facebook and then uploading them into Pinterest.  I had always credited the person who’s photo I had used in the text but effectively what this meant was that when people clicked on the photo itself, rather than leading through to author’s blog it didn’t go anywhere.  You can change the text description of any pin when you add it but if you pin correctly (from other people’s boards or properly from their websites using the pin button (pinterest have a section explaining how to download this)) then the source of the pin will always lead straight back to where it originally came from.  Lesson learnt – always pin directly from the author (either their blog, website, instagram or pinterest page).  If this isn’t possible contact the owner of the photo to ask how you can best share it

2)      I had been unsure how to share Instagram photos it doesn’t allow you to pin from the ap.  Lesson learnt – use  Gramfeedhttp://www.gramfeed.com/ (this is much easier to do on the PC/ Mac as it doesn’t have an ap).  It is pretty straightforward, but if you are struggling there is a very simple tutorial on this blog from Richard Smith – http://blog.gramfeed.com/post/21857707937/pinterest-for-instagram-images.  Which explains how you should ensure you open the image to its larger size before you pin it (don’t just pin from the thumbnails) as doing this again means you keep the link to the author

3)      This isn’t strictly a Pinterest lesson learnt but it is a big one for anyone using images on-line.  Lesson learnt – when you upload any image to your blog or site always name it correctly (using key words that people are likely to serach for e.g. kids luncbox).  As Grace kindly explained to me

It might be an idea to take a look at the images on your  own website to make sure they have Pinterest friendly descriptions   attached. You can see this by using the pin-it button and seeing   what description pops up in the box for each photo. The easiest way  to do this is to save the file name of each image as the description  you would ideally like to appear on Pinterest. As an example, on  your Yumbox features page, someone might want to pin a picture of the  removable tray. The current file name is “yumbox-tray-DSC_5394 copy.jpg”, which means that if someone decides to pin it, that comes  up as the automatic description for the pin. A lot of pinners won’t  bother to write their own description, so it’s a lost opportunity to  get your own words floating around Pinterest! You might want to  consider changing the file name to something that describes the  great features of the tray instead.

(I spent yesterday ensuring every image I have on-line is labelled correctly!)

4)      Lastly if you want to maximise Pinterest as a business tool there are some great blogs with top tips such as spending time re-pinning a few posts each day and ensuring you are following and interacting with key influencers.  Here is one by Michael Stelzner as an example http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/pinterest-tips-for-your-business/ Lesson – if you want to get the most out of pinterest don’t just spent half an hour on it once a week, try and dedicate a window each day and keep your usage constant

I think that is it for today.  Hopefully you will avoid making the same mistakes I have.  I was lucky that Grace caught mine in time as I understand a previous company who made the same mistake and weren’t quick to rectify it caused a number of the top bloggers to refuse to work with them again.

As a final aside, I mention above that Grace Hall of Eats Amazing helped me out here (a great example of how your virtual network can support you you).  I also have to thank her for a marketing coup for Yumbox yesterday.  The Daily Mail on-line did an article on Grace and she was kind enough to feature Yumbox heavily in the photoshoot.  Check it out here – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-2610244/Packed-lunches-look-good-eat-Creative-mother-turns-picky-sons-lunchboxes-works-art.html#comments and check out www.eatsamazing.co.uk for some great lunchbox inspiration.

To find out more about Yumbox – http://www.yumbox-uk.co.uk


PS – if you have learnt any valuable pinterest (or other social media lessons) please do share them in the comments below