More Social Media; ‘Pinterest’ed?
Before you say ‘not another social network!’, let us revisit the phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. When time is of essence and reading a text-heavy marketing message is out of the question, well-captured images take effective marketing to a whole new level. Pinterest is the latest kid on the block in the world of social networking that has rapidly gained enough popularity to be rated 3rd after Facebook and Twitter and is the fastest standalone site in history to cross the 10 million users mark according to TechCrunch.
What is Pinterest anyway? Just to have a small intro course for Pinterest 101, we’ll define Pinterest at its simplest by calling it a highly visual virtual bulletin board of images that allows users to ‘pin’ their images to their own boards and explore other user’s images.
There is a ton of information on the web as to how Pinterest works but in this blog, let’s focus more on why an organization should consider Pinterest as a marketing medium. For-profit organizations have effectively used Pinterest to market themselves but would this apply to nonprofits as well? If we go by Pinterest’s goal of connecting ‘people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests’, then we can conclude that nonprofits can effectively use the medium to connect people based on social passions.
Reasons for using Pinterest
There are a myriad of reasons for Pinterest’s popularity as a marketing medium but the following are the most important for nonprofits:
1. Target Market
Demographically speaking, Pinterest has captured the attention of a certain population group which would be of great value to the nonprofits. According to the Huffington Post, 70% of Pinterest users are women aged between 25 and 34 with a household income of $100,000+ per annum. In addition, statistics from ComScore report that Pinterest buyers spend more, buy more items, and conduct more transactions than other social media buyers. Why is this statistic important to nonprofits in particular? Well, statistics show that women are major donors to the causes of nonprofits so using Pinterest as a targeted marketing tool for this specific population segment makes good marketing sense.
2. SEO points
As outlined in a previous blog post by Peter, having recommendations and referrals is important for organizations to generate traffic to their website. With Pinterest, this is made possible by linking images in the profile to the organization’s website such that every user who clicks on an image is directed to the official website which is a very good way of increasing visibility. In fact, According to TechCrunch, Pinterest’s referral traffic has topped that of Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined which further reinforces the use of the emerging social networking site.
3. The ‘Human’ Effect
In addition to the descriptions in the ‘About Us’ section, Pinterest goes a step further and allows organizations to give a face to their cause. According to marketer Jim Ewel, Pinterest is a great way to ‘humanize’ your company and give a chance for clients and constituents to interact with people and not just faceless brands.
A good example of a non-profit that has effectively used Pinterest is Amnesty International. They pin inspiring pictures related to rights and equality, as well as links to T-shirts and jewelry that support the organization (The Huffington Post).
4. Social Integration
Emily Jenkins, a freelance writer with a keen interest in social media, raises a key point on the importance of integrating social media sites for maximum brand efficiency. Pinterest integrates seamlessly with many social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter which allows for the replication of posts when you pin on Pinterest.
As with any other social media platform, it is paramount that nonprofits invest time in developing their Pinterest profiles in order to optimally display what they stand for. The 10 strategies for Nonprofits on Pinterest by Matt Petronzio serve as a guideline on how nonprofits can effectively use Pinterest to their advantage. A summary of these points is as follows:
- Know your audience: who is using Pinterest and how can you customize your profile to attract them?
- Get Personal: show how much you care for the cause by sharing information with your followers.
- Reveal yourself: show images of staff and volunteers working on the cause.
- Focus on the achievable: a non-profit is all about making things possible; not just creating hopes and dreams. Show what is possible and inspire supporters that what you have set out to achieve is doable.
- Make it a team effort: encourage everyone to ‘pin’ and contribute their ideas and thoughts.
- Fundraise: use Pinterest to sell branded items such as t-shirts with the non-profit’s logo. This creates an additional avenue for raising funds.
- Pin/Highlight other non-profits: repinning another non-profit’s images helps to increase their following and who knows, the non-profit may return the favor by pinning you!
- Add Pinterest to your website: just as you would add Facebook and Twitter.
- Pin videos: videos add extra emotions that pictures alone cannot. Pinning a YouTube video outlining your latest project could generate enough interest to raise funds.
- Be inviting: do not let pinning be a solitary action. Invite followers, supporters and staff to contribute and make your Pinterest profile a community.
WebServes wishes you happy ‘pinning’!