Pinterest is a fun (and addictive) social media site where you share web links via large photos. It can be a great way to gather together inspirational images via "pins" while also getting your products out there to online-savvy shoppers. Ettiquite is important on Pinterest because you're dealing with links from other sites, but it can be made easy with the following tips:
Share the Love
In many ways, Pinterest is more about sharing the work of other artists than your own. Start a board of artists and crafters you admire! You can still promote your items by finding pins by other users- search for your handmade business' name or Etsy shop name in the upper left-hand corner. The results will be your items that have been pinned by others. Make sure to "Like" these pins, as well as share some of them on your own boards. If you have a website through IndieMade, it's really easy to add a Pin-It button to your pages and items to encourage more shares. Learn more about adding this here: http://www.indiemade.com/blog/new-feature-sharing-your-stuff-pinterest
One criticism some artists have with Pinterest is that strangers can share your work and photos without your knowledge. I personally don't mind this at all (as long as I get some credit or link back), but some online sellers are not into Pinterest and would opt-out if possible. Sites like Etsy have a Pin-It button on all listings, but you should still respect anyone who feels very strongly against it. Also avoid pinning an artist's work and labeling it as "easy to make" or "DIY." It can be hurtful for a handmade artist to find their hard work being copied and discussed.
Also be sure to give credit to the websites you are pinning from -- and never claim a project as your own if it's not. If the pin doesn't automatically give the artist or maker a link back for some reason, go ahead and write it in the description, along with why you think it's great! Think of it as citing references for a research paper -- just made mostly of images.
How To Build an Artist Website
Sign up for our newsletter and get the book How to Build an Artist Website for free!
Join Group Boards
This is one of the most social ways to interact on Pinterest! Many Etsy Teams and handmade Facebook Groups have collaborative boards that you must ask to join. Typically the group board is created by an individual member and then shared via email. You may also get seemingly random group board invitations on Pinterest. After checking them out to make sure it's not spam, feel free to post your items according to the rules. This is a great way to get your work in front of lots of craft enthusiasts! You can pin your handmade products and photos of your work right from your IndieMade website or online store.
Soon you will be in love with Pinterest! To learn more about marketing via Pinterest, check out our resource article.