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!


  1. All good reminders. I’m not really on Pinterest unless I want to find or save something. It’s probably not a good strategy.

    • Hi Bridget,
      I see you on Pinterest commenting on pins. I think that’s a good use of your time. Your comments stand out because hardly anyone does that. And it’s very social.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Thanks for sharing such great information Carol. I’m wondering about the consequences of deciding to remove pins occasionally for whatever reason.

    • Hi Patricia,
      I don’t see any negative consequences of removing pins–except if a pin has a lot of repins, then those links will be broken. But if a pin has no repins, you can remove it. Checking old pins every once in a while is a good idea because websites become outdated or are not renewed by their owners. It’s just a shame if a popular pin’s website is removed. And you’re welcome, Patricia!

  3. If I could get paid 10.00 for every repin , I could easily make a 1000 -2000 per week. I love pinning from a designers perspective , but being repined while flattering , it would be great if financially beneficial!

    • Hi Natalie,
      Wouldn’t that be perfect if we did get $10 per pin? Are you driving people to items they can buy? Even a small purchase could add up after awhile.

  4. Hi Carol,
    I stopped pinning for while , due to this reason . As a business, Pinterest is to help you brand and drive traffic to your site or other’s sites. I had to rethink how to pin , and still keep the formula I have now , which is pinning what inspires me as a designer , and shows how I arrive at what I do . The process becomes very transparent , and It’s not easy to strategize but worth to do it. I am floored and thankful at the number of repins in one day . Thankful for being able to test the waters to see if I am on the right track , and also help in figuring out my customer and what they like , I love pinterest , it is helpful on many levels….. but I believe you must do it right .
    Thanks To You Carol your blog really helps me see social media in a new light . I appreciate you !

  5. You definitely make Pinterest fun Carol. You saw me pinning this week and commented. A refreshing thing to have a conversation there! I pin to share a vision for our clients and to communicate ideas for my twitter chat (@KBtribechat). It’s not often I am engaged in real time on Pinterest but those interactions make social media alive.

    • Hi Stacy,
      Whenever I see someone pinning live that I know I try to engage them. Sometimes I think it startles them! :D Twitter chats are so fun, aren’t they? I guess that wouldn’t be so easy to do on Pinterest, though!
      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate that!

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