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Stop Ruining Pinterest for Everyone Who Loves It

by Marian Schembari on February 14, 2012

You know that obnoxious habit when you mention something new to a friend and they respond with “yeah, I heard about that ages ago” and you want to punch them in the mouth for being such a know-it-all? Well, everyone who’s been using Pinterest is starting to feel that way (re: we are the annoying know-it-all) now all the big marketing blogs are talking about it like they’ve discovered the Americas. (p.s. I’m not going to explain what Pinterest is. Go here if you want the details.)

Even though I work in marketing, I’m getting increasing frustrated at the industry’s new perspective of Pintrest…

  • Like this article that tells us “everything we need to know” but only actually tells us how to pimp your content to increase traffic.
  • Or this TechCrunch post that says Pinterest hasn’t yet reached its full potential because the audience is mostly women. (I wish I were kidding.)

And I’m not the only one. Pinterest lovers are annoyed because they’re all addicts. We’re all addicts. And I’m getting increasingly worried about sponsored pins, spam and generic crap being regurgitated into the webisphere.

That said, a) there’s nothing you nor I can do about it and b) there is opportunity because Pintrest is the best thing to happen to the internet since The Evolution of Dance. So I’m hoping with this post I can help the world use Pintrest for good instead of evil.

Here are some examples of companies on Pinterest, including what they do perfectly and who could use some work:


If Modcloth were a woman these boards would be everything she’d pin, making it as personal and personable as possible. It’s easily the best example of a brand on Pinterest.

Favorite Board: Behind the Stylebooks

Everyone loves a little behind-the-scenes, but Modcloth stands apart by showing what inspired their stylebooks, including typography, copy and vintage advertisements.


A SparkNotes version of their website with awesome projects, design and food inspiration. While I’d usually consider this much HGTV content spammy, skimming through their projects in Pinterest-format is easier to digest.

Favorite Board: Mint Green: Color of the Month

This board gives you design ideas they might never have thought of under the umbrella of creative color.

The Travel Channel

What’s more inspirational than travel photos? The Travel Channel have organized their boards into different locations, with a few behind-the-scenes from their shows.

Favorite Board: Travel Finds

Travel Finds is a mash-up of inspirational travel quotes and nifty gadgets. It’s not too refined or particularly extensive, but that’s what I like about it.

Serious Eats

While the Serious Eats account is filled with gorgeous photos and dish ideas, they could do an even better job if they created other food-related boards like kitchen gadgets, restaurants, reviews and products they love.

Favorite Board: Booze-free drinks

Serious Eats organizes their boards  just like a cookbook! They have boards like Pasta and Noodles, Mexican, and Cocktails, as well as boards for events like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s.


Again, too product heavy, but stationery company Kikki.k does a decent job showing products in action. Their board featuring gorgeous workspaces makes me want to run right out and buy all their products. Nicely played, Kikki.k. Mission accomplished.

Favorite Board: Journal Prompts

Based off Kikki.k’s popular journals, this board features writing prompts. I love the concept, but the photos aren’t sexy enough to get much traction. If they really wanted to get some attention, they should use a kick ass graphic designer to mock up the prompts with some simple and unique typography.

So how do you use Pinterest without ruining it for those who adore it?

First of all, don’t jump on the bandwagon just because Mashable tells you to.

The one thing keeping me sane about the Pinterest explosion is that if you start spamming people or your content isn’t pretty enough, you’ll never getting your stuff repinned. Meaning right now (for now) its hard to game the system.

So since the site is mostly used for inspiration, if you have a blog about blogging you might be shit out luck. While I might create a board for my travels or the books I’ve read just to test it out, if you ever catch me trying to pimp my content you have my full permission to take me out back and shoot me.

What do you think, are your panties in a knot over brands finally discovering Pinterest? Have you ever even heard of it before? Could you care less?


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