The folks who constantly think of ways to get you to divulge your contact lists and send messages to everyone you know have come up with a new one. And I’m hopping mad about it! So I bumped the post was I was going to run today in favor of this rant.
There are ethical ways to do marketing and advertising and there are ones that go under the radar, taking advantage of you and either your lack of knowledge or your trusting nature, to market to the folks you know without your actual consent.
Now I don’t like but I accept that Pinterest allows advertising in the form of paid pins. As a business member on the site I get plenty of solicitations from them to do this myself. And, because I’m on Pinterest everyday, I get bombarded with these advertising pins every day. I recognize them and just move on.
On Pinterest you don’t share your email with others, everything is done through the site. If you want to tell me who designed something, you leave a comment. Pinterest tells me you did and in their email to me, they give me the comment.
I look at every one of them.
But some bright light who looks at new ways to do sneaky advertising has discovered that you can leave comments on Pins that have nothing to do with the actual pins but have links in them. I just went through five of them.
That may seem like only a few to you but that’s more comments I get on pins on Pinterest & Facebook combined in a week. With thousands of followers, I am very careful about what is posted under my name. I don’t post about: diet foods, music compilations, flower arrangement sales, or spurious sites.
That’s just some the “treats” I’ve gotten in this new marketing method. If you put something like that I will delete the comment as soon as I get a notice. My Pinterest site is for my reference and for your enjoyment and education and to promote the business of needlepoint. It does not exist to give folks blanket permission to advertise other things through me.
I suspect what is happening is that when you buy something through a Pinterest ad, they ask (and it might be a very subtle thing) if they can let your followers know about them. Like your other followers, I follow you because of what you pin, probably needlepoint. I don’t follow you because of what you buy. Just like you don’t follow me because of the books I read.
Don’t do it! That’s how they get “permission” to bother others in this way.
Janet’s Internet Rules
I’ve been on the Internet for 30 years next month. That’s long before the rest of the world discovered it. And I’ve been hacked and folks have tried to scam me often enough. As a result I have some basic Internet rules. By following them, you can avoid most of these unethical folks, but not all.
- Never put anything on the Internet you would not want to see on the front page of the New York Times. Things do not go away on the Internet, indiscretions will come back to haunt you.
- Never give a site permission to post for you on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. These are often less than honest ways to market. I would prefer and may even believe a recommendation you wrote yourself telling me why this is a great thing than their canned post on behalf of you & six other people about this being “the greatest.”
- Never give access to someone to your email contacts. This is a major way viruses are spread.
- Don’t click on links sent to you via email unless you know the person & the site. I send links to my DH all the time & he sends them to me. But we always have a subject line that says something about the link and/or have more than the link in it. That way we know it is legit.
- Be careful about signing up for mailing lists. Just sign up for ones you actually want and unsubscribe to ones you don’t. That usually means unchecking a box.
- Use guest checkouts when you can. If a site offers to make an account for you and save your credit card — don’t do it. That’s how all those credit cards get stolen.
- Don’t link shopping sites to your PayPal account. Yes eBay tells you this is easier. But it is a huge security risk. Are remembering your password & some extra clicks worth it?
At Christmastime many businesses take the easy way out or hire people who do that, probably unknowingly, for them. Yoou don’t have to be a party to this. Stay safe on-line!