I hear you moaning and imagine you rolling your eyes…ugh, another social media time suck! Time on Pinterest does have to be managed, but it’s so worth it.
For those who haven’t had the time to look into the world of Pinterest, it’s a social networking site where you create ‘Boards’ or collages by ‘pinning’ images found on the site, on the internet or in your own photo storage onto your board. You can share these collages/boards with other site members, comment on images and ‘like’ them.
This is not your posterboard and white glue art project from 3rd grade. This is beautiful! But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s all playtime. Oh yes, it’s fun and creative but…
Pinterest is now one of the hottest websites! It’s one more place to connect with potential readers/consumers. It is becoming one of THE best marketing tools you can have in your arsenal.
According to Beth Hayden of Copyblogger, who wrote a must-read post on the topic, as of January 2012 Pinterest has nearly 5 million members and is still growing…FAST! Pinterest sends more traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined.
This means there is incredible potential for referral traffic to YOUR blog.
I’m going to make it easy to understand and tell you why I think it’s something you should consider joining. Right now, you can join Pinterest by invitation only.
So when you’ve reached the end of this post and have gone to see my Pinterest Boards, and decide you just can’t wait to get in on the fun and benefits, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an invitation.
The Set Up
1. Once you’ve joined, fill in a profile completing the About section similar to the one on your blog. Watch your word count because if you write too much, some of it will be hidden. Be sure to include your blog URL. This is going to automatically add social sharing buttons under your profile for your blog and your Pinterest RSS feed. I recommend using the same name you have on your blog for branding purposes.
2. Then add your picture so people will recognize you whenever you pin an image or video.
4. Click on Find Friends and you will be taken to a list of your Facebook friends. The left column are those who are not yet on Pinterest–invite them. The right column are those who are on Pinterest. Make note of them and go follow them. You can also click on Invite Friends where you can enter email addresses for anyone you’d like to bring on.
5. Once you have completed your profile, invited friends and found a few friends to follow, you can begin filling your boards with pretty pictures. Pinterest gives you a few blank boards with suggested titles. You will have the option to change the titles, add more boards and rearrange the boards on your page.
6. You can set up your boards so that only you can pin on them or so you can have others pin, also. All of my boards, except one, are for me to pin only. See #12 for my explanation of my plans for that one board.
7. Use the search function on Pinterest to find a particular category of images to pin. For example, if you write about vampires plug that keyword into the search box and a page full of images related to vampires will pop up.
8. At the top of your page, you’ll see where you can post videos. Not many are doing this yet, so it’s a wide open field to create your persona. It’s easy to pin a YouTube video. Simply go to the video you wish to pin (not available on Vimeo yet), and click the Pin It button in your browser (see #9 for installation). A page of videos that appeared on the YouTube page will show up. Mouse over the one you want and you’ll see a button to click for pinning. A box pops up giving you the chance to choose what board you want it placed upon.
9. Install the Pin It button to your browser so you can automatically pin any image you find on the internet. You can even pin images from your blog or someone else’s blog. Add in the description your URL or your friend’s URL and even the title of the blog.
10. Use the embed function to post a Pinterest image on your blog. Readers of your blog can find the original source of the image by clicking on it. Pinterest automatically includes the original URL for the image whenever it’s repinned.
11. Make your blog Pinterest friendly by always posting an image. That image can be pinned to Pinterest by one of your readers and linked back to your blog.
12. One of my boards is currently titled Guest Pins. Anyone I choose will be allowed to pin an image there. Once I add their email addresses to that board, my chosen friends can add images to contribute to my Pinterest presence by allowing viewers to see me through their eyes.
13. Create a storyboard for your book by searching for images that relate to it. Give a hint of what your story is all about with the pictures you choose or add music videos for your book’s soundtrack.
14. Revive old photos used on archived blog posts, the prettier the better, and pin them to a blog board with links to the posts.
15. Have you begun making book trailers or videos interviews for your blog? If so, pin them to a storyboard for your book or a board devoted to your blog. In the description, add relevant links.
16. If you have a WordPress.org blog, you can install a Pinterest Widget which will show thumbnails of your most recent pins. If you have a WordPress.com blog, you can install the Follow Me on Pinterest button in your sidebar, as I have. You can also direct people to your Pinterest RSS Feed. They’ll get notified when you pin something to a board.
These 16 tips are what I’ve learned from playing with and reading the Help section at Pinterest over the past month. You’ll also find most of them in the Copyblogger post, but she has a total of 56 tips! So, head over there if you want to learn a lot more about marketing with Pinterest.
Pinterest has a FAQs page and a contact form to ask other questions. I have used this and they got back to me with a clearcut answer within the hour.
Remember, it’s also important to put up your own pictures (click Add+ at the top of the Pinterest page) so that you are sharing images that can be linked directly back to you. And one last thing, as with your blog, pin as often as you can but be consistent. Other members will eventually know when to expect your pins to show up on the front page. Your followers, like your blog subscribers, will be watching for more of your awesomeness.
My stats: I have 20 Boards and 480+ Pins for you to peruse. In the month that I have been playing with Pinterest, I have gained 30 followers without really trying very hard. Those followers repin my images and their followers see the image and my name so that they, too can repin and follow me, if they so choose.
Now, please go visit my Pinterest page, click on the various boards and individual pins to see them larger. I’ll wait.
Oh, good, you’re back. Did you have fun? Isn’t Pinterest just beautiful?
I know we’re all having trouble managing social media obligations so, take a tip from Natalie Hartford’s recent post, at Elena Aitken’s blog, on this …Don’t get involved with every social media site. Choose the ones you enjoy and can do well.
Disclaimer: Marcia Richards is not to be held responsible for any person’s addiction to Pinning. Join Pinterest at your own risk.
Please note: Since this post has gotten out of control long, I’ll post my usual links to amazing blogs on Sunday with my ROW80 update.
Okay, share! What did you think? Is it for you? If you didn’t like it, let us in on what you didn’t like.
If you loved it and want to join, let me know in the comments and then email me at marcia DOT a DOT richards AT gmail DOT com. I’ll send you an invitation right away.