Pinterest for Nonprofits: What It Is and DoesBy Jennifer Flaten
Simply put, Pinterest is a site that allows users to create virtual bulletin boards” of things that inspire them.
Whether that item is a new fashion, a gorgeous garden, or a delicious recipe, people are pinning it to their boards. These virtual inspiration boards are open for followers to view and comment upon, if they wish.
With the site growing and continuing to generate so much interest, many nonprofits are wondering if Pinterest is something that they can or should use.
As with any social media site, Pinterest has both its pros and cons, and just like any other social media site it requires careful thought before entering.
Many within the nonprofit community feel that Pinterest is a way to express more of the organization's personality, because it is a more visual medium.
That doesnt mean that an organization whose mission is hard to put into pictures cant enter Pinterest, but they may have to spend a longer time creating their theme.
Another reason nonprofits should consider joining Pinterest is simply because it is so different from the other social media sites:
A huge pro for Pinterest is how easy it is to use. Once users have an account it is simple to pin” photos, links and quotes to the bulletin board and because it is so wildly popular many websites are even adding a Pin it” button to make sharing easy items that you find and love.
Another plus, is how visual Pinterest is, just like a real bulletin board and the pictures take the center stage. Nonprofits can use a variety of photos, links, and quotes to tell their story and inspire their followers. However, they should be aware that they are solely responsible for photos they pin and repin and need to obtain permission from the owners to post them.
Followers can leave comments and feedback as with Facebook, but the site is less about the conversation as it is about the message.
As with any social media site, nonprofits shouldnt enter Pinterest without a plan. That is, what does the organization want to show its followers?
Since the site is so visual, any nonprofit, starting a Pinterest account should take into consideration how they want to lay out their board.
The most successful Pinterest boards are visually appealing, and nonprofits want to make sure that while they are showing a little bit more of their personality” their focus on their mission and branding remains strong.
As with any social media site, it requires updating, you cant create a board and let it languish. This brings us to the down side of Pinterest, which is that it is another social media site.
It means the organization will have another site that will require maintaining and updating. In addition, it will require time and effort to gain followers. The organization must ask itself if they have the time and resources to monitor yet another social media site.
In any event, be sure to check out Pinterest.
Jennifer Flaten is a freelance writer. Contact her at email@example.com.