70 million users and 2.5 billion monthly page views: Pinterest, an image-based, dandy social networking platform has been growing at record speed. Direct sales content is not allowed at Pinterest, according to their Terms of Service. However, but this doesn’t mean authors and publishers can’t get creative and use Pinterest for brand-building and to drive visitors via links to their book sales site.
Here are 10 creative ways to use Pinterest as a platform for indirect marketing purposes in your social media marketing mix. It’s free and easy to use. The visual aspect offers great opportunities for authors to connect with readers by “pinning” their book cover images, photo scenes and illustrations from within their book.
1. Create several Pin Boards
Depending on the story of your book, you could create custom product pin boards that indirectly
market through topics of your book. For example, when you wrote a historical novel, you can create
a pin board with historical photographs of the area, where the novel takes place and a pin board
about events happening at the time. A pin board about the characters… etc. Or if you wrote a
thriller, set in the financial sector, pin images of Wall Street or offices of investment bankers.
However be careful to show images of persons only after getting their written! consent if you take
2. Images of You as a Writer
You could also create a pin board, showing images of your old typewriter, a pile of notes, your laptop, cute writing paper with a pretty pen, you – sitting on your desk and writing, or you – at a book signing or giving a talk.. you get the idea. And always add a cover image of your book, including an image of the back side if it is a paper book, a link to your sales page and the price of your book to EACH of these pin boards.
3. Creating a direct link to your sales page
Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, combined. This means if you want people clicking through to the book page on your website or on Amazon, B&N or Kobo, so Pinterest may be your best bet. Don’t post only your books. Treat it as a way to share things you love. Visitors to your page will be happy to “meet the author”.
Make sure that your visitors can find – and buy your book: Add a description of your book, the direct link to your sales page and add the price after the description with a $ sign. Example: $2.99. Pinterest will place the price in the upper left corner of the image. Pinterest will automatically link to your sales site when a person clicks on it.
4. Use “Send Pin” feature
With its new “Send Pin” feature, you can now send pins directly to friends within the site! I love this feature because I am constantly finding books that I think my friends would like. You can now simply click on the Send button and choose another Pinterest user, and from your phone or computer, you can also add a short message. You can only send pins to people that you follow and that follow you back, much like Direct Messages on Twitter.
5. Informal Market Research
Use Pinterest to show several drafts of the cover images of your next book. Ask visitors to share their thoughts through comments and vote for their favored image. Encourage them to invite their friends on Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Facebook or LinkedIn to participate and give an e-book
version of the upcoming book as prize drawing for the most popular cover image, chosen by them. You can also ask for feedback on illustrations, video, your book trailer, your ads, and much more.
6. Create a Contest
Contests can get really creative on Pinterest. You could hold a contest for the best image story, pinned by a Pinterest user / customer taking images of your books or photos to create it. You could for example ask people to pin images of them, reading your book to Pinterest as part of your contest.
7. Video Pin boards
When publishing How-to videos on YouTube or on your business blog, pin it on Pinterest and share that useful content. Create a pin board for all of your helpful content to give it broader exposure. Create a testimonial board – A great way to leverage your customer and fan enthusiasm is to create a board dedicated to ways that your product or service has helped them. Leveraging testimonials is an excellent way to use Pinterest.
8. Promote Your Pin Boards
Cross-promote the content you publish on Pinterest pin boards – on your blog, Twitter, Google+ and other social media profiles – and vice versa, your social media appearance on Pinterest pin boards. Help your potential customers to spread the word by putting a button “Follow Me on Pinterest” to your website/blog as well as a “Pin It” button. It’s an easy way for people to pin your image or your video with a single mouse click. You can install these buttons within seconds; it makes your content more share-able.
9. Tags & Hashtags
Neil Patel advises in “The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest “Tag popular pinners – You can get the attention of other pinners by including a “@mention” tag like Twitter in your caption. This will send a message to this particular user, who may then pick up on what you are pinning and re-pin it.”
“Use hashtags – like other social media sites: hashtags work on Pinterest to help you gain attention across multiple platforms and build up a following during a marketing campaign. It also works in gaining followers in much the same way as it does on Instagram.”
10. Use Pinterest’s Analytics and Insights tool
To access the new analytics, click the word Analytics in the top-right menu under your name. If you
don’t see it yet, you need to make sure to switch to the new Pinterest look and verify your website.
Authors and publishers who already have a personal account on Pinterest will be able to convert it to a business account. The process to open an author / business account with Pinterest is very easy and really fast. Visit their sample sites to learn more. Use Pinterest’s buttons and widgets to make it easier for people to pin items from your site, see what you’re doing on Pinterest, and follow you or your boards. Pinterest is the hottest social media tool right now. So, how do you make your own Pinterest page working for your book publishing business?
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