Five Things You’re Doing Wrong on Pinterest and How to Fix Them

Five Things You're Doing Wrong on Pinterest and How to Fix Them

Five Things You’re Doing Wrong on Pinterest and How to Fix Them


If you’re a business on Pinterest, then you probably would like to get more business. Am I right about that? And if you’re not getting any engagement on Pinterest, chances are you’re making one or more of these mistakes.

Not Clicking Through

What that means is keep clicking until you get to the other side of that pin. Where does it lead? Personally, I hate a dead end. And Pinterest now makes it easier than ever to see where a pin leads. You can hover over a pin and see the source. But occasionally, you’ll still wind up on a porn site or one that’s been blocked. You don’t want that happening on your own account, however.

Fix: Check every pin. Here’s a basic primer on how to pin.

Not Answering Comments?

Not Answering Comments?

Not Answering Comments

When people talk to you, answer them. If someone says hello to you in real life, you say hello back, right? Do the same thing on Pinterest! Especially if you’re just starting out. That doesn’t mean you need a 300-word reply to every single person, but a “thanks for stopping by!” or “glad you enjoyed the pin” go a long way toward having a truly social account.

Fix: Answer the people who bother to comment on your pins if at all possible. And if you’d like to know how to get comments, Tailwind has written a good article. (I like their advice to comment on others’ pins and you’ll get comments back.)

Not Filling Out Your Profile

It really doesn’t take that long to fill out your profile. Write down a few things about you or your brand, put in your website and your interests, and upload a picture. Having the red pushpin as your profile picture is a lot like having the egg pic on Twitter (you know who you are!).

Fix: Spend the ten minutes to fill out your profile before you get started.

Not Following 10,000 Accounts

Not Following 10,000 Accounts

Not Following 10,000 Accounts

Yes, everyone desperately wants followers. But pinning good content will really be better in the long run. Have a little patience. Look for good stuff that people want to see.

Fix: Pin more good content and follow just a few people at a time.

Would You Follow You?

Would You Follow You?

Would You Follow You?

I was thinking about this the other day, while fixated on a new DIY front door that I could make out of pallets and Mason jars (that’s a Pinterest joke). Would you follow you? That is, are you pinning high-quality articles, images, and videos that interest you? Are you putting in the time to craft great headlines that tell people what that article is about? If not, you might want to brush up on writing headlines.

Fix: Check out your competition. Could you do something that they do, if their Pinterest is getting more followers?


Social Media Worst Practices

Social Media Worst Practices

Social Media Worst Practices

You’ve probably gotten tons of fabulous great advice about how to do social media, but what about bad advice? Bad advice is rare right? Just joking! Sometimes bad advice is so bad that it can be good. Or at least, good for a big laugh! Here are some social media worst practices suggested by a few social media manager friends.

“Social media is a waste of time”

Haven’t heard this one since 2009, but there may be some who still believe it. My friend Heather Baker Steele (of Blue Steel Solutions) suggested this one.

“Automate Direct Messages in Twitter”

Send an auto DM to people right after they follow you thanking them–or asking them to “like” you on Facebook. Maybe back in the day people were able to pull this off successfully, but I haven’t seen anyone do a good job with an auto DM recently. This is one that I’ve heard personally.

“Just connect all your networks to Facebook, and schedule, and it will all get cross-posted. #FACEPALM

A beauty of a piece of bad advice, via Kirti Dwivedi, of Diya Marketing. What some people don’t know is that you can see when you cross-post. On Twitter, those posts show up with a shortened Facebook link. People know you’re not there, so they’re not very likely to follow you.

“Automate posts on Facebook (via 3rd party app) especially if you are strapped for time”

Ruby Rusine of Social Success Marketing sent that one. Did you know that it’s pretty easy to schedule from right within Facebook? No need to use a scheduler!

“Cross-Posting Can Save You a Lot of Time”

Yes, it can. You can save even more time if everyone unfollows you because your cross-posting annoys them! Because then you’ll only have a few followers, and fewer conversations.

Social Media Worst Practices: ROI on Every Tweet

Social Media Worst Practices: ROI on Every Tweet

“You Need a ROI on Every Tweet”

This one was submitted by friend Amy Donohue (@TheFabulousOne on Twitter). And yes, social media managers hear this one a lot. Some even try to micromanage Twitter by asking their social media managers to justify each tweet. See my post on how to demotivate employees for more information!

“We don’t need Twitter”

This one is pretty common, although most people then admit that they don’t understand Twitter. Another good one that Amy Donohue heard. And if you think Twitter is a waste of time…did you know that Amy donated her kidney because of a tweet? Take a look at the trailer for her movie, “Social Media Stole My Kidney.”

 “Buy followers to get your clients started.”

Another wonderful and terrible piece of advice heard by Kirti Dwivedi of Diya Marketing. If you want to know about reasons not to do this, see my previous post about buying fake followers and why it’s a bad idea.

Did you get any really good bad advice?

Was there any bad advice that made you laugh out loud? I’d love to hear it!

And thank you to all my social media manager friends for the bad advice!

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

Lately I’ve been running into a few people who are such perfectionists about their social media that they believe everything has to be perfect before they can make a single tweet. They listen in on conversations, don’t participate in tweetchats, and endlessly wring their hands over posts. Meantime, their social media is noticeably quiet. I’d really like to encourage you, if you’re one of these people, to get out there and start making some mistakes. Nobody’s going to like you any more or respect you if you wait around until everything is perfect.

Life Isn’t All Black or White

If your tweet, post, or pin has to be perfect in order for you to be worthy, then you need to knock it off. Get out there and do your best, but don’t spend ten times as long as everyone else getting it perfect. Simply adopting the mantra that you’re willing to be less than perfect goes a long way towards avoiding perfectionism.

Choose Your Social Media Battles

So maybe that tweet isn’t worth getting your undies all in a knot. Maybe spend more time writing that blog post. Or picking the right image for that post you’ll share.

In Ten Years, Will Anyone Care About That Tweet?

The point is to get some distance by using the filter of time. Even if you make a terrible mistake, will anyone remember in a year? Five years? Ten? Probably not.

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

You’ve heard this slogan, or read it in bumper sticker format on the back of a car. And like everyone else, it’s one thing to have the bumper sticker, and another thing to live by it.

You Can’t Please Everyone

Sometimes aphorisms are aphorisms because many people have the same issue. This is another one. Please yourself first and let the ones who disapprove fall away like autumn leaves.

Stop “One More Thingitis”

This is my personal one. When you have five minutes before you head out the door, do you start another project so you don’t waste that five minutes? That’s something I do. Then five minutes turns into ten. One more thingitis is part of perfectionism. It’s also rolled up into time management. It’s ok to do nothing (or just breathe) for that five minutes.

Don’t Tie Your Self-Worth to Your Work

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

This one is a little tougher to implement. Social media is part of your life, but there’s more to you. A lot more. Maybe deciding not to care comes with age, or having a few failures under your belt.

Ask Friends to Give You a Reality Check

I am blessed to have other social media managers as friends. Having a core group of people who can tell you when you’re too close to something can help you.

Be Kind to Yourself

Maybe you can be kind to other people, but how about being kind to yourself? Treat yourself like your own best friend and tell yourself what a best friend would say.


Laugh at yourself, kindly. I love this article from Tiny Buddy, The One Thing You Need to Overcome Perfectionism.

If you’re a perfectionist, is it hurting you or helping you?

Pinterest: How to Pin!

Pinterest: How to Pin!

Pinterest: How to Pin!

People keep asking me about how to pin, hence this post. If you missed it, you can read my post about the Biggest Mistakes to Make on Pinterest, as well as the Top Ten Tasks and Power Tips on Pinterest.

Pinterest: Don't pin things that are unavailable

Pinterest: Don’t pin things that are unavailable

Clicking Through

You see pretty things, pins about creating lamps out of mason jars and building doghouses from used pallets. Why not simply pin them? You see that beautiful painting? Maybe it’s already sold, and you’re sending someone to something like the above message. You could update your pin by saying it’s sold under the pin (and recommend other works by the same artist), or you could remove the pin altogether. Why? Because it’s considerate of your audience, which you wish to grow on Pinterest. And it creates trust when they click on something and what you say is there is there. Here’s a snazzy article about “5 Things Not to Repin on Pinterest,” which I enjoyed.

Pinterest: Don't send people to dead links

Pinterest: Don’t send people to dead links







Pinterest: Don't you love finding one of these behind a pin?

Pinterest: Don’t you love finding one of these behind a pin?


Dead Links

Sometimes websites are updated and links change. Something might have moved. If you find one of these above two messages, you can go in and change the website that your pin points to by clicking on the little pencil. Your audience will appreciate not finding a 404: Not found error message behind that beautiful pin. Or, if you love the image, you can say “Image only” to let people know there’s nothing more. If you have a choice, though, choose the one with a permalink that goes to the actual thingamajig. For instance, if there’s a gorgeous cake, wouldn’t you like the recipe? What if someone leaves the cake out in the rain? Oh my goodness! I’m cracking myself up! Seriously, don’t make people dig around on a huge recipe site searching for that cake recipe. They will curse you as they drive to the store to buy a cake.


Pinterest: Sometimes there are spammy links behind pretty pictures

Pinterest: Sometimes there are spammy links behind pretty pictures


You know that cute teddy bear party, where they’re all having tea in the meadow and the one in the tutu is pouring? Sometimes bad people put spam behind those cute pictures. Or porn. Please don’t send all the kids and their moms to those sites when they want more info about the teddy bear picnic. Instead, report those spammers! Kids want bears, not bares!

What to Say?

You know what not to pin, but what should you say? I like to think of Pinterest as a mini-Google. Actually, it’s better than Google, in my opinion, because it’s image-driven search. So think about your audience. What are they looking for? Say that!

Tell People What to Expect

If you click through and there’s only an image, tell people that. If there are lots of pictures on the site, say that. Describe the pin a little bit. Here’s an example.

Pinterest: How to Pin!

Pinterest: How to Pin!

If someone is searching for “tiny house with rooftop terrace,” chances are they’d find this pin. On the other hand, if you say “cute,” how many people are searching for the word “cute”? Odds are, not very many. So describe your pin and your chances of being found will be greater. I could even add the word “brick house,” or “wooden deck,” and more people would probably find this pin.

When pinning, add your own personality to a pin

When pinning, add your own personality to a pin

Add Context

Adding your own personality makes a pin much more attractive. You could cut and paste a description (better than nothing), but adding your perspective gives people another reason to follow you. For instance, the article above is all about bad examples of tiny homes (made out of pallets!), which I found funny, because personally I don’t understand the make-stuff-out-of-pallets craze, either.

How Do You Like to Pin?

Did I leave anything out? Please let me know in the comments below! Thanks!

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn


This is the fourth and final way to fail on the biggest social media platforms. If you missed the others, here they are:

LinkedIn has survived in Social Media Land almost longer than any other platform. It’s there quietly behind the scenes, ready for when you want to make new connections. There are roughly 300 million people on LinkedIn. If you’d like to read more statistics, you might want to read this interesting compendium of 100 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics.

No picture

Do you connect with people who have no photo? Neither do most people. Also, with a photo, people are much more likely to view your profile. As on other platforms, people think that you’re not “all in” if you don’t have a photo. If you really still think you don’t need a photo, read this article on Huffington Post, 5 Reasons You Must Have a Photo on LinkedIn.

Saying you did something you didn’t

Why would someone do this if they could get caught so easily? Were you really an astronaut AND a brain surgeon during college? Ok. I believe you.

No original content

It’s hard to imagine, but some people have stolen other people’s words. If you’re not good with words, there are many people who are good with words who can help you. Ask your friends. Or do a search for editors! You’re sure to find someone.

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn

Don’t finish your profile

What about those people who stop writing right in the middle of a sente…?

Asking for testimonials from strangers

Have you ever had this happen? You just got connected with someone and they ask for a testimonial! You’ve never worked with them before, and only met them at an event a couple of times. Don’t be that guy.

Don’t have connections

You can still make connections with people even if you’re not looking for a job.

Only connect to people you know personally

You don’t have to have lunch with someone five times before you connect with them on LinkedIn. Really.

Spelling errors

See, “No original content,” above. An editor can help. Use a spell checker if you don’t have the time or money to hire an editor.

Sending spam

If you immediately ask people to buy from you, that’s spammy. Whether it’s an auto-DM on Twitter, or a private message on Facebook, most people won’t engage with you if you do that.

Never posting

People want to know what you think, so posting an article, even occasionally, helps them see what your interests are.

What LinkedIn mistakes have you seen?

Leave me a message in the comments! Thank you!

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: Facebook

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: Facebook

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: Facebook


This is the third in my series of four on the ten ways to fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms. You can go back and read the ones on Pinterest or Twitter if you’d like. By the way, here’s an excellent article about Five of the Biggest Facebook Mistakes and how to Fix Them.

1. Crosspost from Twitter using hashtags.

Use tons and boatloads of hashtags. People love them! Make up your own private jokes using hashtags. For extra points, use random words. For instance, #SuperCaliFragilisticalSpaceShip. See how random that is? And how long, too?!

2. Steal content

Pretend that the cool article you just found is yours. Steal the post and don’t say where you got it! Deny everything if accused. Don’t forget to remove the artist’s signature off that artwork, too! (This has happened to me more than once, by the way.) After all, if it’s on the Internet, it’s meant to be taken and used!

3. Post when no one’s there

Can’t sleep in the middle of the night? That’s a great time to post! Don’t take advantage of Facebook’s native scheduler. Don’t save that post for later, either.

4. Don’t post at all

Don’t have any opinions ever and don’t “like” or comment on any one else’s posts. That’s a good strategy.

5. Never use images

Plain text rocks! Especially when you’re ranting. Use a lot of run-on sentences so you can go on. And on. In fact, a whole paragraph with no line breaks is the best of all.

6. Don’t reply

When people comment, ignore them. Be mysterious. Be cryptic. But don’t answer any questions or comments.

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: Facebook

Ten Ways to Fail on the Biggest Social Media Platforms: Facebook

7. Post and run

Like a hit-and-run accident, a post and run works best when your friends and fans feel like they’ve witnessed a car crash. Post when you only have five minutes left and you’re about to go on vacation. That’s how you appear to be even more mysterious. If you do reply, wait until you’re back from vacation (in two or three weeks).

8. Don’t invite your friends to like your page

They probably wouldn’t like it anyway. Would they? And if you don’t tell them about it, they won’t ever have to know! That will save a lot of work.

9. Don’t have a business page

Post all your business stuff on your personal page. Your friends won’t mind. That’s what friends are for!

10. Make your posts private.

Don’t let anyone see what you’re talking about. You can also have posts where you address just one person.

What failures have you seen on Facebook?

I really do love failures. Here are a few more, in this article from Business to Community, 7 Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes. Without calling anyone out, let me know what really great failures, mistakes, and belly flops you’ve seen on Facebook!


Ten Ways to Fail with the Biggest Social Media Platforms: Pinterest

Ten Ways to Fail with the Biggest Social Media Platforms Pinterest

Ten Ways to Fail with the Biggest Social Media Platforms Pinterest


This is the second in a four-part series on ten ways to fail on social media platforms. If you missed the first one on Twitter, read it here.

You’ve had a presence on Pinterest for a few months or years, yet nothing seems to happen. The pins seem to languish on abandoned boards, with no one liking or repinning any of them. Your three followers don’t pay any attention to what you pin. If you set out to fail, you’re in luck! Here are more ideas about ways to fail!

Don’t pin anything

Why doesn’t anyone follow you even if you have no pins or boards? Aren’t they your friends? Don’t people owe you that much at least?

Fix: Get pinning!

Ugly pins

Some of the ugliest pins, to me, are the failed Do it Yourself projects. So if you have something that doesn’t look quite right, why not take a picture of that and pin it? Better still, make it the board cover! No adorable, beautiful, or funny pictures for you!

Fix: Make your pins beautiful, useful, funny and adorable. Here are some thoughts on making beautiful board covers, by the way.

Put everything on one board

Why do you need so many boards, anyway? Why not have one humongous board called “Stuff I like a lot for many different reasons!!!!” and put everything there? Why not, indeed?

Fix: Create a few different boards to organize your pins.

All your pins look the same

Variety is so overrated. You can easily pin the same pin over and over. And over.

Fix: Think about the person coming to your account. Then act accordingly.

Steal pins and identities

Ten Ways to Fail with Pinterest

Ten Ways to Fail with Pinterest

If you find an account you like, pin everything from that account. Don’t change the descriptions of the pins, and use the same names for the boards, too. Better still, create accounts with other people’s names and pretend you’re them. Celebs like having “fans.”

Fix: Nobody likes a thief, so don’t be one. Here’s a great article (see number six on his list, “Don’t Steal Someone Else’s Board.”

100 pins, then nothing

When you can’t sleep, get on Pinterest and pin. A lot. Nobody who follows you will be annoyed by all those pins of cute hedgehogs, right?

Fix: If you must pin, pin to a secret board. Then, when you’re more awake, move those pins a little at a time, to other boards.

No descriptions

A period (“.”) is the best description. Or you could also use a slash (“/”). Both are equally descriptive.

Fix: Tell us what we’re seeing. And don’t say something like, “Jeff would like this.” Unless we’re a close friend, we don’t know who Jeff is!

No fun

Make sure everyone knows your opinion. Repeat it many times and use a lot of exclamation marks!!!

Fix: Modulate your voice a little bit. Unless you’re a celebrity, people don’t like ranting.

Pins that link to Spam or Malware

Nobody’s going to actually click on that pin. Are they?

Fix: Click all the way through the pin to see where it goes. There are some not-very-nice people on the Internet. Here is Andrea Eldridge’s Article about 12 Mistakes You Are Probably Making On Pinterest.

Seen any good fails lately?

Have any made you laugh? Have any made you cry? Have any made you shout? Leave me your opinion, please! Thank you!

Social Media: New Ways to Fail!

Social Media: New Ways to Fail!

Social Media: New Ways to Fail!

You got on Twitter, but you don’t tweet. You won’t show your face on Facebook, your Pinterest has a bunch of boards without any pins, and forget about Google Plus! There’s absolutely too much to do, and you don’t have enough time to goof around on the Interwebz. Does that sound like you? It actually sounds like a lot of people. There are so many ways to fail, and here are some more in case you haven’t tried these.

Ignore People

When people send you a tweet or tag you on Facebook, don’t respond. Turn off all notifications (what a nuisance!) and pretend not to notice anybody.

Post Once a Month

Post about 2,000 times once a month. Then stop until the same time next month. Calendar it now!

Use Broadcast Mode

Send out your messages continuously, and use UPPER CASE. And lots of punctuation marks!!!!!!!!! People love it when they think you’re yelling!

Don’t Say Anything

Alternately, adopt radio silence. Make like a cricket.

Stalk People

Post embarrassing pictures of your friends on Facebook without asking them and then tag them so that all their friends will see how great they look when they’re drunk and punching a cop in the face. When they ask you about it, laugh. If they ask you to take them down, say “why? you look so good!”

Steal Content

Take other people’s content and pretend it’s yours. When someone politely asks you to stop sharing your content, ignore them.

Be Boring

Make every story sound exactly like the last one. And the next one. And the one after that.


Use your tweets on Facebook, your Pinterest pins on Instagram, and act hurt when nobody comments on your things.

101 Dalmations

Post only pictures of dogs, nothing else. Or if you’re not into dogs, how about cookie jars? Or old spoons? Everybody finds fire hydrants as fascinating as you do!


Ranting is a wonderful way to fail

Ranting is a wonderful way to fail

Are you a member of the aluminum foil hat brigade? Let your freak flag fly and rant endlessly about aliens, conspiracies, the government, the other political party, how ObamaCare has failed, and so on. Here are some of the benefits and down sides of ranting.

What New Ways Have You Found to Fail?

Are you as amazed as I am at all the creative ways people find to fail? Let me know about it in the comments!

WordCamp San Francisco: Part 2


WordCamp San Francisco 2013: Part Two

WordCamp San Francisco 2013: Part Two

By now you might realize how awesometastic WordCamp San Francisco is. If you don’t, you might want to read my first post about WordCamp San Francisco. Helpful and friendly people, volunteers everywhere, delightful bling…but wait! There’s more!

Happiness Engineers

Right at the top of my list goes the amiable and accessible Bryan Villarin (@bryan on Twitter), Happiness Engineer at Automattic. I have to say that chatting with Bryan was my most favorite “session” of WordCamp. I’d been having a problem with scraping on my blog, and he explained a few different things I could do, such as a Google search for unique sentences from my blogpost. And the next day he introduced me to the Automattic “Dotcom Protector,” Jenny Zhu, who was well versed in content theft as well.

Nom Nom Nom

WordCamp San Francisco Lunch Buffet

WordCamp San Francisco Lunch Buffet

Feeding 700 people is a big job, and doing it well is something like magic; the buffet was way beyond the usual sandwiches and pizza. There was no pushing, and everyone had a place to sit and many choices, including vegetarian ones.

Six Stories of Joy and Despair

My favorite session at #WCSF was Natalie Mac’s.  I love reading about failure (especially really atrocious ones), so I was excited to hear about this session. The worst failures contain the seeds of success. Who said that? Was it me? Or did I unconsciously steal it from someone? Anyway, there’s nothing like a good failure, and for some reason startup people love failure. Natalie Mac did not disappoint. The story of Lloyd, who didn’t want anyone contacting him through his website, was a particular crowd favorite. (If you’d like to know about first steps for startups on social media, that’s the subject of another post.)

The Venue

The Mission Bay Conference Center is a tall-ceilinged place with bright colored walls and long clean angles, perfect for WordCamp.

O2 is the New P2

Beau Lebens talk on O2 was another favorite. With 80% of Automattic’s internal communications now being held in P2, it holds the promise of being used as the internal communications system for many companies. Apparently, Automattic employees rarely use email any more. I love the different threads of conversations that P2 enables, the transparency of the interface, and the searchable format. And the play on words–“Communication is the new oxygen” made the new moniker perfect!

Have a Favorite Story from WordCamp?

I’d love to hear your favorite story. Who did you meet at WordCamp? Let me know in the comments! Thanks!



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