If you haven’t heard of the newest social media site, Pinterest, there’s a good bet you’ve been A) in outer space, B) under a rock, or C) in a coma. I think this is a good bet, because everyone and their sister is talking about this fun site and now I am, too!
In case you haven’t heard of it, or you just aren’t sure what all the hoopla is about, Pinterest is at its core a visual sharing site. With the ability to pin images to various ‘boards’ you can create virtual scrapbooks and share the items that stir your soul. Each pin is suggested to include a URL and good description, providing new traffic to the associated website. The big winners on Pinterest seem to be food/recipes, clothing/style, arts & crafts, and home improvement projects. And non-profit organizations should be taking advantage of this new site.
So, how can an NPO utilize this new social media site to help garner interest in their event and organization? Here are a few ideas to get your imagination jump-started!
- Create a board for your event, including the event logo, beneficiary logo, and past event photos. You can create additional boards with your sponsors, chairs, entertainment, etc. whatever will help your patrons visualize the event!
- Create a board depicting your event videos. Yes…you can easily post videos from YouTube, Vimeo and others. Just place the URL in the Add Image field and the video will show on the board.
- Does your organization work with children to make wishes or dream come true? Create a board depicting the wishes you’ve granted. Ask others to create boards with their fulfilled (or unfulfilled) dreams.
- For a race, particularly a long one like a half or full marathon, create a board with milestone photos or landmarks the runners will see along the route. Link these photos to the route map or Google maps for reference. You can also ask your runners to create their own boards depicting themselves at these points (pre-race of course, not during!) for an interesting collage. You can also encourage them to create boards of themselves from previous years’ participation in your race!
- Create a board with appropriate attire (and maybe one of non-appropriate attire!). In particular this is helpful for a new event or a gala event in a non-traditional setting like a zoo or racetrack. You can also hold a contest that asks participants to create a board of what THEY will be wearing, top to bottom. If you’re holding a race or event with “creative” in the attire description, this can really get people thinking about wearing something more fanciful. If you’re planning a masquerade or costumed event, this is PERFECT!
- For a food-related event, pin pictures of the items to be served, and chefs or restaurants involved (linking to their sites of course!). You can also add a contest that asks for pins of recipes, ingredients, restaurants or other appropriate items to link into your event.
- Hold a Scavenger Hunt contest and ask people to create a board on their own accounts with specific items. They should include at least one image, like the logo, back to your event, but then another 9 or 10 items that help visualize your cause and event. For example, if you’re holding a black-tie gala to benefit a local cancer organization, your “hunt” items could include a tuxedo, a cocktail or formal dress, the organization’s logo, your event logo, maybe a limo, a picture of the entertainer (or one they’d like to see there), etc.
- Entertainment based organization like a library? Consider multiple boards based on genre and add new items to it that patrons may not know you have available. Ask followers to create a board of their favorite items from your website as part of a contest or just for fun.
- Be sure you have pinnable images on your site or blog – test to be sure they work as expected.
- Include a Pin It option on your site and blog to make it easier for people to share your content.
- Check to see if anyone is pinning from your site using this URL: http://pinterest.com/source/domain – replace domain with your URL, not including the www. Example: http://pinterest.com/source/extraspecialevents.com
If you’re holding a contest:
- Be very clear about the rules and what should/should not be included.
- Be specific about whether pins must be new or can be repins (you don’t necessarily want one person doing a lot of work and others just stealing their pins)
- Consider using separate judges instead of “likes”, “repins” or “comments” for winner determination.
Check out what other sources are saying about Pinterest, especially for non-profits: