Recently, I had to eat crow when it came to Pinterest. Though I never said anything publicly, I did once joke (privately) about how Pinterest was social media for people who couldn’t read. However, on June 18, that all changed when I was graced with a repin by a Pinterest power user. From that one user, I got almost 150 new visitors to my blog, as well as 5 new subscribers in just a few hours. The last time I’ve seen results like that it was from StumbleUpon.
But I’ve been wrong before remember, when I talked trash about Wattpad last year until I learned how to dominate that site? Honestly, I don’t mind being wrong, however, I do mind staying that way. When I realized there was something to Pinterest, I had to investigate and of course, share what I’ve learned with you.
Do SEO & Hashtags Matter?
Yes, Pinterest is heavily focused on all things visual, but they also have an algorithm that favors certain keywords. However the jury is out, when it comes to hashtags, not everyone agrees that hashtags even matter. That’s because recently, Pinterest changed their algorithm so that certain hashtags aren’t searchable.
The Pinterest experts suggest that in order to get repinned you must have a good photo with key words in it as well as keywords in the description! Notice how it isn’t as simple as post and run?
Meeting the Pinterest Superstars
As with Facebook and Twitter, there are power players that you should know about. In fact, it would wise to befriend these people so that you can enlist them in your Pinterest army. Pinterest itself makes it real easy to find power users.
As if that weren’t enough, there are also Pinterest boards that authors should be aware of. Here’s a list of “Bookish Pinterest Boards” via Book Riot. Some boards are public like this one, which means you can post on their boards but only if your pin is relevant to the board.
The Time You Pin Matters Tremendously
Just like with any social media site, you need to be most active when your audience and the power users are online, otherwise, what’s the point? If you haven’t noticed, Pinterest buries old content further and further down the timeline with newer, fresher content like Twitter.
From what I’ve noticed, my best results have been around the late afternoon and evening hours. It makes sense, people are most active online after school and work. You can even schedule your pins using sites like; Hootsuite, Viraltag, and GoPixel.
Authors Who Would Benefit From Being on Pinterest
Pinterest’s audience consists predominately of women, at 68% and of those women 50% are parents. Their ages range anywhere from 25- 44 but keep in mind, some of them are teachers, librarians as well as authors. If you’re a man don’t worry, this isn’t an anti-male site. For example, I know of a male author on Pinterest who writes about mobsters as well as crime and he not only pins his books, but also articles about famous mobsters. His account is well set out and you won’t catch him pinning things that don’t exemplify his personality or his work. Same goes for Orna Ross author and founder of The Alliance of Independent Authors she also has an awesome account as well.
Tip: Don’t just use your boards to promote yourself, create one or two to help to promote others. I did so here with my board, “A Few Authors I Know” and another called, “Stories on Wattpad.” Even if you don’t have a large following, people will appreciate the effort and will reciprocate. This is how you build a loyal following on any social media site.
Short Cuts: Building Your Following Quickly
It was only a matter of time before people starting looking for ways to increase their following numbers and there is one website that caters to just that. Hat tip to Hazel Longuet and her site “The Novel Experience” for the awesome Pinterest hack. Viralwoot is a website that is similar to Twiends and ILikeTraffic where you pay for seeds and those people collecting seeds repin one of your pins. It’s almost like cheating the system but not quite. Those people who get free seeds can then use them to promote their own pins and yes, they can unpin or unfollow you quickly, it’s not unheard of with sites like this.
Well I hope I gave you a few ideas for using Pinterest to promote your book. I also hope I showed you not to knock a site until you’ve actually tried it. I’ve opened the comments section if you want to share a link to your Pinterest account please feel free.