Social Media Support Sunday is an idea I’ve been fiddling with for a long time now in various forms. There are SO many times where I realize I’m not following some of my friends on social media somehow or I’m looking for new accounts to follow and I just have no idea where to begin. Sometimes we get stuck in our own social groups on social media or just the opposite — get lost in the sea of social media users and followers — that it’s hard to find new accounts. I’ve also been toying with the idea of posting “social media hacks” (which are really just any tips or tricks I’ve learned over the years). I don’t claim to be an expert on any social media site but I find that it’s always helpful to share information because you never know who has been looking for just that thing for a long time! I decided to combine these two things into Social Media Support Sunday with the hopes that I can help some book bloggers who are aiming to grow their social media presence in the easiest way possible!
Note: These posts are not designed to tell people “how to” or “how not to” use social media. They are simply packed full of helpful information to get knowledge out to people about various functions on social media sites that they may not be aware of or would like to learn more about. I am in no way saying there is a right or wrong way to run your social media accounts! The “best” way can only be determined by each individual user!
Over the next few Sundays, I’ll be doing features for multiple social media accounts that a prevalent in the book blogging community/book industry. Hang tight for:
So many people use Pinterest but I feel like not a ton of people use it to promote their book blogs. This week is a special Social Media Support Sunday because I’m teaming up with Stephanie from These Paper Hearts to share our experiences with Pinterest and how it’s helped us reach a large and different audience! Stephanie’s post is a “why” you should use Pinterest and like my previous Social Media Support Sunday posts, mine is more of a “how” with all of the details I’ve discovered since I’ve been using it as a marketing support tool!
(I apologize for not detailing all of the walk-throughs on how to set things up but when they’re already wonderfully worded, I don’t need to do it twice!)
SET YOURSELF UP LIKE A BUSINESS
- Switch your personal account to a business account. Pinterest functions exactly the same as far as your boards, general appearance, and functionality go but switching your personal account allows you to take advantage of things like Pinterest Analytics and using a business name instead of your own name. Massive Online Action has a nice walk-through with photos on how to make the transfer.
- Verify your website. I don’t this is a huge deal — I probably wouldn’t even notice if someone’s account wasn’t verified because it’s not something I look for but it is something nice to give you that extra dash of professionalism. Pinterest has a great walk-through on how to do that!
- Apply for rich pins. Ever wonder how people get those beautiful bolded titles on their pins that make things look so professional? Those are rich pins! There are actually several different types that can include info about your post/product. As bloggers, most of us would use article pins. They automatically include title and a description and it takes a little work out of the pinning process! You have to apply for your account to be approved for rich pins but the process is simple and painless!
- Add a “Pin It” button to your website. Ever notice the websites that have a “Pin it” button or Pinterest logo when you hover on a picture? It’s easier to entice viewers to pin that image when you make it easy for them to do! Personally, I use a plug-in that spans multiple social media accounts but there are a few different plug-ins or another walk-through from Pinterest on how to set it up.
PINNING TO BOARDS
Once again, I’m no pro on this but I’m happy to share my personal experiences so far! I’ve messed around with my “strategy” for a while and this seems to work well for me!
- Set up a variety of boards based on what you post. It’s easier for users/readers to find what they want to read if you set up different boards based on different interests. It’s easier to see at a glance what your blog is all about and it’s visually appealing to see similar things grouped together. It also makes it easy for someone to say, scroll through every single YA review you’ve posted or check out bookish infographics all in one place. It can be overwhelming to try to weed through every single post one board!
- On the flip side, try not to have TOO many boards. How many is too many? That’s really up to you, but try to create boards based on what people might be searching — reviews, specific fandoms, infographics, or bookish merch — to help guide people to a certain topic where they might stay and browse a while. For example, I use to have genre-specific boards but found that it was a bit too cumbersome to divide my YA reviews by genre so instead, I grouped them all under “Book Reviews – Young Adult”. And just because that was what felt comfortable for me doesn’t mean it will work exactly the same for you. Play around with the feel of your boards and see how you want them set up.
- Don’t be afraid to pin to multiple boards. Pinterest is all about reaching the widest audience possible and a plus and a down side is that a follower doesn’t have to follow all of your boards — they can pick one or they can pick them all! For example, my post for Anna and the French Kiss recommendations was first pinned to graphics/infographics but I also pinned to “For Fans of Anna and the French Kiss” and “The Best of The Book Addict’s Guide”. Pinning to multiple boards is also advantageous when you spread out the timing of your pins. Just like any other social media platform, users can miss one of your posts and catch it later on if it’s re-posted. I usually try to space it out if I’m pinning to multiple boards so a follower who follows all of my boards doesn’t see the same pin three times in a row. I also like my “best of” board because I can pin my favorite posts there and it’s a quick way for readers to see what those favorite posts are.
- GROUP BOARDS: Group boards are a resource that may be underwhelmingly utilized within the bookish community. Group boards allow anyone (who is invited) to pin to a board and provides a wider audience for pinners. Users can follow a group board and see relevant pints from multiple pinners without following each and every one of them. I started a set of group boards for the book community a while ago and any and all bookish people are welcome to join! Stephanie also created a group board for Young Adult Book Blogs to share their posts for readers and bloggers alike, focusing more on the reading aspect and less on blogging. The idea is that many, many, many people can follow the group board and it gets your post out there to a wider audience.
- You don’t have to pin everything. I used to pin every single post — if it’s out there, then someone can see, it right? But things like Top Ten Tuesday and other memes just didn’t perform well. They weren’t getting any repins or likes and were just starting to clutter up my boards so in the end, I decided to boot them. I feel like Pinterest appeals to the audience outside of the blogging world and most memes and/or weekly posts attract other bloggers over general book-lovers. Instead of adding more posts that my followers weren’t interested in for the sake of pinning it all, I became more selective and tried to appeal to what others might find interesting.
- Update your cover photos. If you have a super eye-catching pin, set that as the cover to your board. It’s a quick way to grab viewers and entice them to want to see more. Most of mine are catchy graphics, a super popular series, or a stunning photo.
PIN THE BEST PINS
- Use a nice, specially designed graphic or photo for each post you are pinning. Pinterest is obviously a very visual site. Users are mostly scanning their feeds or searches looking for something that’s applicable to their interests so graphics with a catchy title, beautiful image, or crisp photos are more likely to draw attention. I try to make a graphic for each post if it’s not one that contains many images or I’ll use a photo straight from the blog post. Sometimes I’ll overlay text over a photo… Well, you get the picture!
- Freshen up the description! Whether you’re pinning from your own website or repinning someone else’s post, always make sure the description is something appealing and easy to read. A picture with no caption can easily be passed up for something that explains what it is.
- Pin directly from the source. If you’re pinning something from your blog/website, pin directly from that page! You can copy and paste the link into Pinterest or add the “Pin It” button to your browser for easy pinning. It’s always better to link your pin back to your website so clicks will take people to your blog instead of just an uploaded photo with the URL in the description.
- BUT it doesn’t hurt to put the URL in the description as well. I may not do this as often as I should but I’ve seen this as a tip before — some people may not click on an image to bring them to a website but they may see a URL in the caption to take them to that article’s page. I personally don’t know how effective that is but if you’re interested in experimenting, it’s worth a shot!
- Long images beat wide ones. One of the tips you always see around is that a longer image is more attractive than a wider image on Pinterest. My guess is because of the way the website is set up and how articles flow when you’re browsing but it’s one of the most popular bits of advice there is about Pinterest!
Here’s the part where we share and explore! Feel free to add your Pinterest account to help others find you! Part of this process is also to find other people to follow and for us to support each other on social media so please do click on at least a few accounts that you don’t currently follow to check them out. It’s just a common courtesy since people will be doing the same for you!! Try to find at least a couple accounts to follow, or follow back some people who will be new followers to you. This is all about community!
Some of us have Pinterest user names that are different than our blogs/other social media accounts so please add your first name and your Pinterest user name to the “name” section. (So for me it would be “Brittany/bookaddictguide” — I’ll get it kicked off here!) Your link should be the link to your Pinterest account, NOT your blog!
** This feature is mostly directed to book bloggers since I feel like that is who will use it most but authors and other active book community members are also welcome to link up and share as well! Again… community! **