With the advent of the Pinterest craze I wanted to give you a heads up about some really important rules to consider when using Pinterest to promote yourself and others. As a small business owner you have a little more at stake than just personal embarrassment that being accused of plagiarism could cause, you have an entire business to think about!
First, be sure and read the fine print that Pinterest gives you regarding etiquette, rules and legalities. That alone will give you a lot to think about. In addition, to help you here are some easy tips to make using Pinterest easy and less stressful while the legal eagles figure everything else out.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
You know how you have to get permission to use various photographs on your blog? You spend money buying photos from istockphotos.com, or you take the pictures yourself, or you pay someone to provide images that you have a legal right to use? Well, using Pinterest is no different. You must give credit where credit is due. You need to have permission to use a photograph from the owner, have bought the rights, or taken the photo yourself.
Usually, if you have permission to use the photo there may be a watermark on the photo giving credit to the photographer, if not, make sure you credit the photographer in your description, or add it to the photo on the corner. If you purchased the rights then follow the rules provided by the person or business you bought the rights from. If you take a photo yourself, and you want to protect it, add your own watermark to the photo so that when it is shared that watermark goes with it. Consider having a URL in the watermark!
Be PG-13 Rated
Always consider the age appropriateness of any pin and follow the rules provided by Pinterest regarding any disallowed content such as nudity, whether it's pornography or not and "hate speech". You can join Pinterest at age 13, so your content should be appropriate for anyone over that age. Also, consider the demographics of Pinterest at any given time. As of today, most of the users are mothers between 28 and 44. As the popularity grows that could change so keep aware so that you don't offend your audience.
Use Accurate Descriptions & Keywords
Don't try to trick people searching for things on Pinterest by putting descriptions or keywords that have nothing to do with your pins. What's the point? Once someone is tricked they'll just be mad, instead use accurate and appropriate keywords and descriptions of all your pins.