Happy 2015! To kick off the year, I’m starting a series of posts that focus on using social media. Today is all about Pinterest.
Pinterest is all about sharing (or pinning) images, and there are many ways indie authors can use this social media platform to their advantage. You can pin images to different boards, and tailor your boards to different interests. For example, as an indie author you could create boards that
- recommend books to read
- share quotes about reading
- display interesting book covers
- show publishing trends
- promote the work of you and others
Your Writer Platform has a great list of 34 strategies to use Pinterest effectively, including using descriptive “alt text” (SEO), using the site for market research, pinning cover images for feedback, and more. Kate Tilton also offers tips on how to engage with your audience in Pinterest (first step is to find out who your audience is).
According to ALLi, Pinterest is great for collaborating with other authors and even blogging. The Future of Ink wrote that Pinterest can even be used for topics that don’t always have a lot of images. One way to make a topic relevant to Pinterest is to use Powerpoint to make lots of simple “how to” tip images, and then link back to blog posts.
Here are some other ideas for how to use Pinterest:
- Link to sites where readers can purchase your book, or host a contest to build momentum around a book launch. For example, you could ask fans to create images about a character from your series, have them post to a board, and then give the winner a free copy of a new book in your series.
- Make images out of memorable quotes from your book, according to The Book Designer.
- Set up boards around new characters or plot lines you are developing and share them with beta readers.
- Create boards with visual writing prompts, as advocated by Social Media Just For Writers.
- Ask for inspiration and/or show behind the scenes images of the making of your book, according to BookBaby.
For some examples of how authors are using Pinterest, check out The Book Designer’s “How to use Pinterest to Promote Your Book.” According to Inspire to Thrive, the best day to pin is on Saturdays, since that is when most people have time to browse the site.
The Masquerade Crew offers some tips for how to combine Pinterest with Twitter, as well as what to look for in Pinterest’s analytics, which gives you data about your audience and how much time they spend looking at your pins.
Mixergy has tips on how to drive sales through Pinterest, which includes having call to action images and adding hashtags to pin descriptions.
Lastly, you can use tools such as Viralwoot to help you schedule pins, promote images, and hopefully grow your following.
Do you have any Pinterest tips or tools to help use Pinterest? Please share in the comments!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published January 2015, as part of the Indie Author Marketing Guide series.