Remember the good old days when you would gather your favorite pictures, articles and photos and stick them in a scrapbook? Or pin postcards and notes on your kitchen pin board? Well, the art of the keepsake has just gone digital.
Pinterest is a digital scrapbook of your life. A way to tell the world who and what you are with visual snapshots. A way to follow and connect with a community of like-minded people without talking. Digital stalking has just gone artsy, and apparently 10.4 million users have jumped on the bandwagon. 140 characters is just too much. Pictures speak louder than words.
But is this new social media site relevant to the music industry? Can musicians harness the power of Pinterest to their advantage? In a word, “yes.” Below is my guide to Pinterest for musicians.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE PINTEREST
- First and foremost, Pinterest is another powerful viral marketing tool for music videos. It allows you to share Youtube and Vimeo videos on your page.
- Your Pinterest page is automatically public which instantly strengthens your online brand identity, increases your search engine optimization and boosts your viral power.
- It compliments your existing social media sites by allowing you to share your “pins” on Facebook and Twitter. You can also link to other social media sites in your bio section.
- It’s a cross-promotional tool that allows you to connect with people in other industries such as fashion, photography, film etc.
- It gives your fans a visual snapshot of your personality and interests, revealing the person behind the music.
- It allows you to filter and categorize your interests. Unlike Facebook, nothing gets lost in a timeline.
- It can be used as a digital resume—you can “pin” tour posters, press photos, album covers, videos and articles to Pinterest. Check out ReverbNation’s page for ideas on pinning.
- People can follow certain boards on your Pinterest page rather than following everything. This filter function allows you to be more specific about your information stream.
- Other people can pin to your page, forming a creative, two-way sharing process with your fans.
TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED
For a step-by-step guide on setting up a Pinterest account, check out this great article by Sorta Crunchy. Also bear in mind the following:
- Similar to other social media sites, the success of your Pinterest page is based on authenticity. Create a balance between your personal and professional identity, and don’t create a Pinterest account unless you enjoy it and want to use it regularly.
- Ensure you create personalized boards specific to you, such as “Bands I love”, “music websites I follow”, “lyrical inspirations”. This personalization of your page enables you to categorize your interests more clearly, allowing fans more freedom to choose what they want to hear about. Check out music biz coach Madalyn Sklar’s page as an example.
- Utilize the search box in the top left hand corner to search for other people with similar interests.
- Utilize key words and descriptions in your bio. This may determine whether someone will follow you. Make sure it is consistent with your branding.
- Add your website URL and links to your other social networking sites in your bio section.
- Don’t forget to categorize your pins and use key words in your tags so they appear in key word searches.
- Utilize the iPhone app for Pinterest to pin photos you’ve taken onto your Pinterest page.
- For other ideas of what to pin check out these great articles by Gig Masters and Kimbee Jabber.
- Check out the Indie Ambassador list of musicians and music industry professionals on Pinterest to help you get started building a Pinterest community, and enter your Pinterest contact info in the form at the bottom to be included in the list!
DRAWBACKS TO PINTEREST
When you first start using Pinterest be aware of the following:
- Other than videos, there is no other way to directly share your music on Pinterest. Hopefully this will change and the Pinterest team will develop a way to share music via music players on Pinterest.
- You can’t pin posts from Facebook or Twitter to Pinterest. It’s also difficult to post pins to Facebook without cutting and pasting a link, unless you use the Pinterest iPhone app. You can, however, “tweet” your pins very easily.
- The Pinning function online only picks up HTML files and videos. This means that text files cannot be pinned to your page. This can make it difficult if you want to pin specific text (such as a press quote) from a Wordpress blog.
- If you want to pin something from another website, the wrong thumbnail picture is often picked up in the pinning process (like an advert). This can be frustrating if you feel that picture doesn’t represent what you want to pin.
- Currently the social media site has a predominately female user base. You need to evaluate your target audience before deciding whether Pinterest is right for you.
Overall, Pinterest provides another creative direct-to-fan resource for musicians. It incorporates and highlights three fundamental elements of music marketing - the importance of video sharing, the importance of visual branding, and the rise of ADD culture.
So without further ado, get pinning!