The year is almost 2016, and most nonprofits are (hopefully) familiar with social media. Facebook and Twitter in particular are used by numerous nonprofits as successful marketing tools. If you’re involved with a nonprofit, you most likely know exactly what I’m talking about. However, a lesser-used social media platform within the nonprofit world might also be worth your organization’s time: Pinterest.
Although Pinterest is sometimes scorned as a “craft site” for women with a lot of free time, I’d like to respectfully point out that given its nature as an organizational tool, it might be just as helpful as a marketing tool. Hear me out, and perhaps you’ll reconsider whether it would benefit your organization to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon.
Joe Waters, blogger at Selfishgiving.com, suggests contemplating a few questions before jumping on the bandwagon in his article “Why and How Causes Should Use Pinterest”. The very first question he asks is: “Do you have an interesting story to tell through pictures?” If so, perhaps you’ll find Pinterest useful.
Here are some ideas to convince you:
(1) A local ASPCA or other pet adoption center, for example, might pin photos of animals that are up for adoption. While posting photos to a website may appear to accomplish the same goal, keep in mind that Pinterest users repin worthy pins to their own boards, giving them a virtual collection of images they can view on their computer screen with ease. Perhaps a Pinterest user eager to adopt an animal would find it more useful to have a board of adoption-ready animal photos, as opposed to having to scroll through images on a website. Many Pinterest users already maintain “cute animal” boards, so it’s not a stretch to suggest that they would also enjoy maintaining boards of adoptable animals in their area.
(2) Joe even suggests that an organization such as Goodwill could pin photos of trendy used clothing from their stores, so that Pinterest users could view (and virtually collect via their own boards) clothing before actually visiting the stores.
(3) If your organization is geared toward environmental causes, you could create a board full of inspirational images of nature, or the specific environments/species you’re trying to conserve, etc. If you reintroduce animals into their natural habitats, you could capture those moments via camera and then pin the photos to a board. The possibilities are endless.
If your organization routinely experiences touching moments of any kind, and those moments can be captured on camera with relative ease, then you can pin those photos and share them online, thereby touching hearts everywhere.
So, if your organization is already utilizing social media and can handle another virtual task, and your organization can benefit from sharing images, perhaps Pinterest may be right for you. It’s yet another marketing tool to spread awareness for your organization, and it’s a fairly easy one given the simple nature of Pinterest. If your organization can communicate something of importance through an image, then by all means, pin that photo! (And don’t forget to repin other appropriate/similar images!)