Last week Pinterest revealed it was offering secret boards. As the email said, “Secret boards give you a place for things you’re not quite ready to share yet, like a surprise party, special gift ideas, or even planning for a new baby.”
Pinterest is testing the feature. For many, though, Pinterest itself is a secret. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard to organize and share the things you love. At a recent meeting focused on Pinterest many in the audience were only vaguely familiar with the social media platform. Others weren’t sure how to fit it into their communication strategy.
One way to measure the success of Pinterest is by how much traffic it drives to an organization’s website. Wendy Scherer, who oversees social media efforts for Cabot Cheese, a cooperative of 1,200 family-owned farms in New England, said huge volumes of website traffic come from Pinterest.
For Cabot, “The boards aren’t just about us. We wanted to be inclusive,” Scherer said. “We talk about Vermont. We talk about farms. We talk about cows.”
That leads more people to find Cabot Cheese because they are coming to the site, not for the company, but because of things they are interested in. “They find us through our content, like a recipe, rather than our brand.”
For the National Wildlife Federation, Pinterest is ideal for fun and inspiring messages, said Danielle Brigida, digital marketing manager for the NWF. “We’re trying to be fun about it.”
Loren Pritchett, who is a colleague of mine at ChildFund International, also served on the panel. She talked about how Pinterest targets other audiences. “We see this as a place where we are reaching out to the next generation of ChildFund supporters.”
She added, “Many are sharing because of social interest.”
As with all social media, determining the platform’s return on investment is tricky. Most are measuring through repins and which boards are most active. Referring traffic also is studied.
“Everyone is trying to track,” said Danielle. “It’s crazy, though. Pin shares often go farther than a Facebook share.”