Getting Noticed on Pinterest

Non-profits using PinterestThere has been much published about Pinterest and non-profit use over the past few weeks.

As she often does Beth Kanter kicked it off with a thoughtful blog post that serves as a good primer on the subject.

If you just pronounced “primer” prim-er as opposed to prime-er you lose one point. Don’t worry I am keeping track of these points.

Pinterest is interesting in how fast it has grown and the disproportional number of women using it. That is of special interest to non-profits since women usually make up a majority of donors.

Non-Profits using PinterestWhile Pinterest’s audience and focus on images does make it different, you should still approach it the same way as other social spaces: like you are a debutante.

Debs don’t throw their own party, they are sponsored by an already established member of the community. That’s what you need to do in social.

Often the first inclination when entering a social space is to create a content calendar and posting plan, this is a great way to go nowhere. Gary Vaynerchuck has said, using a content calendar in social is like going to a cocktail party with a script. I couldn’t agree more.

There are five easy steps you should take as you get into Pinterest or the next anointed social network:

1 – Decide Whether You Should Post as a Person or Group: Different networks have different norms. While groups do have Twitter accounts, posting as in individual tends to work better. Facebook is more group friendly.

2 – Listen to the In Crowd: Find the popular users of the service as well as users, who are internet famous, see what they post about and how they use the service.

3 – Listen to Your Crowd: Find a few of your current constituents on the service, this can be tricky, but if you have constituent email addresses, you should be able to do it.

4 – Develop a Topic Map: Back to the cocktail party, when you’re at a party and you listen long enough you can start to pick up on topics and themes that folks have a shared interest in. Instead of a content calendar, develop content around topics that tend to get talked about and be ready to interject your witty and interesting post at just the right time.

5 – Cultivate your Advocates: Find people in the space that will repost, like and otherwise share your content. It should be some of the same people identified in step two. Follow these key constituents, repost what they say and write content to areas that interest them.

I do think this is a fairly good scheme for a party as well, but more testing is necessary.

In terms of Pinterest, I think the topic map is fairly clear:

1 – Small gifts
2 – Do it yourself projects
3 – Recipes
4 – Decorating/organization ideas

Of course your constituents may be talking about something completely different. I can think of three or four ways to get at these topic areas, but I’m more interested in what you are seeing out there.

If you want to chat Pinterest, email me at I’ll setup a Google Hangout next week so we can discuss