Social Media guru Frances Caballo steps away from her fabulous website Social Media Just for Writers for a day to tell us the best way to find our readers on Pinterest!
In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that Pinterest was the third most used social media network behind Facebook and LinkedIn.
Needless to say, if you’re not using Pinterest, and if you’re not using images in your content marketing, including on all of your social media posts, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with your readers.
How important are images? See what this expert has to say:
Researchers found that colored visuals increased people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. – James Mawhinney, HubSpot.com
If content is king, then images are queen. You can wield power through images, and if you use Pinterest, you’ll also drive traffic to key landing pages, such as your blog, designated book landing pages, or even to Amazon.
A Closer Look at Pinterest
One of the beauties of Pinterest is that you can pin images from your website (or any website) to a dedicated pinboard, and thus enjoy increased traffic to any web page.
Take a look at the people who are using Pinterest. Source: SproutSocial
- As of February 2015, 71% of Pinterest’s users were women.
- Pinterest is increasingly mobile. Seventy-five percent of Pinterest usage occurs on mobile devices. 45% of users are from outside the U.S. (September 2015).
- Users are avid online shoppers.
- Millennials are avid users.
Other sources indicate that its consumer base is international (think book sales in India), and that is has a broad consumer base of Millenials (those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s).
Pinterest’s growth is further substantiated by an August 2015 study by Pew Research Center. The study noted:
The proportion of online adults who use Pinterest and Instagram has doubled since Pew Research Center first started tracking social media platform adoption in 2012.
This last statistic substantiates the fact that visually-based social media is key.
How to Get Started
To get started on this network, go to www.Pinterest.com and sign up. Make sure that you sign up for a business account. Business accounts have access to free analytics, and you can have your website verified. (This involves asking your webmaster to insert a code on your website.) When you verify your website, your images have a better chance of standing out in search results, and the verification lends credibility to your website.
Your username should be your author name. In other words, if you use a pseudonym, you need to use that name. Remember, you are your brand, and so you need to use your complete name as it appears on your book covers.
When you describe yourself, include keywords. Whether your genre is romance, erotica, thriller, young adult, or another niche, make sure that you include your genre in your bio.
You’ll need to include your website URL and upload a profile image. Pinterest will ask you whether you want to connect your account to Facebook and Twitter. Don’t do this. It is never a good idea to automate one social media network to another. In the case of linking Pinterest to other social networks, those posts rarely trigger any engagement with readers. If you link Pinterest to Twitter, the tweet will simply be a link, not an image.
The next step is to add the bookmarklet to your browser so that you will be able to select and pin photos that you find while searching the web and from your website or Amazon. The bookmarklet will appear as an icon next to or near the search bar, as in this example.
The process of adding the icon will depend on which browser you use. However, Pinterest provides easy-to-follow directions. To upload a bookmarklet, navigate to this web address: http://pinterest.com/about/goodies. If you need help, you’ll find answers to your questions here: https://pinterest.com/about/help.
Similar to Twitter, on Pinterest, you have followers. Here, you can follow other users, called pinners, or you can follow the specific boards that appeal to you.
Before creating pinboards, follow some of your writing colleagues and readers for a few days. Look at their boards, follow them, and let your ideas about the types of pinboards you want to create germinate.
You can start by creating pinboards for your favorite books, poets, or visual writing prompts. What if someone follows you and you only like one or two of their pinboards? Just select those boards or none at all—a nice feature of Pinterest.
Look at the top taskbar on Pinterest website.
Whenever you click the Pinterest logo at the far left, you’ll navigate to the newsfeed.
Here, you’ll find all the images pinned by the people you follow.
Click Analytics to discover how many people are repinning (repins are similar to retweets) your images. Click Ads to create an ad.
Use the search bar to find images. Treat the search bar the same way you’d use Google’s search bar. Are you looking for author quotes? Use those two keywords in the search bar.
When you click the series of lines to the right of the search bar, a dropdown menu of categories will appear.
Click the plus sign and you’ll have a variety of options. You can pin an image from your blog or website, upload an image from your computer, or create an ad.
Another drop-down menu appears when you click your picture on the far right. You can click My Profile to navigate to your pinboards, access your settings, look at bills from your advertising, request ad support, look for help, or log out.
Look for Images on Pinterest
Use the search bar to explore images by category. Maybe you want to create a pinboard that portrays the type of clothes your characters wear. Or maybe you’re creating a pinboard of infographics related to your nonfiction books.
When you find a photo you like, click the like and repin buttons. If you’d like, you can also click the send button and send it to a friend. Pinterest will prompt you to add a message as well. The email your friend receives will look like this:
Once you click repin, Pinterest will give you the option of creating a new board or pinning the photo to a board you already started. Don’t forget to leave a comment.
Pinboards Every Romance Author Should Have
When I speak with authors about Pinterest, they are often perplexed about how to use this social media network. A common question I hear is, “What kind of images should I collect?”
You can use these suggestions as a starting point for building your unique presence on Pinterest and establishing your sense of style.
Pinterest Suggestions for Romance Authors
Stumped about which images to collect? Try these ideas.
- A collection of sexy jewelry your characters wear
- Images of sexy clothing your characters might wear
- A pinboard of dreamy picnic settings
- Images of sexy heels and dresses
- Photos of sexy actors and models
- Pinboard of sexy hairstyles
- A collection of sexy lingerie
- Images of chocolate
- Images of models or characters who inspire your writing
- A pinboard for your blog images
- Quotes about reading and books
- A collection of your favorite books
- Quotes about the joy of reading
- Fun, funky, unusual bookstores
- Libraries from around the world
- A collection of book covers from your colleagues
- Images of your favorite authors
- Examples of bookshelves you love
- Images from your favorite writer’s conferences, especially of male cover models
- Visual writing prompts
- Images that portray the cities and countries where your characters live and travel
- Images of your characters’ favorite meals
- Create images with quotes from your books
- Create a pinboard for all of your book covers
Need more ideas? Check out these accounts on Pinterest:
Are you on Pinterest yet?
Well, are you? =) Share your Pinterest link if you are!
Join us on Friday for Màiri Norris, Beppie Harrison and Cathy MacRae!
Bio: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. She’s written several books including Avoid Social Media Time Suck, and Twitter Just for Writers, which is available for free here on her website. Watch for her newest books, coming out this summer: The Author’s Guide to Goodreads and Social Media in 30 Minutes A Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books.
- How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage as a Writer with Carrie Smith
- Pinning for Readers: Using Pinterest as an Author with Jamie Schmidt
- Busy Authors Should Simplify Social Media Efforts by Cecelia Mecca
- Spoil Readers with Website Extras by Kelsey Browning
- Weekly Lecture Schedule April 22-26