3 Reasons Why Every Indie Author Should be Using Pinterest
Pinterest, the visual search engine service that allows people to save images to virtual pinboards, has slowly emerged as a powerful internet platform that authors can use to to build an author brand, attract new email list subscribers and sell books.
According to statistics from Alexa, Pinterest is the 28th most popular website in the United States and the 77th in the world.
With 250 million users, Pinterest has a slightly smaller footprint than other social platforms like Instagram or Facebook but could be the perfect platform for book marketing.
|Total Number of Monthly Active Users [As at 17 Sept. 2018]
Snapchat has lost 3 million daily users, Twitter lost a million monthly users in the U.S., and growth on Facebook is slowing — but Pinterest seems to be immune to the social media drop off.
On Monday, September 10, Pinterest co-founder and CEO Evan Sharp shared that the network has now reached over 250 million monthly users, a growth of 50 million users compared to the numbers from 2017.
In fact, research shows that Pinterest beats Instagram at influencing purchasing decisions with US users.
Pew Research Center also conducted a study and found that Pinterest is the third most popular social media among adults in the United States, with a 29% market share.
Pinterest’s growth is driven by more than 250 million monthly active users that have saved more than 100B Pins, all of which are opportunities to drive traffic to an external source.
The visual discovery engine also sees more than 2 billion searches every month – 85% of which are from mobile devices – and is cashing in on increased Internet traffic with a growing global audience, with more than half of all active users and 80% of new signups coming from outside the U.S.
What’s more, Pinterest is said to drive approximately 7.53% of all referral traffic to websites. This number is only second to Facebook’s based on a study by Shareaholic.
Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Google+ trail behind Pinterest by a mile when it comes to referral traffic.
Based on data from 2107, Pinterest has benefited from Facebook’s decrease in share of visits since Pinterest is predominantly focused on sharing content tied to external sites. Their increase in visits year on year is more than double the other growing Social Networks combined.
Why should every Indie Author build a presence on Pinterest?
There are three answers to that question: Organic Reach, Discoverability and Demographics.
#1. Organic Reach
There are more than 20 social media platforms out there and each one of them offers unique advantages when it comes to book marketing for authors.
Most of us want to keep the social in social media. These free platforms provide a great opportunity for us to build connection with your readers, find out what they are interested in and authentically share our life experiences and celebrate successes with other people.
One thing, however, is very clear.
Popular sites like Facebook and Twitter are “pay to play” and that is not going away. In fact, it is only going to become worse and increasingly expensive as more businesses use these platforms to drive traffic to their websites or offers.
Organic Facebook posts are now reaching only a tiny portion of your Facebook followers. That’s their business model and it works. Authors have to pay Facebook to display ads for their work to targeted members of the Facebook audience.
Facebook ads work by Interruption marketing. They simply pop up when the Facebook computer matches the demographic data you gave in your personal profile, with the profile the advertiser has created for their paid ad.
What makes Pinterest different?
Pinterest is a visual search engine, not a social media platform.
When someone goes onto Pinterest they are actively searching for specific information about a topic or problem or to be inspired with new ideas. Pinterest will provide search results in the form of images – pins attached to virtual pin boards, products and personal profiles which are directly linked back to the URL of the original source.
One click takes the Pinterest user directly to your content.
And it’s free organic traffic.
The Lifespan of each post or update.
One of the challenges of posting on Facebook or Twitter is that your update will only get attention if your target reader is on the platform at that particular time of the day. That’s why you may have to repost updates several times a day to have a chance of being seen.
Pinterest pins are completely different. They are static images which will still be seen weeks or even months after you pin that image. Pins have a long-tail effect not seen on social media. A single pin lasts about 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post.
|Average Half-life of posts, tweets and pins, where you see 50% of all clicks and views.
|90 minutes at most
This gives you the ability to drive continual long-term traffic back to your book pages, blog posts, email subscriber landing pages, video or any other service or product you want to offer. And you only have to create that pin once and leave it.
Your Pinterest followers see your ideas first in their news feed.
Don’t forget that pins are actively being repined and shared by your audience organically, expanding your reach.
The average pin is repined 11 times – meaning that your content gets in front of at least 11 other people’s audiences.
Pinterest Users are looking for things to purchase.
VentureBeat reported that Pinterest drives more revenue per click than Facebook or Twitter. People come to Pinterest with a shopping mindset, using it as a pre-shopping cart.
Essentially Pinterest is not a social media platform – at the core it is a search engine. Pinterest users are very different from other internet platforms – they are not only there to chat and share photos of their pets – they are there to be inspired and buy products. Pinterest is a visual discovery tool for an audience who is actively looking for information.
When you type a search query into Pinterest the system will come back with multiple suggestions which lead you down a path until you find the exact thing you are looking for in the shape of a pin, Pinterest board or people profile.
Although the pin is a visual, on each pin will be a direct link to your website, blog, or book page. You can pin a copy of the book cover of your latest release with a link which takes the user directly to the Amazon sales page for your book, or a book review etc.
You have control of both how your image is described and where you want the user to go when they click on a pin.
This makes it very simple to market directly to your ideal readers, who are actively looking for you and your work.
It easily interlinks with other platforms
Aside from being search engine friendly, Pinterest also stands out for being easy to interlink with other social networking platforms. It emphasizes the use of keywords and hashtags, which is not only good for search engine ranking but also makes content easily visible to other platforms. It can be quickly linked with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media.
#3. Demographics and Niche Interests
Pinterest users are spending time on Pinterest in a very different way from social media.
“Social media is about sharing what you are doing with other people,” Evan Sharp, Pinterest’s co-founder and chief product officer said in an interview. “Pinterest isn’t about sharing. It’s mostly about yourself, your dreams, your ideas for what you want for your future.”
- Pinterest is the number one shopping platform for millennials.
- 81% of Pinterest users are Female.
- 250 million monthly active users have pinned 175 billion items on 3 billion virtual pinboards.
- 40% of New Signups are Men; 60% New Signups are Women.
- Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram.
- The median age of a Pinterest user is 40, however, the majority of active pinners are below 40.
- Half of Pinterest users earn $50K or greater per year, with 10 percent of Pinteresting households making greater than $125K.
- 30% of all US social media users are Pinterest users.
- 50% of Pinterest users are from the US.
- 96% of users regularly research products on the channel, while 87% buy the items they see.
- 93% of users plan their purchases on the platform already.
- More than half of those plucky pinners also have an annual income of more than $50,000.
- According to a Nielsen study, 98% of Pinners go out and try ideas they find on Pinterest.
“At a time when the internet can feel increasingly negative and politicized, we think it’s remarkable that a quarter of a billion people are choosing to spend their time on Pinterest, a place that helps them feel positive and optimistic about the future,” Sharp wrote in a Pinterest blog post.
Not only is the whole ethos of Pinterest different from other social media platforms, but Pinterest users want to share and collect aspirational ideas, and to purchase items that they see.
Example of a target demographic that every author whether fiction or non-fiction can appeal to. Generation Z.
Generation Z, as they have been coined, consist of those born in 1995 or later. This generation makes up 25.9% of the United States population, the largest percentage, and contribute $44 billion to the American economy. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.
According to the Pinterest Newsroom, “Gen Z wants to have a voice, and with their fluency in digital media, writing is a powerful medium. A Pinterest board on the writing aesthetic will give you insight into the writer’s lifestyle, such as coffee shops, daydreams, fan fiction or creativity. Many of these boards also include tips on writing, such as character development or common mistakes to avoid. Gen Z’ers are even searching for terms like character design and writing prompts much more than millennials are.”
This could be why Generation Z has found a cultural home on Pinterest which has seen a huge increase of +241% in the number of Pinterest searches linked to creativity and writing.
Consider the impact that reaching that audience could have on your indie author business.
Pinterest could be the ideal online channel for you to build free organic traffic for your author brand and platform.
Book Marketing today is more challenging than ever before. Every author struggles with Discoverability – no matter how they are published.
That’s why I am excited to share with you the impact that the PINTEREST platform can have on your author business.
Once your Pinterest Author Platform is in place, you can focus on converting blog traffic into Email List Subscribers and sell more books!