Pinterest is underrated for writer marketing
Ten tips to use this social media platform to organize your Medium posts
“Pinterest is for lonely girls.” It was one of the oddest assumptions that I’ve heard about a social media platform, and I side-eyed the editor who proudly announced it with a biggole grin on her face. After I took a minute to avoid saying what I really wanted to say about this lady (not a big fan), I settled for a more diplomatic response: “Pinterest comes in handy as a marketing tool.” Suddenly she was intrigued, and it made me ponder on how well Pinterest markets its own company as more than just a place to share recipes, pet photos and crafts.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t really understand the platform as more than a place to pin hobby photos, here are 10 ways that Medium users can effectively use it for their marketing needs.
Organize your posts from extensive Medium publications. The interface of Medium publications with images usually only shows a maximum of 25 posts. After that, anyone scrolling through won’t know about older posts. If you organize your posts into Pinterest boards, Pinterest users can find all of the posts. Here are examples of how I’ve done this on my own Medium publications: Doggone World, I Do See Color, We Need to Talk and Window Shopping.
As long as someone re-pins the image and doesn’t change your Pinterest pin text, that increases the likelihood that even non-followers may click on links to your post.
Monitor your Pinterest Analytics to see what works. At the time of this publication, I average 75.3K monthly viewers. I can see which images get Top Impressions, Engagements and an Engaged Audience. Although I do not log into Pinterest on a daily basis and turned off alerts for re-pins years ago because it became overwhelming, it’s always useful to log in and see which pins are moving and which ones aren’t. If I see a pattern of a certain kind of image moving, I may be more likely to write those kinds of posts for my Pinterest audience, too. Or, at least pin those kinds of images that reasonably relate to my latest Medium post. As long as someone re-pins the image and doesn’t change your Pinterest pin text, that increases the likelihood that even non-followers may click on links to your post.
Test out which images work better to promote a post. One of my top 10 posts on Medium for the past few months has been “Productively teaching black children about colorism.” Although email and direct links are the most popular way that people are finding the post on Medium, the image on Pinterest put it in my top 30 top pins out of 6,900 total pins. Using images on Pinterest can help users learn which images your audience gravitates to.
Recommended Read: “Followers Become Customers”
Help people find your posts on other Medium publications. If you have multiple posts published on a Medium publication that does not belong to you, creating a Pinterest board will help your readers find your posts. Here are examples of how I’ve done this on Live Your Life on Purpose, Better Marketing, The Startup and The Haven. Additionally, it’s also helpful to recommend Medium publication posts that you like, whether you wrote them or not.
Find forgotten Medium posts you’ve written. I’ve worked for an online news site that favored being a content mill as opposed to wanting well-researched posts. I do not recommend this at all for anything other than empty posts and headaches. However, if you choose to drill out content in this manner anyway, it can become crowded. At some point, you won’t even remember what you wrote. And even if you’re writing Medium posts few and far between, if you write for Medium long enough, eventually there will be posts you may have written that just don’t come to mind. If you ever need to reference an old post, instead of scrolling and searching for it on the site, you can use Pinterest boards as a reference guide. (As long as you remember the image and use relevant hashtags, the post should be fairly easy to find, specifically because Pinterest has an option to only look for your pins.)
Cross promote older content on your posts. If you’ve ever read even one of my posts, you know I share recommended reads quite a bit. It looks like this:
Recommended Read: “Pinterest for Entrepreneurs: Why?”
I often will see a person clap for a post I’ve written and immediately clap for a “Recommended Read” within that same post soon after. Chances are pretty high that if you have a reader who is willing to read your post to the end, they’re interested in reading similar topics like it. (In this case, this post recommended above was not written by me. But Bernadette Geyer wrote this one so well that it inspired me. If you have other Medium writers whose posts you like, you could always create Pinterest boards for your favorite content of theirs too.)
Make use of a preferred feature image that didn’t make it to the post. If you’re writing Medium content for publications that choose their own images, more often than not, you won’t have control of them. Some editors will compromise more than others. But their publication, their rules. If there’s an image you insist on using to promote your image, Pinterest (along with other social media boards) are a perfect place to use your preferred image without being difficult with Medium editors.
Highlight your favorite quotes. Pinterest has a cornucopia of quotes. If your post has a quote that’s memorable enough to showcase, it may work out well as an alternative to images. Use Photoshop or free photo-editing options like Pixlr.com to create your own quote pictures. Are you unsure of which quotes are worth it? Pay attention to what Medium readers highlight the most on your posts.
Use the Pinterest links to share on your website homepage and/or navigation bar. Depending on how often you write Medium posts, linking all of them on your own website will become too text heavy. Whether you want external readers to see the posts, Pinterest users to see the posts or Medium users to see the posts, linking Pinterest boards also gives them the option of checking out all posts at once.
Take advantage of more cool images. Similar to the featured image suggestion above, there may be more than one image that works for your post. You can only have so many images within a Medium post before it looks like overkill. Pet Medium posts are a primary example of this, and they also do very well on Pinterest. You can of course create a Medium Pinterest board for article-only posts. However, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a pet board or another topic board to also share cool images and still link the post. For example, I have a dog publication called Doggone World but also have a “Pet Health” Pinterest board and a “Super Cute” Pinterest board. Even if a Pinterest follower doesn’t initially care about “Doggone World,” who doesn’t want to see adorable dog pics?
While there may always be an audience who incorrectly believes that Pinterest is for “lonely girls,” keep in mind that those same “lonely girls” have more flexibility to share individual, clickable links that aren’t available on Instagram. And it would take far too long for a reader to find all of your past posts on Facebook in between weeding out your other statuses. While Twitter is excellent at sharing content (especially with hashtags), this social media platform is also not particularly easy for organizational purposes. Pinterest, on the other hand, is a great place to do all of the above 10 things. Help people understand that Pinterest is for “lucrative” users — not the other L-word.
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