The Basics of Using Pinterest Group Boards
If you are an active Pinterest user you have probably noticed group boards popping up all over the place. You may have been invited to join one.
At first glance, these boards look terrific, especially for users who are interested in a particular topic. You may think that you'll be seeing all the latest and greatest pins. You may think that you'll get a thousand followers overnight. But look out, they are not always what they are cracked up to be.
Before you take the Pinterest group board plunge, take a few minutes to learn how to join or start one and find out what some of their pros and cons are. Learn some Pinterest etiquette along the way too.
What is a Pinterest group board?
Pinterest group boards are boards, usually centered around a particular topic, that multiple pinners can pin to. Anyone can set one up. To pin to a group board a user must be invited by someone already in the group.
Some group boards have hundreds of members and thousands of pins, while others only have a handful.
How to find a group board in Pinterest
How to join a group board
If you come across a group board that intrigues you, go into the board and see what the description says.
If there are no instructions for getting an invitation, try commenting on one of the recent pins. Since everyone in a group board can invite people to join, someone may invite you.
You will receive a notification of an invitation to the group board in your email.
- Enter the topic you are interested in finding in the search box at the top left of your Pinterest feed screen. For this example I entered "recipe group boards".
- When the results appear there will be a choice of 3 tabs at the top left of the page, "Pins", "Boards", and "Pinners". Choose "Boards".
- Scroll down and looks for boards that have a gray outline of 3 figures to the right of the board name (see photo above). This indicates that it is a group board.
- Click on a board and see how to join it.
How to set up a group board in Pinterest
It only takes a few minutes to set up a group board. Just follow these simple steps.
Step 1 - Go to your Pinterest home page
Click on "Create a board".
Step 2 - Fill in the requested information
- Give your board a name.
- Fill in the description, although this is not required. Many group boards have no description.
- Choose a category.
- Click on "Create Board".
Step 3 - Turn your board into a group board
It's not a group board until you start inviting people.
Click on "Edit Board".
Step 4 - Invite people to your board
- Type in the name of one of your followers. Note that you must be following them and they must be following you in order to be able to invite them into your group board.
- Click "Save Changes".
- You now have a group board and you can start pinning.
What do you think?
Do you use Pinterest group boards?
Pinterest group boards are not for everyone
- Anyone who accepts your invitation can pin whatever they want to your board so remember to use caution when inviting people.
- Anyone who accepts your invitation can invite anyone they want to pin to the board as well.
- As a group board administrator you can delete people from the group at any time, and it is your responsibility to make sure that spam is under control.
- If you don't like a board you can leave it at any time. Just go to the board, click on "Edit Board" and click on "Leave Group".
Pin Exposure - For people who earn a living online, Pinterest offers a great source of exposure and an opportunity for many repins of your content.
Access to more pins that you are interested in - For people interested in a particular topic, group boards are a great source of ideas.
An increase in followers - Starting a group board can lead to an increase in followers.
Spam - Large group boards are prone to spam, a lot of it sometimes.
Clogged feed - The more groups you are a member of, the more clogged your feed becomes.
Repetition of pins - In really large groups, users tend to pin the same things over and over.
Use caution when pinning
Pinterest is not without controversy. There have been many complaints by artists and others that Pinterest is infringing on copyrights. Some of these complaints have led to lawsuits.
Additionally, some pins lead to questionable websites.
Remember that when you pin an image and/or article, the creator of that image may, or may not, have given permission for it to be copied. This holds true even if you are repinning the image from someone who has repinned it from someone else.
Whenever I am in doubt, I don't repin an image.
Here are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind when pinning to your own boards, as well as to group boards.
Online recipe writers beware!
Recipes fall into a "grey" area with respect to copying. While photos and descriptions are copyrighted and cannot be copied without permission, lists of ingredients are not and can be copied. See the U.S. Copyright website for more details.
I am finding many websites that copy a picture of a recipe and then underneath, list the ingredients. They may include brief instructions, or they may copy the instructions from the original recipe. They may or may not include a link to the original source.
The problem with this is that they generally don't get permission to copy a photo and, since the ingredients are listed, very few people take the time to click on the link to the original recipe, if one is even provided.
People who repin from a site like this are unknowingly taking income away from the original author.
When you click on a pin, take a look at the page. Usually recipe writers will post a nice little story with their recipe and the website has information about the writer and maybe some pretty pictures.
The websites that copy these recipes are usually bland, with only a photo and ingredients.
If you think you've come across one of these websites, please click on the link to the original recipe, if it has been provided, and pin from the original recipe instead.
As an online recipe writer, I can assure you that it is extremely frustrating to come across a pin that is my photo, but leads to someone else's website.
Always click on the image and see where the link goes
- Sometimes that image will direct you to a suspicious link. Luckily Pinterest usually catches it and gives you the option of continuing to the website or not.
- Assuming the link takes you to the creator's website, check it out to see if the author has given permission to copy the image. Many websites expressly state that their work may not be copied without permission. That means, don't pin it.
- If an article or image has an option to pin, which many do, then it is ok. Better safe than sorry.
Don't pin hundreds of images at a time
I admit that I have been known to have marathon pinning sessions, but try not to do that all the time. People like to see images from all the people they follow.
This is especially true in group boards. In fact, many of them specifically state that you'll be removed from the board if you pin more than 10 images at a time.
Don't just pin your own articles
Pinterest is all about sharing so don't just pin your own articles. Eventually you'll be considered a spammer and you may lose followers.
Spread the love and pin other things too.
Pinterest group boards can be fun
Pinterest group boards can be fun and rewarding when used responsibly. Take a minute and try one out.
© 2013 Claudia Mitchell