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5 Pinterest Pinning Mistakes to Avoid

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We all know that we need to have a Pinterest account these days if we are running a creative business of any kind. Many of us have spent plenty of effort learning best practices – how often to pin, when to pin, what to pin, what kind of graphics to use. A lot of us have even invested in tools such as Tailwind (watch for my review coming soon!) to help us pin more efficiently and effectively.

But quality of pins is just as important as quantity or schedule. And some common Pinterest mistakes can seriously impact the quality of the pins you are creating, reducing user engagement with them and damaging your Pinterest reputation.

5 Pinterest Pinning Mistakes To Avoid to increase engagement with quality pins - Nancy Nally - ScrapbookUpdate.com

Here’s the top mistakes to watch out for when creating pins, to make sure that you are creating quality content that your followers will love and engage with!

Pinning From the Wrong URL

Since a pin is a link back to content, if you pin from the wrong URL, that pin is useless to future Pinterest users who might try to view it. Before you create an original pin, double check that you are on the content’s direct permalink (article page) page and not the site’s home page, a category or tag page, or an archives page (a URL that ends in something like “/page4/”).

Not Checking the Link on a Repin

A fabulous looking craft room photo comes across your Pinterest stream. “I must save that,” you think to yourself, and hit “repin”. But if you don’t click through to the pin’s link before hitting repin, you don’t really know what you are saving – or more importantly, sharing with all of your followers. The link could be to a deleted article, or a dead website. Worse, the link could be to a site set up (or taken over) to host malware. I’ve had my browser taken over by malware hosting sites several times in recent weeks when I clicked links on completely innocent looking pins. It required completely rebooting my browser (and even my entire computer on one occasion) each time to escape the hijacked window.

Even if at first glance a link looks safe, take a closer look. Is the content owned by the site posting it, or is it a so-called scraper site that steals articles from the RSS feeds of other sites and posts them, hoping to generate traffic from Pinterest and other sources for ad views? Posting links to stolen content degrades the quality of your feed, can get your Pinterest content reported and deleted, and can leave a bad impression on your followers.

Bottom line – if you don’t check the quality of the links on your repins, eventually someone else will – with potentially embarrassing results.

Pinning From within Bloglovin’ (or another reader)

When content is pinned from within Bloglovin’ it causes several problems. First, the pin’s source can only be viewed from within a Bloglovin’ page frame, which is really annoying to most readers. But more importantly, the content’s source shows on Pinterest as Bloglovin.com instead of the actual website whose content you are pinning. This degrades the quality rating of your pin in Pinterest’s content sharing algorithm. If the content has been pinned 3 times through Bloglovin’ and 100 times through the actual content website…then you only get credit from Pinterest for the 3. Also, the original content creator won’t get credit in their site’s statistics for the 3 pins through Bloglovin’. And someone searching for pins of content from that site won’t be able to find those pins.

Pinning from within other feed readers can be even more problematic. Links to Feedly will show dead links as they go to individual user accounts – so unless you are logged in to the account of the user who created the pin, you can’t see the source of the link.

Not Pinning from the Original Source

It’s become very common for sites to publish articles that are round-ups of other people’s content on a certain topic. These can be very useful, and a great way to find wonderful content. However, pinning from curated collection articles steals “Pinterest juice” from the original content creator, creating many of the same issues I mentioned in the discussion about pinning from within feed readers. So please, if you pin from curated collections, either pin the special Pinterest-friendly title graphic that most bloggers create for such collections, or click through to the item’s original source material to pin the individual item from there.

Not Adding or Editing A Description

Part of the way that Pinterest decides whether to show your pin to more people is from the information that is in your pin description. That description is also how you tell your followers why you pinned the content, what is special about it – and that’s especially important when you are pinning your own content, to entice people to click!

If you don’t edit the pin description when pinning or repinning, you will by default get either the previous pinner’s description or the meta description on the image you are pinning. This could be a personal note from the pinner (“this would be so perfect for my kitchen!”) that doesn’t reflect your own opinion or worse, it could be a generic file name like IMG_4358 that provides no useful information to Pinterest’s algorithm or your followers. Instead, take a moment to type a few words about the pin’s topic or its usefulness to you.

We all get in a rush at times and pin without thinking and miss a detail on a pin we are sharing. It’s one of the reasons that I love using Tailwind, because it allows me to save a pin as a draft and then go back and later and edit it for all the important details. Slowing down and taking those extra few moments on the details can make all the difference in our pin quality – and in our engagement.

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Arthritis & The Future of Scrapbooking

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month. To most people, arthritis is something that their grandparents or aging parents get.

At our house, arthritis has a different face:

Bridget arthritisOur daughter Bridget was diagnosed in 2011, at age 7, with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Her rheumatologist said she’s probably had it since she was very tiny based on the deteriorated state of some of her joints when she was diagnosed. Because of the severity of her condition (she also has another serious auto-immune disease called scleroderma that was diagnosed at the same time), we must travel two hours each way every four weeks to the local children’s hospital for Bridget to receive infusion treatment with multiple medications.

So every day is arthritis awareness day at our house. But what has this got to do with the scrapbooking industry? A look at demographic and disease statistical data will tell you – a whole lot. Continue Reading →

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Is Webrooming Replacing Showrooming?

Most brick-and-mortar retailers express a lot of concern in this internet age about “showrooming” – when consumers visit a physical store to browse a product and then price shop it online to make their purchase. But a new study from Merchant Warehouse says that the reverse may be true more often than retailers think. Webrooming (aka “reverse showrooming”) – where consumers research a purchase online to choose a product and find a good price on it before making a purchase in a brick and mortar location – is actually more prevalent than showrooming.

According to the research, consumer motivation for webrooming includes avoidance of shipping fees, ensuring an item is in stock before venturing out to shop, and getting their purchase immediately.

As a result of what they learned from the study, Merchant Warehouse has some recommendations for local retailers about how to capitalize on webrooming. Continue Reading →

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Is Facebook Marketing a Dead End for Small Brands?

You know that old saying about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Facebook has repeatedly pulled the rug out from under small businesses using its brand pages platform for marketing in the past few years – and yet we keep going back for more.

Over time, Facebook has slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) eroded the reach of posts from brand pages. First it put in place an algorithm that stopped showing brand posts to all followers in their newsfeeds. Then it started slowly tightening that algorithm like a noose, choking off brands’ access to their followers’ newsfeeds – and offering no “follow all” option for brands like it does for personal accounts that allows a user to override the removal of content and see everything that is posted.

Facebook Brand PageWe’ve definitely noticed the decline in reach at Nally Studios. Our stats show our Facebook posts going out to only a small fraction of our followers, and the decline has been precipitous in recent months. Social media research consulting firm Ogilvy & Mather, in a recently published white paper, described our experience as typical and calculates the organic reach of a typical brand post as 6% on Facebook in February 2014, down almost by half since the fall. For extremely large brands, reach is even smaller – more like 2%. Continue Reading →

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Thoughts on Scrapbooking’s Identity Crisis

For several years now, the accepted conventional wisdom has been that the scrapbook industry has been declining because of technology – specifically, digital cameras and social media. Is that really the case? Yes and no.

Fifteen years ago when I started scrapbooking, film photography was still the norm. I would sit at tables at crops surrounded by women toting their latest envelopes full of pictures fresh from the processing lab that they felt like they needed to “do something” with.  They wanted to preserve them for the next generation and put them in a format where they could share them with their friends and family easily. The goal was to have no boxes and stacks of pictures, but instead to have neat and tidy albums that everyone could enjoy and share, and that preserved their photos.

Enter digital photography, and social media.

Suddenly instead of envelopes full of prints, we have folders full of pictures on our hard drives. Out of sight, out of mind – there are no longer physical objects demanding that we “do something” with them. Now, if we want a print, we have to take several proactive steps to create one.

And sharing has changed dramatically too. We can have virtual photo albums on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and any number of other sites, as well as post images on our blogs. We don’t need people to come to our house to see our albums. We bring our photos to our loved ones through their computers, often instantaneously when they are shot through our mobile phones. Continue Reading →

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Reaching Scrapbookers With and Without Children

Editor’s Note: This post debuts the latest addition to Scrapbook Update’s staff, Stephanie Medley-Rath.

Stephanie’s first post opens discussion on an important topic. As a scrapbooker who participated in the hobby for well over 5 years before the birth of my daughter, I’m very conscious of this industry’s emphasis on child-focused marketing. I hope Stephanie’s post can open a discussion among our community on the topic, and help make industry businesses more aware of what consumers they might be overlooking in their marketing.

I recently wrote an article on my site on child-free scrapbookers, that raised some great discussion. Part of the discussion was over the terminology: should this group be described as childless or child-free? Both are value-laden terms, and both describe people without children by choice (child-free) and by chance (childless). The terminology does not matter nearly as much as the point of the article: people without children scrapbook.

The scrapbook industry does an excellent job zeroing in on the key demographic of new moms as new scrapbookers (and rightly so), but in this quest to convert new moms to scrapbooking, the industry as a whole tends to overlook scrapbookers without children.

The industry needs both groups to continue growing and needs to take care to not alienate either group in the process. Why might the industry need both groups? Scrapbookers without children are:

  • More likely to be motivated to scrapbook for reasons other than creating family heirlooms to be passed down to future generations.
  • Less likely to be creating scrapbooks to record stories or memories for other people.
  • Are more likely to be scrapbooking only for themselves.

Scrapbookers without children are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, which means they will continue scrapbooking as long as they remain intrinsically motivated and feel there is a place for them in the hobby. Continue Reading →

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