You've probably heard the buzz around the new website called Pinterest – and if you haven't, you're about to about to get the lowdown on how nonprofits can use this new social networking website.
Borrowing from the inspiration boards and pinboards crafters and event planners use, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows users to easily organize and share images and videos you discover on the Internet. Pinterest is image-centric so users see ideas and concepts instead of having to read them first. If a link or photo is of interest, you can click the associated source link to get more information.
With a Pinterest account, you can create an unlimited about of boards to pin images to – for example, if you come across an image of a great chocolate chip cookie recipe, you may choose to pin it to your "Recipes to Try" board. Other users can "repin" your photos onto one of their own boards. This is a similar function to a Twitter retweet or Facebook repost. You continue to pin and repin until you've amassed a collection of photos and ideas to inspire your life.
So how can nonprofits use Pinterest?
In his article for the Huffington Post, Joe Waters asks some great starter questions if your organization is considering a Pinterest presence:
- Do you have an interesting or compelling story to tell with images?
- Is your cause considered hip, trendy, or do you just want to be?
- Are you engaged on other social media platforms?
- Are you looking to reap the rewards of local SEO?
As always, we would recommend asking questions about what your objectives are (make sure they are measurable!), who you are trying to reach, and if you have the staff resources to take on the maintenance of a new social presence.
If you're still not sure whether or not Pinterest is right for your organization, we advise to try it out personally first.
To see what other nonprofits are doing on Pinterest, take a look at the list compiled by the Huffington Post.
If you've decided that Pinterest is right for you, Heather over at Nonprofit Orgs has created a wonderful step-by-step guide on how to get your nonprofit "pinning"!
Another handy post to read is Three Things Brands Should Know about Pinterest.