Making the Most of Pinterest: Fun Ways to Grow Your Business

A few weeks ago, my daughter came home for a break from grad school. During that two week period, she managed to do something that surprised me – entertained me for hours with pictures from her Pinterest account!
She also encouraged me to revive and actively engage my own account, so like a good mother, I did what she said. LOL Now, everybody knows Pinterest is lots of fun…addictively so, but in the midst of the fun and aggresively approaching addiction, I had an epiphany.
Someone once said “a picture says a thousand words,” and they were right, so in this age of technology, that same picture can be seen and enjoyed, interpreted, or both by millions at once. What statement are you making with your Pinterest account? Here are just a few you might want to consider…
1.   Self-expression – The boards we create and pictures we choose to “pin” say a great deal about who we are as individuals. Since we all wear many hats and our lives are multi-faceted, Pinterest is a great way to weave this mosaic onto one entertaining  page.
2.   Book story-boards – Several authors, including myself, enjoy “pinning” pictures of story characters to Pinterest boards. I have two such boards: one for all of my books, including works in progress (WIP’s), and the other for a current series, “Dark Sentinels.”
3.   Inspiration for books, covers, and characters – Pinterest can also help us conceptualize our stories, covers, and characters. As I collect more pictures, particularly for my “Male Inspiration” board, it’s funny how stories just pop into my head simply because certain pics stimulate creativity.
4.   Meeting new people with similar interests – This has been one of the best and biggest surprises of using Pinterest. Every time I pin something that’s been pinned by someone else, their board pops up and I get the opportunity to see what else they’re interested in. Sometimes I find that we have quite a few interests in common, so I “follow” them so we have more chances to get to know each other better. New friends and acquaintances are always a good outcome J
5.   Relaxation – Of course, this one is a no-brainer. It’s self-made entertainment in the raw when you periodically review your own boards. Sort of a slideshow of your interests.
6.   Creating fun, interesting tweets and shares – Pictures are retweeted and shared more often than anything else, maybe because most of us are visual creatures, and pics aren’t always asking for something or telling us to do something (although they can be, and that’s fine too. Just make sure it’s a really good pic). Pick one of your Pinterest “pins” and tweet about it. Keeps things fresh and you can make it a regular highlight for your Twitter “followers.” Who knows? Might even help win more followers.” I’ve also seen authors using Instagram and other photo boards for this purpose, and creating pics from quotes using programs like Share as Image.

7.   Using marketing analytics to track interests – Over the last year or two, a number of marketing analytics apps and programs have emerged to help monitor people’s interests, sync Pinterest accounts with Facebook and Twitter, offer suggestions to enhance your site, etc. Check out Tailwind, Pinvolve, Woobox and others to help optimize your Pinterest use and engage more viewers.