Danger Will Robinson! Think Before You Pin!

Real Estate Agent with Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd IA100052670

Danger Will Robinson! Think Before You Pin!

Pinterest Safe Pinning rules can help you from making BIG mistakes with copyright violations.

So many social media sites and so little time!

Learning yet another social media platform is almost too much for anyone today.  It seems like we just get comfortable with how things run on facebook, twitter or Google+ and they change the format along the rules so it's like a never ending journey of new information. I am sorry to say this is the norm and in the 21st century as the Cosmic Shift Happens this is just the way things are going to run, constant change. 

We are living in a beta test world and the destination is yet to be determine so strap in, learn the rules, buckle up and hang on. 

Read this post on how 11 huge brands are using Pinterest.  I have a breaking story about Kate Spade and her team pinning a Martha Stewart  St. Patrick's Day straw and forgetting to give her credit or link back to her blog post.  Now this could be a SERIOUS copyright issue which you should be aware of.  It might be gone on Pinterest by the time I publish this post however, it was there at publishing and you can see the screen shots below. 

Kate Spade Pinterest Board

This is the first in a series of posts on Pinterest, both the good and the bad. Take the time to read about different venues and decide after doing your own research if a platform works for you or not. 

In the blogosphere there are many types of bloggers with individual styles who have similar messages however, their information is presented in a different way some you will like this and some of you won't.  Pinterest has taken on a love/hate position with many involved in social media so this post is to share the WARNINGS and DANGERS involved at Pinterest taking place right now with HUGE players possibly not understanding the rules.  Therefore .. please take some time to read the links for more powerful information and learn for yourself how you might be able to use this platform to share your message.  Don't let FEAR take away something that could possibly be fun and profitable if you KNOW and USE the rules found in all copyright situations. 

Pinterest appears to be the latest greatest new fad taking off faster than facebook or google+ during the same initial beta releases.  Inman Next has done several webinars showing how real estate agents can use Pinterest in their business to connect with people.  Follow the Inman link to see the webinar and what they are sharing about Pinterest.  If you create your own blog posts, you take your own pictures and know your community and what it has to offer this is the perfect place for you to share that information that YOU create yourself.  You can link to your community websites and pin activities to help the consumer find out more about your neighborhood through Pinterest.

Pinterest is VISUAL, it's fun and you can spend hours clicking on the photos (whien linked to correctly posted) websites where you can learn all about something you are interested in.  The graphics are what stimulate the desire to find out more about the picture and what it represents. Your mission, should you accept it, is to provide beautiful photos of your area and homes so that people will want to click through the picture and see what you are selling, contact you and a relationship has been established.  Important note:  Check with your Broker about your company listing agreements and how they are handling marketing in social media and if photos of their home will be allowed on the Internet.  The TOS or Terms Of Service of different platforms might be shared with the seller but checking with your Broker for you company policy is a MUST before posting or pinning anywhere on the Internet. 

If you are taking your own photos to market a home then use the pictures to SELL the property.  Think about not getting so concerned with FEAR that someone is going to take your picture.  Your job is to SELL the house not worry about the picture.  Thiefs are going to be thiefs, if they want your photo they are just going to find a way to get it. Put your name on the photos or watermark them and it will keep honest people honest just like a lock on a door.  If someone wants to get in they will figure out a way to do it.

The GOOD news is learning is less than an hour investment in time to figure out how Pinterest works and how fun it is. 

The BAD news is you can get in real copyright trouble if you are pinning photos and images that are not yours and have not been approved for pinning... so learning the rules of "proper pinning" is of up most importance.

Advertising Lawyer Shares How Brands Can Use Pinterest Without Breaking the Law.  He says:

"We're not going to kid you, this risk reduction strategy will significantly limit your ability to pin and re-pin contentKate Spade Pinterest Board found on Pinterest to your company's brand page. But unfortunately the way consumers are currently using Pinterest just isn't the same way that your brand will likely be able to use it, given that a brand's commercial use will be much more attractive to potential plaintiffs. Pinterest attempts to limit its own legal liability by providing in its terms that users are only supposed to post or pin content that they own or that they have the right to post. From a practical matter, this may give Pinterest some legal protection, but the same legal protections will not likely protect your brand page since you are directly pinning the images"

Another helpful article shared by American Express talks about how a small business can be damaged by Pinterest so reading it is all part of the learning curve which will help you determine whether you want to participate or not based on your own investigations. 

The rest of the Kate Spade pinterest board story..... I read the post  on how 11 big brands were using Pinterest and saw them talk about Kate Spade and her boards.  I went to the boards and found a cute St.Patrick's Day Straw in an orange soda.  I did pin it and saw the message from Martha Stewart's team letting her know that the pin should link back to their website.   The link went to a tumblr site with Martha's Straws. I deleted my re-pin from the Kate Spade board and went to Martha's site to pin where she had the "pin it" link for anyone to pin and link back to her page.  This could possibly be a genuine copyright violation because they took the graphic without the link back to the original post.  If the big guys are doing this and it certainly could have been an unfortunate mistake, it is a red flag that others could be doing it in ignorance.  PLEASE be careful as there is DANGER Will Robinson.  The same photo had been re-blogged on Tumbler 158 times and each person was linking the Martha Stewart graphic to their own websites.  THAT is a NO NO. 

Bottom line is to be careful with what you are re-pinning and making sure it links back to the source and you have the right to re-pin. 

 If you want to share you content install a "Pin it" button and people can pin away.  Martha Stewart had the pin it button right on her site and it would have been so easy for the Kate Spade team to just use that button.  Maybe a team member saw the shamrock straws on Tumbler and had no clue they were Martha's straws...... you see how convoluted this can get.  Just be careful and look for the "pin it" buttons when pinning content that is not yours. 

            Martha Stewart blog

More articles on the "Everything Pinterest" board with both the good and the bad of what is going on today with Pinterest.


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lori Dee Doerfler 03/14/2012 02:00 AM
  2. Monica Hess 03/14/2012 11:29 PM
  3. Kim Carlson 480-993-9384 03/18/2012 01:19 AM
  4. Winston Heverly 09/11/2012 01:06 PM
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Starr Black
Concord, NC
REALTOR-Concord, Charlotte, NC (RE/MAX Leading Edg

I'm beginning to feel like I'm in information overload.  I just recently got onto Pinterest for fun, not even for business.  I haven't even thought of using it, AND I certainly never thought about what I was pinning.  Thankfully, I have only put up pins from the original sites.  Thanks so much for putting it out there so that we're all more careful.


Mar 14, 2012 04:31 AM #50
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

I've popped onto Pinterest a few times and looked at some photos, but re-pinning makes me uncomfortable, so I probably wont be taking advantage of that - at least for awhile. And when I take photos, I'm not sure I want to lose control of them.  I have had some of mine show up in some odd places after I posted them here on AR.  I think I'd lose all control if I put them on Pinterest.

Mar 14, 2012 05:11 AM #51
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, Keller William Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Lead Associate Broker

I enjoy following other people's pinterest photos and ideas, but I am not taking the risk of piining anything unless the website has the pintereste logo on that page.

Mar 14, 2012 06:12 AM #52
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

I haven't yet used Pinterest for real estate, although what you've explained is exactly what I had in mind for my main areas I work in.  I've mainly been repinning gluten-free websites, recipes, etc. for myself and was shocked to see I already have followers even though I don't visit much.

I am seeing more "Pin it" or "Pin this" buttons on other blogs and websites, so that makes it really easy to share since they're asking us to do so.  Yet another icon link I need to add to my blog posts on my multiple blogs and websites.

I have never thought of just pinning a photo of something (even my own) - I would only post the entire post with the url intact, but I haven't been motivated to do that yet.  I'm finding enough good stuff within Pinterest to repin - and everything I've repinned has a link to the blog/site it came from.

Mar 14, 2012 06:42 AM #53
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

I didn't know about Pinterest. Thank you for sharing this word of caution.

Mar 14, 2012 07:15 AM #54
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Sorry I only use my own pictures, no copyright issues. I will be ignoring Pinterest also. Have enough issues with AR.

Mar 14, 2012 10:11 AM #55
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

Thanks to everyone.. sorry for the delay in getting back to you but we had to make an emergency trip to Colorado.. everything is under control now and I can respond... Good dialog going on here.  Thank you.


@Sally & David Hanson  ~  Take your time.  Your own content keeps you out of trouble.

@Dale ~  Words to live by!  Warm sunshine back to you. 

@Ginny ~  It takes a lot longer to check each pin and make sure they link back to the original photo or post.... so don't worry about adding this if you are busy!  Just keep doing what is working!

@Terry ~  It is a fine line and you are walking it perfectly!

@Kathryn ~  Perfect.. you know what is working for you.. don't add more! 

@Aubrey ~  Thank you... I work hard to keep up on the new changes.. I really do like it and especially enjoy sharing!  See you in the Cosmos!

@Gene ~  You and Marilyn are doing a great job.  I have re-pinned some of your valuable content!  You have it exactly right.  "I think it can be a novel and fun way to get my business message out there ... care just needs to be taken ..."  You already have the content from your posts so adding your own photos makes it interesting and the information is important.  Did you see the home boards are the #1 pinned boards... so what does that say.. People are pinning anything that has to do with the home.  Thank you so much for the suggestion.. sincerely appreciate it!



Mar 15, 2012 12:52 PM #56
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Makes a lot of sense!  The pins are fun, but we really need to understand what we are doing and not just go pin crazy!  Who exactly do these photos belong to??

Mar 17, 2012 10:18 PM #57
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Carra,

I have this post bookmarked! Your points are well taken..the laws of copywriting are always in place..thanks for the reminder not to go pin happy!!

Mar 17, 2012 10:29 PM #58
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

I need to explore the site more, I've seen it and it seems fun but you scare me a bit! I guess it be causious, live and learn.

Mar 18, 2012 01:06 AM #59
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

It's a complicated world with all this social media but I do think pinterist is worth our time/effort. 

Mar 18, 2012 11:00 AM #60
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Carra, thanks for pointing out the potential copyright issues with Pinterest! I haven't dabbled into it yet, but if I do, it will be just for fun...like for dog stuff, recipes, yoga, etc. :)


Mar 18, 2012 02:19 PM #61
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

Finally back to the computer... I am sure you all understand when personal issues take the front burner...

Thank you for your patience. 

Great feature today on Pinterest so if you have not seen it.. Please check out out by Jeanean Gendron

Mar 19, 2012 06:21 AM #62
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

@Nancy it is just about being careful it is a great tool!

@Bill not really.... just don't pin things that do not link back to the original source.  Once you play with it you will see. 

@Tammy you got it!  Checking the back links take more time but if you get recognized as someone who i only pinning correctly you will get more people following you and re-pinning your posts.  Jut takes more time.

@Harry ~  it is finding that right mix to create the proper strategy.

@Kathy ~  We both love Pinterest.  Thank you for the shout out on your featured post... great way you aggregte the AR content!  Something for everyone.  Yes, if someone has a pin it button they want you to share it.  Martha wants people to share her posts and her team was telling Kate Spade that they should link it to her post... not the one that just took her photo.   I added a pin it button to my blog and then each post will have a pin it button just like the tweet, linkedin, facebook like or G+.  I think people here at AR might talk to the powers that be and add it to the posts here.  Just a thought! 

@Deana ~  Now you do.. that is the fun of AR.. learning together.  Just check where the pin is going. 

Mar 19, 2012 06:38 AM #63
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

@Shannon you are most welcome.

@Gretchen important information to learn before pinning. you are welcome.

@Gretchen You are so right.. all social media we have to be careful with.

@Eileen ~  Learning the rules first helps so much!

@Carla ~  Yes ma'm  great to see your smile!  Time is a limited commodity so we all have to decide.. you can check out some people who have boards about their community and you might change your mind.  It is the perfect place to share about restaurants, parks, events, subdivisions etc... and your individual listings.. have some great room shots.. post those and link to your listing...

@John Q ~  I thought I saw a blur and so fast you were! 

@Chirstine D  ~  It just takes more time to make sure the back links are correct.... this is not the venue for everyone.. time is scarce.

@Evelyn ~  Don't beat yourself up.. you can go back to those pins.. click on the photo and see where it goes.. just delete the pin if it does not go to the right link.

@Janet ~  Sounds like the perfect plan.. new changes are happening daily.

@Joni ~ Again.. new info coming out everyday. 

@Gabe ~  Time is a problem.. and learning something new when there is no time is a bigger problem. 

Mar 19, 2012 06:46 AM #64
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

@Fernado you got it!  Do you have an account?

@Jackie ~ There is the time issue again.... we all have the same problem and everyone just has to use what works for them.

@Chris ~  Just keep doing what works for you!

@Michael ~  Good decision.... we each have to create an individual social media strategy and if it is not fun.. don't do it!

@Warren ~ good warning.. and the bill is NOT cheap.

@Derrick Team ~ better to be safe than sorry with a bill!

@Sylvie ~  Great to see you too and your adorable friend!  There are so many cute dog boards on Pinterest.. I connected with 3 people just over dogs...

@Ron ~  Pinterest is driving more traffice to websites than youtube... so it could be considered Ginormous... #justsayin

@Margie ~  Fun is good!  Keep it that way.. Don't do social media unless it is fun...

@John  ~  Sounds exciting.. we should connect on Pinterest.  Love to see your animations.

@Sandy ~  It's all about what you are pinning.. a cool window in a house.. a door, the garden.. the flowers... lots of photos can bring people to your post... you have to create a strategy.. even posts on places you eat.. fun things to do in the area.. it's more than an MLS posting. 

@Stager ~  Sorry the name did not show up.. you have it right!

@Bob ~  Each pin will be an individual case.. and you do have to be careful about where it comes from and if it can be re-pinned. 

@Pat @ Wayne ~  I think you are right!  I do see so many violations and photos I would like to pin that do not link to a source... they link to another blogsite trying to sell something.. so I have slowed down on the pinning as it takes so much time. 

@Wayne ~  There is not ROI on the time yet... too new. 

@Debra ~  Great to see you... It takes time but I really enjoy learning it and playing in the venues to see how it all connects!  Today I posted a #Denver Bronco Board with #PeytonManning and #TimTebow news... I got 312 people following the board with 7 posts in less than an hour... so the power is there... it is still a process learning how to take that power and direct it.  I enjoying seeing your pins!

Pinterest Board


Mar 19, 2012 07:01 AM #65
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

@Bob you are most welcome.

@Elisa Very time consuming!

@Weichert Realtors ~ Perfect example and good idea!

@Ruthmarie ~  Posting your own content will not cause a problem and if you have the right boards to show a seller what you are doing that is different to sell their home you might just get a listing! 

@Jennifer ~  Thank you and if you click the photo before pinning to see where it links back to it will be very helpful.

@Gene ~  Just knowing what is going on will be helpful.

@Georgina  ~  Aloha,  knowing the rules before pinning is a good idea.

@Star ~  Perfect.. that is what we are all doing.. helping each other move forward with caution.

@Susan ~ You are right... your photos will get re-pinned so if you don't want that to happen then don't go there!

@Dana ~ Good plan!

@Judy ~ sounds like you have this wired.  I see many people pinning gluten-free recipies so that is a great niche to work in.

@Monique ~  Happy to share!

@Bill ~  Sorry to hear that you are having AR problems.


Mar 19, 2012 07:09 AM #66
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

@Cindy ~  So glad it made sense!

@Dorie ~  Glad you understood it is about educating yourself on the rules and then proceeding.  The venue is fun and exciting for women between 30 and 65.... they LOVE it! Geeks and guys.... not so much!

@Ellen ~  Cautious is good... you will know the rules before engaging and stay out of trouble. 

@Erica ~  So happy to see your comment.  You have done the localism correctly.. and your vet dog post got me to your boards which is what the idea is.. to have people come and see what you are about and what your boards are. Your pin on the grand canyon got me back to your boards yet again.. so you see it really is just moving forward slowly with information that people might find interesting. 

@Souza Realty ~ Great place to start.. with the FUN!  It really is fun! 

Word to all reading this.. make sure your profile is filled out with a way people can contact you if you want them to AND if you are posting real estate information check your state laws on company disclosure in the profile if you are posting real estate information. 


Mar 19, 2012 07:17 AM #67
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

An exciting update for anyone still following the post!  Pinterest just announced a change to the Terms of Service that many were apprehensive about.  Going forward in a positive direction. 

Mar 25, 2012 09:08 AM #68
NoCo Home Team
C3 Real Estate Solutions - Fort Collins, CO
Sell Smart, Buy Wise & Live Well in Nrthn Colorado

Wow, Carra - great information! I'm not gonna lie, I mostly skimmed it for the main points but bookmarked it and plan to dig a little deeper tomorrow as there is clearly a lot to digest in this and consider when creating our pinterest strategy. Thanks for keeping us all up to date and informed!


Sep 11, 2012 01:17 PM #69
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