Pinterest is a wonderful place for authors, bloggers, and other writers to build their brand, and raise awareness about their content and products. After setting up a Pinterest profile, there are a multitude of decisions that need to be made. How many boards do I want? How many pins should I create? Should I use templates from BeFunky or perhaps Vimeo Create to design my pins? What types of pins [rich, video, story, product, etc.] should those be? How do I incorporate keywords in my pin descriptions? How often should I save other people’s content to my boards? When is the best time to publish a pin? Should I use a program, like Tailwind, to help me schedule my pins and analyze my profile’s performance? Which boards should I feature? Should I use hashtags? If so, when, where, and how many? The list goes on and on… Eventually, you’ll probably find yourself wondering, would joining a Pinterest Group Board help promote your writing?
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is also a search engine, where more than 300 million people look around every month for facts, product reviews, and recommendations. They also research fitness routines, family vacation destinations, recipes, fashion trends, or the latest gadgets, gizmos, and gear.
Pinterest is Unique
The focus on content over conversation on Pinterest has made it a popular place to market products, build brands, and distribute information.
It’s one of the few places where small businesses, individuals, and those just starting out are able to increase visibility for their brand just as easily as, and alongside, larger entities (Whole Foods Market, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, The Travel Channel).
Since Pinterest is a search engine, pin descriptions using specific keywords will allow someone to reach an audience far larger than their following. This means that person can achieve their desired impact, with respect to reach, on day one. This contrasts the waiting and building period necessary on many (most) social media sites, prior to promotional efforts becoming effective.
There is truly room, space, and opportunity for everyone on Pinterest!
The Pins Added to Group Boards are for Members Only
The pins added to group boards are not distributed the same way pins added to other boards are. Pinterest predominantly limits the distribution of those Pins to only the collaborators or followers of that board. Many people who don’t realize this will “drop and run”, adding pins to a group board without ever looking around or sharing the pins others are adding. This is an ineffective way to use the boards, and has led to many of the board owners creating and spending time enforcing more strict rules about who can join and how collaboration should occur.
How Can I Find a Group Board to Join?
There are many ways to quickly, and easily, find Pinterest group boards to join. I’ve listed the two I’ve found most effective.
Search Boards for a Specific Topic
There are a few ways to locate group boards. After you add a topic to the search bar on pinterest, you’ll see “All Pins”. It should be included in a dropdown menu, just to the right of the term or phrase you’ve added. Additional menu options include: “Your Pins”, “Videos”, “People”, and “Boards”. From these choices, select “Boards”.
If you’re a romance author looking to promote your writing by joining a Pinterest group board. You might start looking by searching the topic “writing romance”. If that doesn’t turn up any group boards you’re interested in, you could try “fiction romance”, or “writing fiction”.
Group boards are easily distinguishable from individually owned boards because they display the profile picture, or logo, of multiple members in a circle in the bottom left corner of the image. Another clue will often be the immense quantity of pins a board contains, which is listed under each option.
Search the Group Boards of Specific People
An alternative method [and the one I use most frequently] is to see which group boards those you are following have joined. Some of the people you’re following are likely to be other writers, using Pinterest to promote their books, or people who sharing the same, similar, or adjacent topics to your own. The boards they’ve joined are often going to be relevant to those areas.
When you’re looking at someone’s profile, just under the description, you’ll see the options “Created” and “Saved”, provided they have created pins. Click on “Saved” to see their boards. When you’re looking at a specific individual’s profile, their group boards are distinguishable from individual boards by the multiple round profile pictures to the right of their names.
How Do I Join a Pinterest Group Board?
I’ve come across three ways to join group boards. Sometimes you’ll see a “Request to Join” button when you’re looking at the board. Some boards will ask that you message the board owner on the platform. Other Pinterest group boards, like mine, ask that you send the owner an email.
The main reason I use this method is that I want the people who join my group boards to see the full list of options, to ensure they pick those that are most appropriate. I also want to make sure that the people asking to join have read, and intend to abide by, the board’s guidelines.
Determining Who Owns a Group Board
Once you’re inside a Pinterest group board, the profile pictures of the members will appear at the top of the screen. Clicking on that group of photos will pull up a full list of collaborators. You’ll see “Owner of this board” under the person listed first. Once you’ve joined a board, the second person you’ll see listed is yourself. For future reference, across from your name, you’ll find a “Leave” button, which can be used if you decide you’re no longer interested in being part of a group.
Abiding By Pinterest Group Board Guidelines
Each Pinterest group board will have different guidelines for members, and it’s important to read through them before joining. I personally won’t join groups that have certain stipulations. I avoid, for example, groups whose top priority seems to be the disproportionate advancement of its owner. Guidelines are typically either found on Pinterest or the board creator’s website. I use a combination of both.
In my boards’ descriptions, I mention:
- Pins should be vertical [1000 x 1500]
- This board is not a place to share product or affiliate pins
I added the first into the boards’ descriptions because it reflects a recent change in the pin size Pinterest is currently preferencing. The second was added as an explanation for why I have removed certain pins, and in some cases revoked people’s group membership.
For other rules, which I feel members could look at when they first join the board, I was originally directing them to a page on my site. Moving forward, they’ll be directed to this post.
- Share high quality, professional looking, vertical pins [preferably a 2:3 aspect ratio]
- For every pin you add, re-pin at least one other pin
- Make sure that every pin is related to the board topic, based on the description and what others have contributed
- Please, only post pins to a board once
- Only share, at most, 4 pins per day
Continued membership in a group is typically contingent on adhering to the stated guidelines. I check, once in a while, to see if the guidelines in any of my groups have changed.
Why I Create, and Use, Group Boards
One of the reasons I’ve created [and use others’] group boards is that I enjoy collaborating with other bloggers, writers, artists, and pinners! In addition to the Pinterest group boards I’ve created, on my account, I accept article submissions from guest authors on my blog. Since I’ve started writing, I’ve connected with others in ways that have challenged me to become a better writer and have had the opportunity to guide those who are just beginning their journey, through some of the things I’ve learned along the way.
Perhaps the biggest reason I use group boards is that I want to share amazing content with my audience about certain topics. I don’t want what I’m sharing to be limited to that which I’ve had time to produce myself. When I read an article that touches me, is instructive, or opens my eyes, I want to share it with others. I assume those who are engaged with what I’m discussing on my key topics are likely to also enjoy what I’m consuming in those areas.