A Content Marketer’s Pinterest Purity Pledge

pinterest pledge guide dave huffman, content marketing evansville

photo credit: Steven Depolo on Flickr


Ok, so I bumped an item on my editorial calendar to write this one because I think it is an important topic.  A lil’ fluffy yes, especially since I touched on some of these things last Friday, but like I said, really important.

Last week, Dan Perez wrote a rant titled The Bastardization of Pinterest Has Begun.  I dug it.  He was talking to me, maaaaan.

To give you the broad view, what Dan basically said was that with each new social media outlet that arises, we sort of have the chance to start over, wipe the slate clean, and use the medium for what it is for:  socializing.

That is, until marketers like me get their hands on things and figure out a way to promote businesses there.  

What usually follows is a water down-ization of content, an overall lack of excitement about the medium, and folks abandoning either your brand’s page or the medium altogether for the next clean start.

Maybe that isn’t exactly what he said, but that’s how I interpreted his article.

Last week I wrote a guide to keeping Pinterest traffic bounce rates low and a couple of my pledge items are included there.  But, to build on Dan’s rant last week, I thought I’d post an official pledge.  A promise that, as a content marketer, I’m going to have a more focused effort this time around.  From the start.  Not like halfway through or 2 years later like I was with Myspace.  Ah man.  Myspace.

Mostly, I’m saying that I’m afraid Mr. Perez is correct.  It is more than likely that Pinterest will not uphold it’s current form.  However, if we marketers can tread lightly, maybe we can help hold off the wolves for a bit.  Or the Jabba the Hut Trash Heap Spammers.  Or whatever you want to call them.

Below is my pledge to do just that.  I think you’ll find it is mostly just good ol’ social media behavior basics.  Either way, hopefully, my words will sway you to join the good fight.

I will do more than pin marketing content

I’ll admit, I caught myself last week and I was ashamed.  I’d gone a week or so and hadn’t pinned anything other than marketing content.  I looked at my facebook activity and it was all “Dave pinned to Digi-Marketing” like 15 times in a row.  It was literally the equivalent of the ol’ social media cocktail party reference. Here I was, all up in the party, on top of a table screaming about my blog.  Time to stop screamin’, man.

I will use awesome photos

As I’ve said before, I know awesome is totally subjective.  In other words, what I think is good, you might think is crap.  But, the real point is, by forcing ourselves to think this way – we’re much less likely to blindly drop photos into our articles.  Also, let’s put a more concerted effort into building up our own bank of unique and engaging instagram photos to use for our blogs.  D.M. Scott does this.  I’ve been experimenting with it (here and here) and even though my own pics don’t always capture the spirit of the article, I like it.  They’re me and they’re real photos from my life.

Whatever you do, just remember, before you drop a photo in that article, ask yourself if you’d be interested in that photo.  If the answer is yes, then pin it.  Chances are, if you really think it is gold, someone else will too.

I will fill in accurate pin descriptions

If I’m pinning a photo from my blog, the description of what the fellow pinner is about to click-through to is going to be incredibly clear.  I’m going to be 100% honest about what lies behind that photo link.  That just flat-out helps everyone.  It’ll help lower your bounce rates and it’ll help your fellow Pinner from feeling like they were just Van Damm style helicopter kicked with another stupid marketing blog.

I will only pin marketing content to an appropriately labeled board

I’ve been on boards, say for “craft beer” and I happened upon a social infographic that had nothing to do with what I was looking for.  I’m not experienced enough with Pinterest to know if this would really have an impact, but I can’t help but think that it wouldn’t hurt to place things in appropriate folders.  I have one called “Digi-Marketing” that I plan on pinning all my blog photos too.  That way, folks looking for that sort of content will find it.  Hint:  this will also give you much more targeted traffic.


So, look.  I still have much, much more to learn about Pinterest.  To be honest, I haven’t spent enough time over there really learning about it and at the end of the day, I’m very much a true novice.  That said, if I missed something important in the pledge, won’t you tell me in the comments below?

And to those conversion junkies like me, don’t fret.  By doing some of the things I listed above and in the last article, my bounce rate from Pinterest traffic is already down 25%.  You’re going to be much better off once you start pinning for the right folks.

So, see – everybody wins.  Mom gets to keep exploring her Super Scrumptrulescent Ultimate Strawberry Lasagna recipes and I get to pin content marketing jargon.  Both stay separated and lined up for the audiences they were intended for.

Happy Pinning, yo.


  1. Anonymous says

    Let me tell you about Mrs. Perez. I tried getting her on twitter (she hated it) and she does have a facebook page but she’s disinterested. Oh, but you should see her on Pinterest – she loves it. She comes over every two minutes to show me a picture of a sleeping baby, puppy, or piece of clothing she likes. She’s finally found a social media platform that she can enjoy. 
    That’s what Pinterest should be. There are a bunch of people just like her doing the same dang thing she’s doing. Now here come the SEO junkies with their infographics and self-indulgent social media “media” to ruin it. 
    Pinterest can serve many different industries well: clothing, food, artists, jewelers, etc. but when the social media “experts”, who preach engagement, start littering the platform with their carefully branded content for the sole benefit of SEO, it starts to suck eggs.
    You wanna blow your own horn? Keep it on twitter and facebook. Leave Pinterest for my wife 🙂
    Nicely written.
    Here’s some food for thought from Mr. Rocky Balboa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsJnxlXepsY 

    • says

      Ok, that was a sign.  For weeks, I’ve been meaning to watch all the Rocky films again and I just haven’t made the time.  

      But, if I’s can change (cheers) and you’s can change (cheers) THEN EVERYONE CAN CHAAAANGE!Dude, seriously…thanks for stopping and leaving that kick arse comment.  You’re right.  So right.There are a ton of industries with genuinely human content that can naturally benefit from the content facing nature of Pinterest.  It’s taking off in healthcare too…we’re using it at the health system where I work.  Pinning cutesy red hatted baby photos and such.  It’s technically marketing, yea, but we’re not leading with that.  We’re honestly just sharing photos that we think other folks will like.Anywho, thanks again.  And +1,000 internet points to you for the Balboa share.

  2. Anonymous says

    Oh, do I appreciate this! When our social media team first started talking about Pinterest for work, our lament was “Can’t anything just stay fun?” But we do have relevant content to share (an events center, with ideas of event setups, food presentation, pretty centerpieces–right in Pinterest’s sweet spot). I’m going to make sure we follow these rules. Thanks! 🙂

    • says

      Oh yea, I’d say all that will fit right in – and don’t get me wrong – I honestly don’t think there are any “rules”, maybe some “best practices”, but I know what you mean.  

      Marketers are so flippin’ notorious for killing that golden goose and right before I wrote this I found myself with my hand around it’s neck.  This article was sort of my personal wake up call.

      Thanks for the great comment!  Really means a lot 🙂