Warning…social media thieves are on the loose on Pinterest!
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I am passionate about helping people leverage the power of social media. I’ve built my own business from the ground up over the years harnessing the strength of social media to reach my ideal, targeted client. From this experience, I’ve built my coaching programs to teach other people how to build and grow their own businesses using the power of social media.
It’s my passion and my joy. And I love sharing the knowledge I’ve gained along the way, helping you decrease the learning curve. It is amazing to empower my coaching clients to do in mere months what it first took me years to learn on my own.
Anyone who knows me knows that I believe, “You Can Do Social Media!” But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
And if your expertise involves electronically stealing the work of others and passing it off as your own, it’s definitely the wrong way.
Earlier this week, one of my social media apprentices discovered that many of her original pins on Pinterest had been edited. The person who had edited them had redirected the URLs to go to her own site – a “social media expert” site. My apprentice started looking at the rest of the pins this so-called expert had edited. Some of my pins had been redirected, as well as several other well-known social media bloggers and authorities within the social world.
While it’s sad to think it happens, there are unscrupulous people on social media, just like everywhere else. And they find ever new ways to steal the work of others and pass it off as their own.
3 Lessons You Can Learn From Pinterest Thieves:
Just Don’t Do It!
You’d think this is obvious, right? The beauty of Pinterest for marketing purposes is that it allows people to browse topics of interest, see compelling images, and click to go right to the images’ sources. Simple and effective. Directing pins to your own site rather than the pin’s creator is a form of theft. Stealing is still wrong. Period. Moral issues aside, it’s also risky business when (not if) you get caught. The same viral capability of social media that makes popular pins go viral makes it very easy to ensure everyone knows who the frauds are within a matter of minutes.
Check Your Pins!
It’s so easy to set it and forget it when it comes to your pins. But this is exactly what pin thieves are hoping for – that you won’t go in and check the URLs your pins are directed to. When you go in to Pinterest to check what’s popular and which pins are getting repinned (you do check your pins, right?), you also need to periodically check the URLs your pins are pointing to.
Vetting Your Social Media “Experts”
This is key for businesses hiring social media managers and consultants. It’s so easy for anyone to use the title “expert” these days. Especially online. But just because someone has decent branding and a few good articles, it’s important to ask around. Talk to prior clients. Take a look at their pins on Pinterest. Search their handle on Twitter. Look for recommendations on LinkedIn. Cross check multiple platforms to make sure their social media presence is comprehensive and consistent.
Why Pinterest Theft Matters Beyond Just You (and Me)
The ability to redirect pins on Pinterest makes the site vulnerable to spammers and thieves, and one that Pinterest hopefully will correct in its next update. This weakness makes it huge issues, one much bigger just protecting your work or my work.
Because of the trust we all have to have when clicking links on any social media platform.
Think about it. The massive growth that Pinterest has experienced in a few short years has been nothing short of phenomenal. But if we all stop trusting, we’ll all stop clicking.
And if we all stop clicking and pinning, it will be the death of the site called Pinterest.
Oh my! More work to keep up with! Thanks for the heads up Kim.
Just a quick spot check from time to time to make sure all your links are still your own 😉
You can definitely put a watermark on your graphics IF you don’t want people sharing them. In other words, they are copyrighted material that you do not want passed around. Photographers, artists, etc. have work that they do not want others passing off as their own. If, however, it is a quote or a blog title graphic, I would not watermark. This article is dealing with linkage, not the actual photos.
It's very sad to hear that this is happening, but it's not surprising. As you said, there are unscruplulous people out there and those people are always looking for the quickest and easiest way to get from A to Z. Stealing others content is often their preferred method. Such a shame.
Yes, it is a shame and so many don’t even realize it’s happening; hence the article.
Agree totally Steve!
Thanks for the comments Sanjeev! Glad you found some value in the article.
Great article and great point about how this matter affects the trust element that makes this social media world go round.
So true… appreciate you stopping by Raquel!