Guest Post: Debbie Gonzales on Kidlit Promotion & Personal versus Business Pinterest Accounts

By Debbie Gonzales

The typical Pinterest user searches the platform for one-off ideas to enhance their projects. Such pinners typically establish Personal Accounts on which to save and classify pins they find to be educational, inspirational, or edifying.

Oftentimes, book creators build what are known as “mood boards” by selecting and categorizing pins that visually represent themes, characterization, or scenes as reference for team collaboration on literary projects.

However, the biggest drawback of using Pinterest in this way is that pinners miss out on monumental marketing opportunities that Business Accounts offer. The good news is that both types of accounts are free to use and there are ways to benefit from creative aspects of each. Business Accounts amp a marketer’s reach exponentially! Let me show you how.

Stretch to the Sun by Carrie A. Pearson, illustrated by Susan Swan
Charlesbridge, 2018

Author Carrie Pearson’s Pinterest platform is an exemplary example of incorporating creativity and business smarts.

“Several years ago, at the suggestion of my daughter, I started to use Pinterest as a tool for planning home renovation projects and upcoming graduation parties,” she says.

“I created a few boards to collect others’ pins. Then I read that teachers were using Pinterest for classroom ideas and wondered how I might be able to offer content about my books to them. I started to create boards and thought I might give more information about my books and larger topics around them. But I wasn’t hitting the mark. Deb showed me more clearly what educators need to know and how I can offer support through pins I curate and pins I create.”

Carrie has employed both the Personal Account and Business Account principles in building her platform. Her curated pins are based on the mood board model. The pins she creates are strategically designed with her intended audience in mind. (Carrie Pearson is a marketing force to reckon with, let me tell you.)

Before delving into the basics of a Business Account, Pinterest users need to understand how to create pins and boards that resonate with their audiences. Pins and boards share components that, when combined, methodically enhance visibility. Astute pinners use SEO (Search Engine Optimization), keywords, and hashtags to intentionally discover where their audience lives on Pinterest.

By implementing effective Pinterest marketing strategies, book creators can serve up their content to educators and book lovers on a silver platter!

Basically, a pin is a graphic image that has been linked to a website. Creating graphics is not as threatening as one might think. There are lots of ways for a novice pinner to make them. Pinterest makes it easy by allowing for pinners to create graphics directly on their platform. Canva offers free software complete with easy-to-use templates to get the job done.

Once a graphic has been created and uploaded to one’s platform, the pinner should post an engaging description of the pin, one that is lightly sprinkled with well-planned SEO keywords and hashtags. The title for the pin should invite audience engagement. Lastly, the pinner needs to be certain that the pin is linked to their website and that it is categorized relevant boards, those that complement the messaging of each pin.

Boards built for Business Accounts require engaging, SEO-laden descriptions, as well. Think of boards as labeled shelves on which selected books might be stored. You might discover that some of the books cross-reference with other relevant shelves. For example, one title might find a home on shelves labeled “Biographies,” “Nonfiction,” “Picture Books,” and “Favorites.” The same principle holds true for boards and pins. In fact, it is a good marketing strategy to create pins that find relevance in several boards, rather than just one. That is how visibility is amplified!

Take a moment to examine Carrie’s Pinterest platform (She won’t mind if you do.). Note the relevancy of the pins that are categorized in each board. See how the messaging between the two goes together? Determine which pins have been curated from Pinterest as compared to those she has created herself. Identify ways that she has blended aspects of a Personal Account and a Business Account in her carefully constructed platform.

Now that you’ve analyzed the effectiveness of a successful Pinterest marketer’s platform, let’s begin building boards for yours. Ask yourself the following questions when doing so:

  • Can you build several relevant boards from a central theme, such as Science, STEM, STEAM, Nonfiction, Ecosystems & Habitats?
  • Be sure to create boards especially for your intended audiences, such as For Teachers, For Educators, For Librarians, and For Homeschoolers. This way, you will maximize your messaging by posting useful content about your book in all their boards.
  • Is there a way to tease relevancy from your board topics with open-ended, creative expressions, such as Curiosity, Exploration, Inspiration, and Adventure?

Finally, those of you who currently have vibrant Personal Accounts might be resistant to shifting content over to a Business Account for fear you will lose all your long-sought treasures.

Not to worry, my friends, happily, there is a way to keep your DIY, Great Recipe, and Home Renovation boards separate from your Business façade. Make Secret Boards! Your creative content will be saved for you there for as long as you like.

Cynsational Notes

Up next: Debbie explores using Pinterest analytics, and in case you missed the first post in this series, check out the Buzz About Pinterest.

Debbie Gonzales is an author, a career educator, and a Pinterest marketing specialist. Being passionate about the marketing potential of Pinterest, Deb delights in leading on-line or in-person workshops, managing client platforms, and coaching Pinterest users in one-on-one sessions.

She has created and established the Guides by Deb website, a free resource consisting of over 300 standards-aligned teacher guides crafted for some of the finest kidlit books in the industry.

Deb is the author of Girls With Guts: The  Road To Breaking Barriers And Bashing Records, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Charlesbridge, 2019). She earned her MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Visit Cynthia Leitich Smith on Pinterest.