Have you ever opened up a travel magazine and just flipped through it gorging on all the beautiful pictures of places you now really must see for yourself? Have you ever opened a cooking magazine because the cover picture looked so delicious? In either case, the pictures may have guided you to whichever article you decided to read first.
This is the thinking behind Pinterest, a red-hot social bookmarking site, aimed squarely at the human instinct to be drawn to visuals. Pinterest’s growth has skyrocketed, with the ease of visually searching for information that it provides, and it is becoming increasingly significant as a traffic driver to websites.
In this two-part series on Pinterest, we give you an overview of how nonprofits are using Pinterest and then, in a second blog post, we discuss strategic considerations if you decide to start a Pinterest account for your organization or cause.
So, let’s start with the basics, a Tour de Pinterest.
With Pinterest you bookmark a page elsewhere on the web using a thumbnail image from that page. Content is organized through different topical boards. The range that nonprofits are experimenting with includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Success story boards showcasing your work
- The ever-popular arts and crafts board
- Inspiration boards
- Advice or resource boards
- Testimonial boards
- Event boards
- Staff profile boards (but, please make those staff photos fun and interesting)
- A blog board (using the photos from your posts as the thumbnails to draw people in to read your blog)
- Your organization’s history
- Member-generated boards
- YouTube videos from your YouTube channel
The uses of Pinterest are endless. Our advice is to start slowly, get a handle on curating a few boards before you create a huge number of boards. For example, you will want to master the art of labeling your boards in ways that are very clear (read: specific) to viewers. You’ll also want to learn the language of caption-writing; each picture should have a description below it, with a maximum of 160 characters.
In our next blog post we will talk about how to develop your Pinterest strategy.