Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Duh. Pinning. (Advice for Association Executives Interested in Pinterest)

If you are sick of hearing about Pinterest, then you'll really hate this post.

Pinterest has basically taken the world by storm and is one of my favorite excuses for insomnia lately. Haters are quick to call Pinterest an online campground for women who want to get married, lose weight, make scrapbooks, and decorate their houses. Admirers could say the same thing. There is a lot of all of those things there. But to be fair there is more to it than that.

Quick description: Pinterest in an online corkboard for cataloguing interests and sharing those interests with connections (or anyone). Does it have an application for associations? Yes. But right now you just want to know about this so you're aware of the phenomenon and will be ready if and when someone asks you about your organization's strategy with Pinterest.

I found this on Pinterest. Duh.

Here's the deal. None of the people who do social media that I hang with are happy about Pinterest having a practical application for business, including me. I have had a lot of fun going onto Pinterest to escape my usual business-related work and thinking, instead, about how much I love the color combination of plum and chartreuse. Too bad for us. Pinterest has some business applications for more than the obvious ones for retailers and Pinterest hasn't caught up to adding the functionality that would make business easier. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Rule 1: Follow this man

I mean, after you follow me. Noland Hoshino is nice and he's smart. He is also one of the first people on Pinterest to begin curating a board on non-profits that are on Pinterest.

Tip: Noland also sells the awesome SMObooks.com that I wax poetic about when it comes to great ideas for sharing with clients. 

When you follow Noland on Pinterest, you will quickly see the smart way to use Pinterest for personal development, interest, and business. His business-related boards will appeal to those people who can't handle following everyone and who need a more down-to-earth, non-crafty sort of Pinterest experience.

My favorite boards of Noland's:

Rule 2: Be smart. There is no privacy mode. All boards are public.

I know. You probably want to create cool vision boards for your clients (with the ease of the Pinterest bookmarklet - see Rule 3) without sharing them with the world or your client's competition.  I know I do. Too bad. That functionality doesn't exist yet. But I bet it will at some point. 

Rule 3: Use the Pinterest bookmarklet.

Isn't this little baby a cutie?
Look at it. It's so cute. It just says, "Pin It" up there with your bookmarks making it omnipresent while you are online. Oh, this makes pinning what you find on any website so much easier, you won't be able to help yourself. Boop. Boop. Boop. Done.

Advice for Association Executives Interested in Pinterest
  • You don't need to jump on Pinterest right away, but you should make it easier for others to promote your content on Pinterest.
  • SEO works well with Pinterest already (its domain authority is rising fast) and can definitely work for you.
  • You know all those sharing options you hopefully already have for your content? You should look for the "Pin It" button to add to those.
  • If you sell books, merchandise, anything...make it Pinterest friendly.
  • Start thinking of images and videos a lot more seriously for their Pinterest use (you should already be doing this for future mobile use anyway)...arm your conference speakers, attendees, members, content providers, authors with Pinterest enabled promotional materials. Ways to spread the word on Pinterest from their websites and newsletters.
  • Start thinking of if you have "How To" videos, articles, or tutorials that might be of interest to a large group of people. These types of things are extremely popular on Pinterest.
  • If you want an example of an association using Pinterest, check out The American_Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Pinterest page. They discovered a large amount of traffic coming from Pinterest in their website analytics. When they explored it, it turned out many of their members were using Pinterest for sharing ideas and news. ASHA's social media queen Maggie McGary helped other ASHA members figure out how to use Pinterest by writing about it on their blog (bonus points for educating all members on the hip new way to share!). This may be something your organization could do, too.

KiKi's Pinterest Functionality Wishlist
Here is what I wish Pinterest would develop so I could use it for business:
  • Brand Pages
  • Privacy and Private Sharing Options 
  • Another option filed for tagging
  • Improved search
  • Analytics details

What do you think? Will you use Pinterest for business soon? Let me know what you decide to do!


  1. Thank you KiKi! Yes everyone is talking Pinterest! I have just acquired an account so let's see what it does for me. And yes, once you hear about Pinterest - everyone is talking about it! So...take a look and indeed, this is one to watch.

  2. Thanks for the ASHA shout-out Kiki! I'm debating about the concept of associations creating Pinterest versions of online stores--is it too self-promotional or ok? It makes sense to me because, of all web content that associations have, products are the probably the only kinds of content where each page has an image. It would be an easy way to do a weekly deal kind of promo, I think.

    1. I think that's a great idea...couldn't be too commercial unless it was over-the-top all day and people were only following that one account, which we both know would't be the case. Brilliant move, if you ask me!

      (I am currently wearing earrings I found via Pinterest, a color ensemble inspired by Pinterest, and just signed up for an event that I saw advertised using Pinterest...I might be biased.)

  3. Thanks, Deb! You will love using it for what you do, especially. I think it s perfect for capturing inspiration and *spreading* inspiration...which is what you and your designs are good at.

  4. I swear it has changed my whole wardrobe--I wear stuff I never wore before and/or in combinations I never wore before. Also cooking--I am NOT a cook but so far have made two things after seeing them on Pinterest.

  5. That title definitely caught my attention! Great info for anyone considering using Pinterist for their association. The strong SEO alone makes it worth considering.

    I'm thinking Pinterist could be a great addition to any individual looking to build their online brand...not only job seekers, but those who want to become known as a subject-matter expert.

    I'll be tweeting it out!


Thanks for your comments!