When you’re thinking about Pinterest etiquette, there are a lot of intricacies. However, the best place to start is to follow this simply adage: give credit when credit is due!
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Just as I wouldn’t steal pictures from Google Images to use on a blog post of mine — I would instead buy stock photography and/or give proper attribution – I would hope that a Pinterest user would be sure to note where the original image came from.
Give credit. It’s free.
Before pinning something, make sure you are giving credit to the original source! A quick Google search will help you ensure you’re giving credit to the person who originally developed the content, not just the person who helped you find it.
Just because you can pin it, doesn’t mean you should.
It is unacceptable for users to Pin without giving credit or linking back to the source. There are, of course, other sources that you should never pin from, including confidential or highly proprietary information. As a rule, if pinning someone’s content has a near 0% chance of getting the original content developer any residual traffic, do not pin it. For example, awhile back, I saw someone pin another user’s Slideshare presentation, slide by slide. As a result, the original content developer basically was ensured that no one would ever go to the original slideshare presentation to get additional information.
Effort’s more important than style.
Don’t worry about the exact format of how credit is given – just make sure you make an effort! If someone has enriched your life by providing great content, take the 10-15 seconds to run a quick Google search to link back to their Twitter ID, blog url, and so forth. It’s a great way to encourage they keep providing great content for you to pin!