By now someone at your organization has surely asked the question…

“Should we be using Pinterest?”

Not for profits and charities are already stretched thin so if you are going to invest your time and resources online then probably Facebook and Twitter are your best options. However, if you have a robust online strategy or if your organization lends itself to visual story telling, then Pinterest may be of interest!

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual and interactive bulletin board or online scrapbook where visitors can “pin” things that interest them.

The official description is that “Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”

Who uses Pinterest?

The ladies love Pinterest. Although there’s dudes on there too, the primary demographic is women ages 25 to 45.

If your not for profit needs to reach this demographic, then Pinterest may be worthwhile investigating.

How does Pinterest work?

Rather than tweeting or updating a status, on Pinterest you use a Pin it bookmarklet to pin things to Pinterest. While you are surfing the web, if you find something you want to “pin” simply click the Pin it bookmarklet and it will post the image to Pinterest. You can also upload your own images or even re-pin the pins of others.

Let’s say your organization is dedicated to improving the health of wellness of children. Pinning pictures that demonstrate health minded activities for kids, healthy meals that kids may enjoy and other visual aspects that help relay your message is a great way to use Pinterest.

Or perhaps you run an animal shelter. Pinning picture of the animals you have staying with you that are looking for forever homes, fun activities to do with you pet, or training an exercise ideas would be of great value and interest to your visitors.

Telling your organization’s story with picture on Pinterest is a great way to develop interest in your organization or for your cause and it’s a great way to drive traffic to your primary website.

How do I organize my pins on Pinterest?

Pinterest lets you create different pin-boards to help organize your stuff. Separating out your pins into logical groups will make your content easier to find and more relevant to your visitors.

If your organization runs a food bank, then a pin-board for inexpensive, easy to pre-pare and healthy recipes might be a useful resource for your clients. Another pin-board with pictures of your awesome and exciting fundraising events may help recruit volunteers and encourage donations.

So what makes Pinterest so Pinteresting?

It’s really easy to use, simple to organize, much more visual than other social media networks and most importantly it can drive a ton of interest in your organization and traffic to your website.

 

Here are 9 tips to get your not for profit started on Pinterest!

  1. Have a reason to use Pinterest. Don’t just spend time on it because it’s the latest and greatest thing.
  2. See how other not for profits are successfully using Pinterest to gather ideas and best practices.
  3. Follow Pinterest users and other organizations with similar interests to your organization. Leverage the power of the Pinterest network.
  4. Follow back likeminded users that follow you and don’t necessarily fall into the “follow everyone” trap.
  5. Like and re-pin things that are interesting to you. It will help you engage not only your visitors but also other users.
  6. Use the comments section to begin and engage in conversations. If a picture says a thousand words, here’s your chance to expand on the story.
  7. Use keywords that describe your organization and what it does to name your Pinterest boards. This will not only help people find you and your content, but will also improve your SEO results.
  8. Add a share button to your own website to allow visitors to pin pictures and spread the word about you.
  9. Tell don’t sell. This is probably the most important tip of all. Tell your story with pictures, share, engage and make friends but don’t blatantly promote your organization or cause. If you are Pinteresting enough, than people will want to learn more about the great work you do and how they can become involved.