Romance Your Social Media Campaign with Pinterest

Posted on Feb 5, 2015 by   14 Comments | Posted in Blog · Uncategorized

by Giulia Torre 

What? You’ve never heard of Pinterest?

Pinterest (like a digital bulletin board, where you can ‘pin’ what interests you) has four primary elements: 

  1. the images you pin (‘pins’)
  2. the description of your images (text that can be located in searches)
  3. a web link to the source of the image (outside of Pinterest, possibly your buylink)
  4. the social network (your audience of followers, the people you follow)

You can garner followers for you (all of your boards at once) or specific, individual boards.

The goal when using any social media for book promotion is to connect: to introduce your book to new readers and to maintain connection with your existing ones.

G Torre-Pinterest Reading Board_Monica's Bookish Life

Can Pinterest help?

Although I have a Pinterest board for my current book and upcoming release, I’ve yet to use them to actively build a readership. Instead, I use my boards as a way for existing readers to connect with my characters, and as another way to build out my social identity as an author. I consider my Pinterest book boards as another tool in my identity kit.

I don’t use Pinterest to promote my books yet, and I’m not alone.

I found Vampire Academy author’s Richelle Mead’s Pinterest profile. This NY Times / USA Today bestselling author has three boards, one of which has only a single image of two goats. Mead admits, “I don’t really get Pinterest.”

But Pinterest gets her. Vampire Academy and Richelle Mead fan boards abound.

Historical romance novelist (and newly elected RWA Board member) Courtney Milan is on FB, twitter, tumblr and Goodreads, but I couldn’t find her on Pinterest, and she doesn’t offer her readers any clues how to find her there.

The “official” Nora Roberts pinterest site has only 13 pins but 5,495 followers who searched for her on the platform, and are holed up and waiting for some activity.

Our future fans are on Pinterest. But can we find them?

Getting Pinned

Authors like Mead, Milan and Roberts are getting promoted on Pinterest in spite of their limited participation. Readers are pinners and, on Pinterest as with all social media, the rich get richer. If you’ve already got readers, you’ll get more.

But there’s still something to learn from authors effectively using Pinterest as part of their media tool kit.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling paranormal romance author Heather Killough-Walden has 1,167 followers across her Pinterest Boards. Heather has a different board for each series, and none of her manageable 23 boards are extensively pinned.

Killough-Walden has 4,999 FB followers of her author profile, to give you a sense of the impact of Pinterest vs Facebook on the social media scene.

Of course FB reaches more people, but as romance author and pinner Amy Lillard (also writing as Amie Louellen) explains, “There’s not as much drama or obligation to like or comment.”

With 1,400 followers, I asked Amy how she uses Pinterest to promote her books, and she pointed to her memes:

“I use Pinterest the same way that I do any other social media–as a platform to show myself as an author and showcase my books. I make memes to put up on my website that I can pin to Pinterest. I also make memes for book reviews, book quotes, and other information about my books I want to share. Anytime I blog, I make sure that I post a meme that I can in turn pin to one of my boards.”

“Pinnable” images that contain author, title, and a quotation from your book are memes that could go viral. Pinners love quotations. Quotations are highly re-pinned, especially if they’re funny or inspiring.

One fan’s board dedicated to Milan includes images of her book covers and memes apparently created by the reader herself.

And although there should always be some reference to any original copyright or source, pins can link directly to your author page, or to your book on Amazon.

Pinterest for Business

If you’re ready to take it to the next level on Pinterest, resources are out there to help. If you’re going to be actively selling your book on Pinterest, then Pinterest for Business, according to their terms of service, may be for you. Best practices are offered by the Pinterest for Business team. Review this helpful how-to for setting up a business account on Pinterest, and how to track traffic sources with Google Analytics. And it never hurts to read a basic but comprehensive how-to use Pinterest for internet marketing.

Finally, because we all know that just because we build it, it doesn’t mean that anyone other than our mother will come, check out 9 Ways to Build Your Pinterest Audience.

Wolfe Island
What is accomplished botanical illustrator Meredith Wells to think when her erstwhile friend, Tristan Wolfe, son of a Russian shipping tycoon, fails to reappear for five full years after a childhood of island summers spent together? Until his yacht capsizes her skiff, she assumed he had forgotten her.
Wolfe and Meredith’s reunion is a spectacle, but nothing compared to the accidental circulation of her anatomical studies…of him.
Meredith is convinced her titillating drawings will lead to a lucrative career, and even progress the woman’s movement. If only she can persuade Wolfe to assist with her scientific rendering of his anatomic detail.
But an entourage of city socialites have arrived to witness the unveiling of the most spectacular plan the region has ever seen…an international seaway that will introduce big, brilliant ships to the river. Wolfe is prepared to sacrifice everything to see the seaway realized.
Reunited with the young woman he has known since she was hip high, Wolfe is faced with a choice: a marriage contract with the wealthy daughter of his business partner, one that would secure the seaway and prosperity for the only place he’s ever called home. Or succumb to the maddening distractions of a native girl who plays baseball in bicycling pants and swears like a sailor.
Can Meredith convince him to bank diamonds on the water?TIP_14_277.CR2
Set against a lush American landscape in 1893, Wolfe Island is the story of two people deeply connected to the region and to each other.
About the author: Giulia Torre works in higher ed, teaches writing, and has just written her first book – Wolfe Island, a New York-style historical romance. Follow Giulia Torre’s Wolfe Island board on Pinterest. Find her on twitter @ReadGiuliaTorre HERE and on her WEBSITE
Giulia Torre

14 Responses to "Romance Your Social Media Campaign with Pinterest"

  1. Comment by Giulia Torre
    February 5, 2015 6:53 am

    Hope to see you all on Pinterest! And if not there, twitter. Or FaceBook. And if not there….How about the Thousand Islands?

  2. Comment by Stefanie Worth
    February 5, 2015 6:53 pm

    I’m not on Pinterest…yet. I’m planning to join when my next book is released, as you said, to help readers connect to the characters. I have one in particular who deserves the board all to herself. 🙂 In the meantime, I’m gathering ideas to pin. I love to see the many ways that people use the network.

  3. Comment by Nancy Lee Badger
    February 5, 2015 7:12 pm

    I am on Pinterest, but lacking the why and what, so this column is very timely. I need to go play with the sight, add some great photos, and share. Thank YOU for stopping and sharing!
    Nancy Lee Badger

  4. Comment by Donna Cummings
    February 6, 2015 11:43 am

    I love Pinterest! I go there sometimes just to enjoy the various pictures, and to chuckle over some of the funny memes.

    I have a board for each of my books, along with one for various blog posts I’ve done. Recently, a guest post I did for Romance University almost a year ago has been getting repined like crazy. I’m not sure why — but I think Pinterest has been “suggesting” pins to different people lately, so they may have suggested it and it took off from there. So you just never know when something will get popular!


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