Pinterest can seem like an upmarket yard sale at first glance…
One of the hottest discussions about social-networking platforms concerns Pinterest, whose membership and engagement have exploded in 2014. From January to February of this year alone, Pinterest drew over 100 million new visitors to its site. The to them is surely part of the attraction. So too is the intensely visual way Pinteres’s users share their interests, products, and ideas, because we are hard-wired to absorb visual stimuli before we respond to other signals.
That said, much of what can be found on Pinterest seems to be of a commercial variety: books for sale, fashion trends, ideas to accessorize the home… Well worth sharing, but if such topics make up the majority of pins at present, what is the value of the platform to a nonprofit already striving to reach out via Facebook and other more established social-media networks?
The hard truth is, if you or your peers at your organization are asking such a question, you might as well ask why you are trying to promote your good work at all. If you are soliciting for donors and volunteers via mail, isn’t most mail about commercial and for-profit activity? If you are tailoring email blasts to your constituents, are you not competing with all the mercantile e-blasts anyway?
Gabe Donni from MarketingLand.com has the numbers to show just how successful Pinterest is as a commerce-driving site:
What makes the story of Pinterest so unique is that accompanying its stratospheric growth are revenue and engagement metrics that have turned the social network into one of the few sources in the space that are actually delivering traffic and significant revenue. A study conducted by online jewelry site Boticca.com revealed that in 2014 Pinterest users’ online spend averages $180 – more than twice that of Facebook users who spend an average of only $85. Pinterest has also been extremely successful in driving traffic to third-party sites.
Why would a nonprofit or charity not want to try to cull some of those dollars for its projects meant to improve the human condition? Moreover, as of 2014 about a third of Pinterest’s users have household incomes over $100,000, which gives them the resources to be generous to nonprofits that speak to them. So speaking to them on Pinterest (et al.) seems only logical. The platform is dead easy to use, and it offers another channel of outreach and interaction with people who clearly are engaged in the site and can be engaged in your organization. The overall numbers are huge, but as always: be patient and build your presence and relationships by repinning and commenting on others’ pinned interests as well as establishing your own. The community awaits!