NatalieOne of the most popular social media websites, with continued growing numbers is Pinterest. I joined in a Pinterest fun fest run by Indies Unlimited a few weeks ago. Pinterest has been somewhat of a mystery to me and although I am on it, I don’t really ‘get it’. I ‘bumped’ into the lovely, and very interesting, Natalie Buske Thomas while I was joining in the fest. Now, here was lady who seemed to know exactly what she was doing. I was in complete awe of her Pinterest boards. After plying her with several glasses of virtual wine, I managed to persuade her to come along here to explain about Pinterest, so we too can all become Pinterest experts. Without further ado, let me hand over to Natalie:

Your 3 P’s answered: Why should I be active on Pinterest? What do I pin? What’s the point?

1. Why should I be active on Pinterest?

Pinterest is consumer oriented. Unlike other social media, Pinterest is not in a hurry. Pins don’t scroll off or fade away. Pinners accumulate; they hoard images. With no mess, no cost, and no fear of running out of space, Pinterest is an all-you-can-pin buffet of dinner ideas, craft ideas, vacation ideas, ideas about ideas, and so much more. But what’s of interest to you is: Pinterest shows pinners what to BUY.

2. What do I pin?

Let’s begin with what you shouldn’t pin. Don’t try to follow the trends of what you think is popular on Pinterest. Be genuine! The pinners you most want to attract are those who like the same things that you do, and you by extension. You’ll have a much better chance of turning one-time customers into lifelong fans if you are who you pin yourself to be: Make sure your pins reflect who you are, and not just what you think pinners want to see.

Now let’s talk about what you should pin. Pin images that:

– Express your personality (places you want to visit, products you like, media you enjoy)

– Create intimacy (places you’ve been, inspirational quotes that matter to you, people you admire)

– Sell you and your product (settings from your books, your book covers, quotes from your books, book trailers, reviews, your blog, interviews)

Let’s focus on the selling part. The beauty of Pinterest is that you can build your own stage, involving as many props as you want and as many cast members as you want. You can network with book sellers and authors by posting their works on one of your boards. You can showcase author or publisher organizations; provide valuable content about writing, publishing, or a topic of interest to your readers; and engage with your fans.

Step One: Build your stage and fill it. Create boards that showcase your books. If you want to promote other authors, organizations, blogs, or resources create separate boards for that purpose. Don’t forget to create personal boards that allow pinners to get to know you.

Step Two: Add new content regularly.

Step Three: Don’t forget Pinterest when you have news! Announce when your book is free, when you are launching a new book, when you have a new review – any news that you tweet, share, or shout to the masses should also be pinned.

Step Four: Be creative. How else can you use Pinterest? I posted videos of myself painting (I’m an oil painter as well as an author). I also created a board for pet contest entries: “Does your pet have what it takes to be in a mystery novel?” Because the contest was decided by popular vote, pet owners re-pinned and shared their pets’ photos. My most popular board is “Dramatic Mom“, an original comic my daughter and I create new content for 2-3 times a month (remember, adding new content consistently is the key).

Any information can be represented by a pin – how will you engage your fans? Think outside of the box! And yes, this can seem overwhelming. Build your stage one prop at a time, over time. Eventually you’ll have a grand showplace for your work.

3. What’s the point?

Your show will have an audience! All of the wonderful pins you collect will be searchable on Pinterest. People will find them. Your pins will be available for pinners to re-pin on their own boards. People will do this. When you add a new pin it will show up in real time on your followers’ feeds. People will follow you. I’m sure you get the point: Pinterest works.

Will you notice overnight results? No. Unless you pin something that goes viral, you aren’t likely to get rich quick from pinning. Is Pinterest another tool in your promotional toolbox? Oh yes! And, because Pinterest is all about pinning what you like, pinning may feel less like work and more like a little something called “fun”.

Natalie Buske Thomas is an author, artist and entertainer. Her newest release is book three in the Serena Wilcox Dystopian Trilogy; hard-hitting and humorous suspense featuring former private detective and mother-of-three Serena Wilcox and her motley crew of burned agents and the criminally insane.

HOT OFF THE PRESS NEWS:  Natalie is running a 99 cent promotion May 7-May 14 for Angels Mark, book 1 in the trilogy, to launch her new release Bluebird Flown, book 3!