Pinterest is currently the fifth most popular social media site on the web (just behind Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
Although its user base is primarily made up of women between the ages of 18 and 49, the male user base is also starting to grow.
This is important to know, because if your fan base isn't generally in that range, there isn't much point in promoting your music there.
But you should also keep in mind that, in general, women tend to be a lot more social, and share a lot more stuff compared to men. This has been playing out on Pinterest for several years already.
And artists like Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum have certainly experienced some success on the platform (though it isn't really hard to see why, because of how visual their brands are).
Another important consideration is whether or not you are a visually-oriented artist or band. Technically, every artist does have a visual component to them, but if you don't have a lot of media – photos and videos – to share, and you don't have a brand people can connect with, then you might want to hold off on Pinterest.
With that out of the way, let's take a look at how you can use Pinterest to market your music as a musician.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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Sign Up A Pinterest Account & Fill Out Your Profile In Full
I'm not going to walk you through the exact steps involved in getting set up with Pinterest, because I'm sure you can figure that out on your own.
What I am going to suggest is that – once you have your account – you fill out your profile in full.
I know, this probably seems like a drag. Every time you create a new social profile, you have to enter your information all over again.
But we can't underestimate the importance of search, even when it comes to social media. Plus, on Pinterest, you can include your website address in your profile.
You can also connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Regardless of whether you intend to share your pins on either of these networks, I would still recommend connecting your accounts.
All the basics still apply – remember to use your band or artist name as your username, and include a link to your website.
Musicians Should Create 10 Pinterest Pinboards
I've done quite a bit of research on this, and everything I've read has pointed to the fact that you should have at least 10 pinboards to populate your account.
Again, as with your profile, you should write full-blown descriptions – including keywords – for each of the boards.
Getting set up can take time, but keep in mind that you won't have to go through this process again. Once it's done, it's done – unless you choose to get rid of certain boards and add in other ones.
As for what to title your boards, you should use very straightforward titles. If you want to share content from your blog, for example, you might have a board called “[Artist Name] Blog”, where [Artist Name] is the name of you or your band, of course.
Arts, crafts, dream homes, motivational music quotes, infographics, and nicely designed banners all tend to get a lot of engagement on Pinterest. You might want to create pinboards around some of those topics and content types.
Of course, you could also have boards for cars you love, guitars you one day hope to own, and music videos you love. Having some music related content should be a priority.
Here's a bit of an advanced growth hacking tip. If you want to appeal to the ego of others, create a board called “The Coolest Pins on Pinterest”, “The Most Awesome People on Pinterest”, or something like that. Then, pin things that you like to that board. With any luck, people will start following you.
Pin 10 Things To Each Of Your Boards
Even at this stage, we're still in setup mode.
If you have 10 boards, and you need to pin 10 things to each (remember to add a description with keywords), that's 100 pins in total. My recommendation is to spend the next 10 days pinning 10 things to each of those boards instead of doing it all at once.
Why? Because this is a habit you need to develop to be successful on Pinterest. You must make it a priority to pin 10 new things to your boards every day. This shouldn't prove to be terribly time-consuming, unless you get lost in browsing a lot of cool things (which is easy to do on any social network).
The same can certainly be said for following users as well. You should get into the habit of following a few here, a few there, because it does appear to have an impact on how many people follow you back. You can follow up to 50,000 people total.
I'm not suggesting that you follow at random, but you should still be proactive about following new users on a regular basis, especially those that like your pins or leave a comment.
What To Do Post-Setup
If you've followed along with my instructions to this point, you're basically set up and good to go.
When you have a new picture or new video to share, you should pin it to one of your boards. This can help it gain more attention.
If you're a blogging musician, then you should also pin your blog posts every time you write one, and make sure that people are brought to your website when they click on your pins (you can include a URL to your website). By extension, you should include attractive images in your blog posts too – after all, you can't pin text.
Supposedly, Pinterest boasts some of the best referral traffic on the web. What this means is that – out of all the social media sites – it tends to send the most traffic to blogs and websites. I can't confirm or deny that, but it seems to add up.
And, as I mentioned earlier, keep on pinning 10 things on a daily basis. It may be hard to believe that something so simple could lead to a bigger following over time, but many have done it. It just requires consistency.
Use Pinterest Ads To Drive Traffic To Your Website
As with most social media sites, Pinterest has an advertising platform you can use to gain more exposure for your posts.
With promoted pins, you can target a specific audience based on location, demographics, and devices. Since they use a cost-per-click (CPC) model, you can set a daily budget and duration for your ads. If you’ve done any social advertising at all, you already know the drill.
Their requirements, however, are somewhat stringent. Pinterest is kind of like LinkedIn that way – many see it as a professional network where excessive self-promotion is discouraged.
Pinterest tells us that your ads need to be:
- Authentic to who you are, what you’re about, and what you offer.
- High-quality. In their own words, something that makes you “proud”.
- Non-spammy. No bad stuff allowed – be professional.
- Legal. This seems self-explanatory, but good to keep in mind.
If you aren’t respectful, Pinterest will reject or remove your ad at their own discretion. If you want to learn more, follow the above link which tells you everything you need to know about advertising with them.
Advertising is not recommended unless you have a budget.
And I’m not just talking about enough money to run one limited time campaign. For your campaign to be effective, you’ll need to keep updating your targeting based on who's responding to your ad. This process is called “optimization”.
No one, not even expert marketers, always get the results they’re looking for off the bat. They monitor the analytics and optimize over a period of time to get their targeting on-point.
Note: If you don’t have a great video, product, or offer waiting on the other side of that ad, it won’t do you a whole lot of good. Use promoted pins when you feel you have something noteworthy to share.
In my opinion, cross-promotion doesn’t get talked about enough. A proper cross-promotion strategy can help you achieve double the results with half the effort.
What would that look like on Pinterest?
First, you would find another artist or band that’s willing to partner up with you. You would make an agreement to promote each other on an ongoing basis – long-term thinking is a must.
Saving other people’s content to your boards is one of the main ways you’re going to be engaging in ongoing promotion anyway. There’s no reason why you couldn’t create a board called “Friends”, “Partners”, or something like that.
Both you and your partner should be pinning 10 things per day. In addition to that, you would repin each other’s content to your newly created pinboards. Again, 10 is a good number to aim for. You don’t have to pin 20 things in the same sitting if you don’t want to – you could simply log in to Pinterest twice per day to pin. And that way you won’t overwhelm anyone who’s following you either.
Then, periodically, you can share your partner’s Pinterest profile on Twitter and Facebook, and ask them to do the same. You could collaborate on YouTube videos, and again promote each other’s Pinterest accounts. Additionally, you could use blog posts, email campaigns, Instagram, Snapchat… the only limitation is your imagination here.
The best part about this strategy? It doesn’t cost you any money, it gives you accountability, and it doubles the results you’re capable of achieving on your own in less time. It’s a win-win – though I know not all artists would see it that way.
Advanced Cross-Promotion Strategies
Caution: The following strategies do work, but if Pinterest figures out what you’re up to, and they don’t like it, you could get kicked or banned from their platform (you run this risk with all social media you use regardless). Don’t come back to me later and tell me I didn’t warn you.
Okay, so what follows are some advanced “black hat” Pinterest strategies – real things people have done to maximize their Pinterest marketing. Should you do these things too? That depends on the resources and time available to you, and how much of a risk-taker you are.
The first strategy is to create multiple Pinterest accounts under different email addresses and pseudonyms. Email addresses are basically free, so you can create as many accounts as you want under as many pseudonyms as you want.
Then, you would simply use these accounts to repin everything you’ve posted on your main account. You can also create other boards to establish a sense of reality for these “dummy” accounts, but basically what this enables you to do is “cross-promote” without a partner.
I’ve tried this myself. The only downside? It’s a very time-intensive process. Managing one social media account? Not so bad. Spreading your time between four or five on the same platform? It can add up fast.
Admittedly, you could set up a band Pinterest account, and then accounts for each of the members in the band. This wouldn't be “black hat” at all.
The second strategy is to acquire (and by acquire I mean buy) other people’s popular Pinterest accounts they don’t want anymore. You could look for accounts that are no longer active and approach them with a deal privately. This should be a private deal from start to finish.
But depending on how popular the profile is, and how much it’s worth to the owner, you won’t get far with the negotiations anyway. It could be worth a pretty penny.
Also, if you're going to move forward with this, you should target accounts that closely match the interests of your own. Otherwise, it will be hard to take advantage of. Naturally, the main benefit of acquiring profiles is that you don’t have to build your following from scratch, and you can leverage their popularity to promote your own website or music.
Pinterest is all about visuals. Please keep that in mind if you are using it to market yourself and your music.
This means that the media you share should be as attractive as possible. There's plenty of room for experimentation, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what kinds of things people are liking and pinning to their own boards. You can do a keyword search, or simply find popular accounts and see what's working for them.
I would also suggest avoiding overly self-promotional tactics. As with LinkedIn, Pinterest has a certain air of professionalism about it. Don't spam, don't hit people over the head with your products, and remember to have fun.