4 #pinterestfails Self-Publishing Authors Should Avoid
Pinterest is the fastest growing social website in history with an increase in user traffic by nearly 3,000 percent in the last year. The site receives over 2.5 billion monthly page views1 and has 70 million users2. An astounding 69 percent of Pinterest users buy products they find on the site3.
What is Pinterest, exactly?
Pinterest allows users to organize web pages into visual bookmarks, or “pins,” and sort the images into categories, or “boards.” In the end, you have a collection of digital bulletin boards full of images that are organized by varying topics, such as travel destinations, products and recipes, just to name a few.
Pinterest can be defined as a “virtual discovery tool,” allowing users to create their own pins or search the site and discover existing pins created by others.
Pinterest Fails and Fixes
Pinterest has created an incredible opportunity for self-published authors looking for new ways to promote their books. With this new territory, authors should be aware of some pitfalls to avoid when trying to attract new readers on Pinterest.
1. FAIL: Leaving information incomplete
A profile that doesn’t include thorough information and boards that don’t contain any pins create the impression that a user is unengaged. Pinterest users are very unlikely to follow someone who doesn’t seem active.
FIX: Make sure your profile is informative and includes links to your website and social media profiles. The information you provide in your profile, pins and boards will give Pinterest users an inside look at you as an author. Be sure to include a Pinterest link on your website and other social media pages so visitors know they can follow you there.
2. FAIL: Overtly self-promoting your title
There’s nothing wrong with promoting yourself on Pinterest, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch. Pinterest users expect a sense of community on the website and will see blatant attempts at self promotion as untrustworthy.
FIX: Build a rapport with users by sharing interesting pins, creating intriguing boards that others will want to follow, commenting appropriately on others’ pins and following other users’ boards.
3. FAIL: Over pinning
If a pinner has made the decision to follow your content and you’re cluttering up their home feed with your pins, they can feel annoyed. This can quickly earn you an “unfollow” from that user.
FIX: Share pins frequently and consistently, but no more than 5-10 pins at a time. If you've found a couple of pins you want to share, “like” them to save them for later when you have a larger group to add altogether at one time.
4. FAIL: Ignoring the Verified Business Account’s analytics tool
If you’ve made the decision to upgrade to a Verified Business Account to promote your brand, do not ignore the perks that come with it – analytics.
FIX: Use these analytics to track your activity, learn what Pinterest users like and tailor your website according to this information. When you know how many people are pinning from your website, seeing your pins and clicking your content, you can make the most of your website to attract new Pinterest users.
The key to connecting with new readers on Pinterest is to engage them, maintain a consistent presence and use the site as an opportunity to learn more about your audience.