Why Writers Need to Seriously Consider Pinterest

I wasn’t planning to write a post about Pinterest. But after hearing some grumbling about this up-and-coming social media site, I felt compelled to share my evolving thoughts about it.

I know writers fear over-commitment to social media. We’re already stretched thin between Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Tumblr, and Blogging.

“I just don’t have the time to add one more thing,” I’ve heard plenty of writers say.

I’m a tad busy too. But I’m making the time for Pinterest. In fact, if need be, I’ll subtract a little bit of time from some of the other social media sites so that I can interact on Pinterest.

Here are several reasons why I think Pinterest is important for writers:

Pinterest isn’t a passing fad. Last week I read an infographic by TalkingFinger. Here are just a few statistics the infographic cited about Pinterest that show how important it’s becoming:

• It has 1.36 million users DAILY.
• It generates more traffic to websites than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.
• There is a 145% daily user increase since the beginning of 2012.
• Over one-fifth of connected Facebook users are on Pinterest daily (which amounts to over 2 million people).

And here's another insightful infographic: Interest in Pinterest Reaches a Fever Pitch.

Pinterest provides key visual stimuli. I personally think that visuals attract people to our products more than any other type of marketing. Pictures are engaging, spark interest, and draw attention. In our culture of short-attention spans, the quick visual is sometimes all the time we have to garner someone’s interest. Just last week I was attracted to two different books as a result of pins on Pinterest. I’m sure if those pins grabbed my attention, they did others as well.

A recent study shows that Pinterest drives more revenue per click than Twitter or Facebook. The study said: "Pinterest is the first social network that’s delivering not only lots of traffic but also real revenue and lots of new customers."

Pinterest puts us into contact with more people than our followers. Currently with the way Pinterest is set up, every time you pin something that is “categorized” it will show up in that particular category under the “Everything” list which anyone can access. That means your pin has the potential to reach more than your followers. In fact, it can go viral. One of my inspirational pins got over 200 repins mostly by non-followers.

Pinterest allows us to connect with readers in a unique way. I connect with writers and industry professionals through Twitter and Blogging. But I’ve connected with readers mostly on Facebook. And since Pinterest is a female dominated site (so far 68.2% of Pinterest users are women), I have no doubt a large majority of my readers (women) will gravitate there at some point in the near future if they’re not already there. I want to be there waiting to welcome them.

On Pinterest, readers will get a better picture of my interests as well as my books (through my story boards). Recently, one follower on Pinterest said she decided to read my book as a result of my active presence on Pinterest. (Read what she said here.)

My summary:

For those who are dragging their feet about joining a new social media site, just remember the hesitancies you had with Twitter or that Facebook Page when you first started. They seemed a little intimidating at first, and you didn’t really “get” the point of them.

But once you jumped in and tried them, they began to grow on you, right?

It’s the same with Pinterest. Don’t let fear or other excuses stop you. As modern writers, we have to stay flexible and willing to change with the times.

Pinterest is only growing in popularity every day. Once you take part in the pinning fun, you’ll begin to see why it’s becoming so popular. And you’ll realize what a valuable new tool it can be to add to your writer’s toolbox.

Several cautions:

Pinterest is NOT a place to spam our books. Like any of the social media sites, Pinterest is SOCIAL. It works best if we pin/repin a variety of pictures that can entertain, encourage, and inspire others.

Pinterest needs to reflect YOU. One of the coolest things about Pinterest is that you can tailor your site to reflect your BRAND and who you are as a writer. For example, my boards display not only my novels, but also my love of writing, reading, coffee, and chocolate. I invite you to take a look and get some ideas from what I'm doing. But you shouldn't try to imitate me or anyone else. Figure out your brand and what is uniquely YOU.

Pinterest also needs to be for our readers. While it’s fun to have all kinds of random boards of things we like (i.e. hairstyles, kitchen remodeling,etc.), we need to keep the primary focus on having boards and pins that will appeal to our consumers. I think Random House and Penguin Books do a fabulous job with their boards. Both are promoting their books but at the same time appealing to their target audience in creative ways.

So, if you’re not using Pinterest, did I convince you of its worth? *grin* If not, why not? What’s holding you back? If you’re using Pinterest, what are some things you’ve learned about the site that can help other writers who are getting started on it?

*Image via: 18 stats to sell your boss on Pinterest

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