Using Pinterest for Artist Marketing

Pinterest-famehouseGuest post by Valeria Bornstein of Fame House

Pinterest has quickly become one of the fastest growing social media sites, now boasting over 11.7 million unique visitors per month and 17.8 million registered users. Pinterest’s rapid growth is the result of a few key factors. First, their platform is visually appealing. Users select items of interest based primarily on imagery, so there is very little text to read, ultimately retaining a user’s attention for much longer.

Another factor is that Pinterest users can sign in through Facebook or Twitter, which automatically integrates them into their existing social networks. This means that sharing across social media platforms is already built into Pinterest, even if one may not have any Pinterest “followers” yet. Yet another key advantage for Pinterest is in its easy-to-use interface. People can navigate it and create new boards without much trouble or confusion – very clean, and very simple.

There are shortcomings, however. Pinterest offers fewer discovery methods when compared to other leading social media sites. There can be a bit of work involved in tracing a pin to the original pinner, making it more difficult to directly engage with fans. The site does not employ an algorithm of any kind that recommends pinners or boards to follow based on a user’s activity. Although this isn’t much of an issue for individual users, it can make things a little less convenient for brands that are trying to build an audience on Pinterest.

Pinterest’s demographics are also unique compared to Facebook or Twitter’s. 68.2% of Pinterest users are women, and 50% of users are parents. Comparatively, Facebook’s user demographics by gender are 57% female and 43% male, and Twitter’s gender demographics are about the same, with females slightly outnumbering males. Although there isn’t a great disparity between female and male users on Pinterest, it is enough to potentially cause a mismatch between a particular artist’s audience and a Pinterest audience.

If your audience is predominantly female, it might make more sense to communicate to your audience via Pinterest. If not, Pinterest is still useful, but primarily as an external engagement tool and not necessarily as a fan accumulation tool. For these reasons, it is important to note that Pinterest would work best, from a music marketing perspective, for connecting and engaging with your current fans, and not as an audience-building or music discovery platform.

The Benefits of Sharing on Pinterest

If you have fans that are passionate enough to follow you across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, it is safe to assume that they will also likely follow you on Pinterest as well. Pinterest is a great place to connect with fans on a personal level because it allows you to showcase your tastes, as well as things that interest you individually. On Pinterest, users share primarily pictures (videos too), and again, there isn’t much writing involved so it is more visually appealing and can be easier to capture people’s attention. Pinterest is not a site that is driven by music at all, so it is essentially a platform for purely sharing content with fans.

Pinterest can be an effective platform for building relationships with audiences, but is an ineffective platform to “sell” to them. By sharing on Pinterest, your fans get a better sense of who you are as a person, and you can build emotional connections with them, which should be one of the main goals of any brand-fan relationship. Fans are more willing, by far, to spend money on and support (word of mouth shall not be discounted!) those artists that have made a personal connection with them.

Tools for Pinterest

Pinterest has a variety of tools for sharing. You can always post a picture of something directly within the site, of course, but you can also pin things from other web sources as well. You can install a “Pin It” button to your browser (Safari only currently) so that you can easily share anything you come across on the web. You can also choose from a variety of Pinterest icons to link your Pinterest account to your website or blog. The site also offers “Follow Me on Pinterest” icons. You can now also add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook Timeline.

While these tools are great for getting your fans to follow you on Pinterest, the site also offers ways for fans to pin your work to their own boards. This is an incredibly helpful way to get fans to interact with your art directly. The “Pin It” button for websites allows you to add an icon next to your pictures, videos, quotes, or anything else for your fans to share. This gives you the opportunity to make viral impressions, as your fans will share your art and interests with their followers. All of these tools are available in the Goodies section on the site.

Third Party Apps

There are a few third party apps out there that are useful for building a strong community on Pinterest. One such app is called Shareasimage, which allows a user to highlight any text from anywhere on the web, and then converts the text into an image that you can share on Pinterest (you can also use this app for Facebook and Twitter). allows users to take a screenshot of a website and share it on Pinterest. You can use this as a purely promotional tool for your own website, or as a new and interesting way to share your favorite sites with your fans. Snapitto! does the same thing, but with a greater variety of options and capabilities.

Pinterest can be a very fun and addictive way to connect with your fans and build more meaningful relationships with them. When using Pinterest and other social media sites, it’s important to remember that the point of social media is to be social. It's best to not use Pinterest, or any social media site for that matter, to just sell to your audience. This tactic has not only proven to be ineffective, but impersonal as well. The fans that you build lasting personal relationships with today are the ones who will support you and your art for years to come.

Valeria BornsteinFame House

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  1. Really enjoyed the article. We’ve been using Pinterest for a while and am always looking for advice on how to gain some traction on the site.
    In the “Tools for Pinterest” section, it was mentioned that only Safari users can install a “Pin It” button, but for Chrome users, you can just bookmark the pin button to your broswer. Instructions are at
    Also, I’ve found some other cool tools! – measures you influence on Pinterest. – helps to create cool board covers. – also helps measure your influence.

  2. Pinterest added a group admin feature for a board. An artist or a band can make their fans admin. That’s great to increase fan participation, like Pin street team.

  3. Thank you, I am glad that you enjoyed the article. Thank you also for letting my know that you can bookmark pins using Chrome I didn’t know about this feature, as well as for letting me and other readers know about the other tools available for Pinterest. I hope you do well with fans on Pinterest, please keep me posted on how it is going.

  4. Thank you so much for the information Valeria! I am an avid Pinterest user and help my clients understand cool unusual ways to use it.
    And, hello Digital Tour Bus, I am now following you on Pinterest :). Here’s an idea for a DTB board. “the rider” – things artists can’t do without on the road. It could be their favorite food, candy, recipe, product, security blanket. You could either post a picture of the artist with their most treasured road item, or even post a picture of the product itself and where to buy it.
    Just an idea.
    Happy Pinning, Thank you so much for the information Valeria! I am an avid Pinterest user and help my clients understand cool unusual ways to use it.
    And, hello Digital Tour Bus, I am now following you on Pinterest :). Here’s an idea for a DTB board. “the rider” – things artists can’t do without on the road. It could be their favorite food, candy, recipe, product, security blanket. You could either post a picture of the artist with their most treasured road item, or even post a picture of the product itself and where to buy it.
    Just an idea.
    Happy Pinning,

  5. This is a well written, honest evaluation of Pinterest’s virtues for musicians. Job well done! You’re right when you say that it’s difficult to network on Pinterest as there is no algorithm in place to help you in doing so. I thought you might be interested to see our Pinterest Directory for artists and music industry professionals here on our site. Anyone can submit their info to be included.

  6. So true! Marketing encompasses many things, including public relations. These days, marketing also includes SEO and blogging.this is great stuff.

  7. We’re new to Pinterest and trying to make sure that information stays attached to the content that we post. We’re gradually posting images with all the salient information in the caption. Here’s an example: “Winter Procession Card” (Fairy painting by David Delamare) Information and products available at http://www.daviddelamare... Artwork © David Delamare. Product design © Wendy Ice. Alteration of artwork strictly prohibited by law. Artist authorizes “repin” of this image only if this caption is unchanged. Please use comments box (not caption) for any personal notes.
    We’ve heard that links can get lost when repinning. And certainly information tends to get lost in captions, so this is our attempt to address the problem. Right now there are thousands of our images on Photobucket with no appropriate attribution. So each time we pin something on our board, we add the Pinterest opt out code to that webpage along with the following message: Like Pinterest? Please don’t pin from this website. Use button below and repin from our boards. It’s faster and will give accurate titles and captions.
    We’d love to hear other solutions to this problem. We’d also like to hear if there are other optout codes for other image sharing websites.
    We really love to share the images, but not when they end up being stolen, altered, or attributed to someone else.

  8. I checked out ThingLink to see if image tagging (i.e. tags in images) would work but they don’t show up in Pinterest.
    The reality is, as much as musicians complain about filesharing and the like, I think photographers and graphic artists are in the worst situation of all on the web.
    The only thing I know that you can do is to add text to the image itself that gives your site’s domain. And we both know how frustrating that is to someone who cares about the integrity of the image.
    I don’t know what to tell you. The web is best designed for material you want to spread without worrying about attribution. That’s why it’s great for publicity pics and not so good for real art.

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