Exercising more, eating less, traveling outside the country and actually contributing to your savings account all sound like great New Year’s resolutions. If only you could find motivation online to help you get started.
Dust off that Pinterest account! All those gorgeous pictures of toned abs, skinny chocolate muffins and rooftop infinity pools can certainly inspire you to get off the couch and into the gym/healthy food store/passport office.
That is, until you realize that the eat-whatever-you-want-and-still-lose-weight recipe leads to a weight-loss product ad, the cute DIY bedroom photo leads to a Google image search results page, and the work out plan for that six-pack you want doesn’t lead anywhere at all because the link is broken. Ack!
Perhaps your first resolution this year could be avoiding these Pinterest pet peeves:
Not checking the pin’s original source: This is probably the most common complaint among Pinterest users (see afore-mentioned examples). Yes, it is easier to simply “re-pin now and use later” without actually clicking through to the original link, but think about how annoyed you will be when you do finally click on the photo of those kale chips only to realize the recipe isn’t actually available.
Solution: For re-pins, the obvious choice would be to actually click on the photo and see where it takes you. If you land on the desired URL, re-pin away. If not, like the photo instead. You can always view your likes in your profile. For original pins, be sure to pin the photo from an individual post, as opposed to the home page of the site.
Captions that leave more to be desired: .
See how a period doesn’t help explain this point at all? Same with pin captions. So please be considerate and include a caption, but make them short and sweet — no copying and pasting of “another pinner’s” life story (thank goodness for the 500-character limit).
Solution: Do explain why you re-pinned a photo of a random bedroom (is it the clever use of corners? The eclectic furniture design? The overall color palette?), but don’t go overboard. The point of the gorgeous photo of the cheesy bacon cornbread you just pinned is to entice users to actually click through to the original website, so leave the full recipe on the blog, not in the caption. And please reserve all those hashtags for Twitter and Instagram.
Read more: 'At least we tried:' #PinterestFails
Don’t abuse the promotional power of Pinterest: Yes, Pinterest is a wonderful tool to market your brand and increase traffic to your site, but there is no need to pin every photo from each blog post. We don’t need to see every inch of your outfit of the day or your homemade Nutella brownies.
Solution: A good rule of thumb is pinning 1-2 photos from each blog post, even if the photos aren’t various angles of the same outfit/dish.
Hitting the re-pin button more than once when pinning on a mobile device: You know how you wouldn’t dare hit the confirm button more than once when paying your credit card bill online? Same principle applies here.
Solution: Yes, it is annoying when your phone is in a horrible Wi-Fi spot (like your bathroom) and takes forever to re-pin the photo of that gorgeous hotel-like master bath, but if you’re not sure whether your pin posted or not, just double check your profile. If it did post more than once, delete the repeat pins.
Pinning every single detail of your wedding: Although not scientifically proven, it was undoubtedly the wedding industry that helped Pinterest explode in popularity. It’s also the reason secret boards were invented (also not scientifically proven).
Solution: It’s fine to share some of your wedding ideas with the Pinterest world, but if you’d like to document every detail of your bridesmaids’ outfits, please use a secret board. Bonus: It will help keep your guests actually excited about attending your wedding, since they won’t be walking into an as-seen-on-Pinterest reception.
Sharing all your pins on Facebook: I just, I can’t even…
Solution: We get it: Pinterest is addictive. It’s also a wonderful time waster, as is Facebook. Let’s try our very best not to combine the two so we can have a somewhat productive work day/weekend.
Now that you’ve mastered your online inspiration, get back to those non-digital resolutions.