Pinterest for Nonprofits

A How-to Pin for Nonprofits

A How-to Pin for Nonprofits

As part of FLC’s Social Media Month, FLC has put together tips and strategies for using social media platforms as a nonprofit organization. If you’ve missed the first two webinars, check out the Twitter webinar on Thursday, November 21 at 12 p.m. This week we provided a webinar on the 3rd most popular social media site in America: Pinterest!

Pinterest is an image-based social media site that was created in 2010 where users can share photos with their followers and create collections of photos based on a theme. Each individual image is called a “pin” and the collection on which the pin is posted is called a “pin board.”  A user that follows another can decide to share a specific pin with their followers and “re-pin” it to one of their boards. Finally, there are “likes” and “comments” that function the same way as they do on Facebook. Pinterest users are more often than not women. They make up 80% of the 700 million users on the site.

Pinterest is beneficial for nonprofits for several reasons. Pinterest is known for having outstanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This allows for an accounts pin board to be found from an ordinary Google search even when the person who searched it doesn’t use Pinterest. The site also directs back pins to where they first were originated, so it’s a good idea to pin content that originated on your website or blog—this will take a user who clicks the pin to be brought to your organization’s site.

Driving traffic back to your website so that people can read about your mission and what your organization does is one of the biggest reasons why businesses use Pinterest. In fact, Forbes has found that Pinterest pins can significantly drive sales. Why not drive donations too?

There are some things to keep in mind when you’re beginning to choose content for your Pinterest. Above all, remember that Pinterest is a photo-sharing site. Articles and blog posts aren’t going to be as popular here, so if you want to post a blog on Pinterest, make sure to have some sort of image that people would want to re-blog. Photos of a tutor or student who has completed their GED are also good ways to supplement a blog post.

Other useful content to post are Infographics and Inspiring Quotes. Infographics are basically a graphical representation of statistics about a certain theme. You can find inspiring quotes with a simple Google search, and then use Quozio.com to make them look more appealing. Infographics can be found at Visual.ly or Infogr.am. The latter allows you to create a basic account and try your hand at making literacy infographics. Useful Pinterest accounts to follow include Larry Ferlazzo, GCFLEarnFree, and ABC Life Literacy.

Here are some good strategies to use when you first start pinning:

  • Research Keywords
  • Follow Other Literacy/ Education Organizations
  • Plan:
    • Peak times- 2pm to 4pm or 8pm to 1am
    • Don’t forget the weekend
    • Diversify target audience with several Pin boards
    • Promote and Integrate with Social Media
    • Get followers to your Pinterest
    • Link Facebook/Twitter Accounts

Leadership Institute Session Review- Digital Storytelling with Social Media

Last week FLC hosted its 10th annual Leadership Institute, where speakers came to share their knowledge with representatives from various literacy-based organizations from around the state of Florida. On Friday of this two-day event, Annie Schmidt and I presented on using social media to help expand your digital storytelling efforts. For those of you who were there, thanks for attending, and for those that weren’t, here’s a brief review of what was covered.

Social media isn’t like traditional marketing. Instead of the typical one-way marketing scheme where you share content with others in hopes that they will be interested enough to reach out to your organization to join your cause, social media works best when you engage in a conversation with your audience. The hit rate for the traditional type of interaction is far from ideal. Luckily, social media has transformed the way organizations can use marketing and storytelling strategies to better suit their mission.  This transition which social media has made allows for us to engage in real time communications with our community. Knowing this difference is crucial to having success with our social media platforms, whichever they may be.

As stated in mine and Annie’s presentation, social media isn’t about follower count and accumulating “likes” to get a better klout score (yes, in this case with a K, not a C). Social media is about connecting to people. True, social media is used to increase your reach on your target audience, but it all comes down to building and maintaining relationships. Increasing reach is important only to drive traffic to your social media platforms and then subsequently to your website.  Furthermore, what’s most important is that your storytelling is effective so that members of your community become more active with your organization. Whether that means volunteers becoming annual donors or donors becoming advocates, getting followers to take that next step is key.

Once you realize the fundamental goals of social media, it’s time to choose a platform, or platforms, which will best serve you and your community. Questions to consider are:

  • Who am I targeting, and what is my audience’s demographic(s)?
  • What content do I want to share with my community?
  • Has my organization already established a presence on social media, and if so on which sites?
  • What’s the best medium to help effectively tell my organization’s story?

There are many different social platforms to choose from. The most common are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and WordPress; each of these has its pros and cons. The trick is finding out which site is right for you. For help in making this decision, please look at Digital Storytelling with Social Media where you can see the Prezi which we used at the Leadership Institute.

Literacy Organizations and Pinterst

If you haven’t already done so, you should consider opening up a pinterest account for your organization. Pinterest allows users to share images with one another. If you already have a personal account, you probably see many food recipes and cute DIY home decorations. Pinterest for a nonprofit is similar, but you can use it in a variety of ways. Here are things you can post/have boards of as a literacy organization.

  1. Resources!
    • Post your favorite resources for everyone to share. Make sure they have a picture on the website, and make notes of why it’s your favorite place in the comment section.
    • Or, post a picture of something that worked really well with your students.
  2. Infographics
    • Images and statistics are powerful. When you combine them in an infographic, you can help make people understand why your cause is important.
  3. Inspiration
    • Post inspirational quotes from famous authors and people of history about literacy. Remind people what makes reading important and all the reasons why they love about it.
    • You can also post success stories of students! Show people the difference you make every day.
  4. Showcase what you love!
    • Make it personal. Have your staff share books they are reading or their favorite new gadgets in the industry. This makes it personal and relatable.
  5. Highlight your community
    • Let people know why your partners are so great! This is the place to say that a certain bank has been awesome enough to run a financial literacy class or that the local clinic donated supplies for your health literacy program. It’s an easy way to help out those who have helped you.

Check out these articles for more help!

10 Strategies for Nonprofits on Pinterest
8 Strategies for Launching a Brand Presence on Pinterest