Originally published on January 4, 2017 @ 7:00 amEstimated Reading TIme: 7 minutes
Are you using Pinterest as part of your author platform? If you're not, then you really should be! Pinterest marketing itself is one of the more powerful forms of marketing today; but Pinterest marketing for authors completely changes the game.
People tend to think of Pinterest as a place to look for recipes and craft ideas. Let me tell you, these people have never really looked at Pinterest. Do not make the same mistake and underestimate the power of this amazing resource.
First of all, Pinterest is not merely a social media channel, although it is often categorized as one.
But it would be more accurate to say that Pinterest is a search engine. Not only that but it's a search engine where you can control where people find you. Remember back to the early days of Google and Yahoo when site owners had to manually submit their websites to these search engines to be indexed. You had to choose the exact right keywords and fill out the forms just right to get indexed and for your clients to be able to find you.
Now imagine if these search engines had granted site owners an account with complete control over how their clients could find them? With the ability to stumble upon them simply by searching for something else? That's what Pinterest offers.
Yea… Amazing, right?
What makes Pinterest so powerful?
It's all in the users. Unlike other social channels, members search Pinterest with a purpose. They don't just log into Pinterest to see what their friends or followers are up to, or to check the latest pins in their feed — although those of us addicted to Pinterest might sometimes do that. But no, users actively search Pinterest for…well, for everything.
- Tutorials on just about everything
- Writing Prompts
- Writing Advice
- Sewing Patterns
- Halloween Costumes
- Business Advice
- Marketing Advice
Get the idea? People go to Pinterest to research and gather information on just about everything. And according to a survey by Millward Brown, 93% of Pinterest users go to the site to plan for purchases and a whopping 87% have made a purchase after finding it on Pinterest.
What does all this mean for you? It means if you aren't already on Pinterest to help build your author platform, you are really missing out!
More Reasons why You Should be Using Pinterest to Market your Book
Targeted, Continual Traffic.
When you share a post on a site like Twitter or Facebook, you're presenting your book to your audience on your own calendar. And while you may see a quick boost of traffic to your site, anyone who isn't ready to buy your book won't.
Not because they don't like you or won't enjoy your book, but because it's not on their list right then.
Pinterest, on the other hand, sends targeted traffic of people more likely to purchase your book because they were searching for it.
What's more, because the pins on Pinterest have a lifespan that is like a billion times longer than a post on Twitter or Facebook, they will continue performing and sending traffic to your site or landing page for months or even years.
Pinterest is Basically the Introverted Social Network
On other social channels, you're expected to act much more outgoing and chatty. In fact, because of the way their algorithms work, if you aren't being chatty and engaging, you're probably losing parts of your audience.
Pinterest's social aspects, however, allow you to get right down to business – no chit chat necessary.
Of course, it is still a social network, so there are still social activities you can take part in:
- Have a group board with your fans
- Private messaging
Additionally, the Pinterest smartfeed isn't likely to get clogged up when you post things back to back (unlike other platforms). So that means if you have a few minutes to put up 20 posts, you can – and you won't annoy your followers or get reported for spam in the process.
How can you promote your book on Pinterest?
The first step to promoting your book on Pinterest is to get on Pinterest and create a board especially for your book.
That might seem like a commonsense answer, but the truth is a lot of authors jump straight to paid advertising with ads. Setting up a board first allows you to draw an organic audience who is already interested in your book.
Use this board to share everything about your book that readers might be interested in:
- Character sketches
- Plot lines
- Detailed explanations
- Deleted scenes
- Photos from events and book signings
But so many authors seem to have small Pinterest accounts? Does it really work?
It can seem pretty discouraging to look through Pinterest at an author's profile and see a small number of followers or a small number of monthly views. But here's the thing to remember: those numbers mean nothing when it comes to sales.
This is actually one of the cool things about Pinterest that sets it apart from other social networks: reach is not determined by your audience.
On other channels, when you post news about your book or services, your reach is limited by the number of people who are actually following you Sure, depending on the channel you can extend that reach some by using hashtags or getting your fans to share your post, but other than that your only real option to reach anyone not in your audience is to pay for advertising.
But remember what I said: Pinterest is a search engine.
Not only that, but people actually use it as a search engine.
What was the last time you used the search feature on Facebook or Twitter to find a book to buy or read?
Maybe to find a fan club for an author you like, but definitely not to find a new book to read.
Low numbers don't mean Pinterest doesn't work, it just means they aren't using Pinterest effectively
Perhaps other authors focus their efforts on other marketing platforms, or perhaps they're so busy in their work that they don't spend a lot of time working on their Pinterest strategy.
It doesn't mean that Pinterest doesn't work, it just means that they have chosen to prioritize other activities over Pinterest. And that's okay. Sometimes you have to choose which platform is going to be your focus and prioritize your strategy that way.
Pinterest Best Practices
Pinterest is an amazing platform that can help power your book sales, but it can't do it on its own. It's still going to need you to work efficiently and strategically. Here are some best practices to help you get the most out of Pinterest Marketing for your book.
Set up a Business Account
If you haven't already done so, convert your personal Pinterest account into a Business Pinterest account. Some authors worry about making this switch because they're afraid their readers will look at them differently if they start using business accounts rather than personal accounts — but don't worry. Readers aren't paying that much attention to whether or not your account is personal or business.
And you need the analytics (among other features) that are only available to business accounts. Not only will those analytics help you evaluate whether or not your marketing strategy is working, but it can also help you identify which areas need the most help.
Write a good Profile Bio
You've only got 160 characters to convince someone to follow you on Pinterest, so you need to make them count. Use some well-placed, strategic keywords that your audience might be searching for so that they can find you.
For example, very few people are going to search for the “wild musings of my journey.” But they might be searching for “science fiction and paranormal author.”
Create Strategic Boards
Once you choose to start marketing your book on Pinterest, your profile's entire purpose becomes to attract readers to you. That means creating boards that are of interest to your readers – not necessarily you.
Are you planning a wedding? Awesome. Is your reader planning a wedding? The general rule of thumb is if the board would not be of use or of interest to your target audience, keep it private.
That doesn't mean that all of your boards have to be related to your books: they just need to be boards your readers would be interested in. If you write historical fiction, perhaps they would be interested in a recipe board that focuses on period recipes. If you write personal development books, perhaps they would be interested in a board filled with motivational quotes.
Claim and Verify Your Website and Other Profiles
Pinterest allows you to claim other spaces on the web, including your website or blog, Instagram account, Etsy store, and YouTube channel. For each of these, if you have an active presence there, be sure to claim them.
Use Optimized Images
Pinterest is, first and foremost, a visual discovery platform. We can talk all we want about it being a search engine or a social network, but the fact remains that it is a visual platform. People are going to see your pins before they read your content.
That means your pins need to be high-quality and need to explain why the reader should click on them.
Additionally, Pinterest prefers vertical pins: they stand out better on both desktop and mobile devices. The ideal size is 600×900 pixels, but they will accept any pin that is in a 2:3 ration.
Even though Pinterest is a more introverted platform and your pins will live on for eons, Pinterest is still not a post-it-and-forget-it platform.
You need to be actively pinning and repinning content everyday. You can do this manually through their website or mobile app, or you can schedule Pinterest posts for free or for a small fee.
Help keep Pinterest Pretty
Pinterest does a very good job of keeping its platform free from spam and scams. And you can help by paying close attention to the things you're pinning and avoiding certain Pinterest mistakes, such as repinning a dead link or a stolen pin.
After all, if people searching Pinterest can't find the answers they're looking for, they will eventually leave the platform all together. And none of us want that to happen.
Pinterest Marketing for Authors: 7 ways you can leverage Pinterest
So here are some ways you can hop onto this amazing resource and start making it work for you:
- Build several boards that will fit your books, characters, blog posts, and everything else related to your writing.
- Research your target audience and build boards surrounding concepts that audience may search for.
- Find group boards to contribute to and help expand your reach organically.
- Develop a pinning and repinning strategy to keep your pins fresh and visible.
- Use your existing social accounts to build your followers by linking to your Twitter and Facebook profiles.
- Book cover art and inspiration — these just happen to be perfect dimensions for pinning.
- Helping other authors and writers through tutorials and advice.
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