Pinterest Attracts New Audience

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 boardPinterest 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.”

Social Media Tidbits

The social media platform continues to evolve. In the past few weeks, I’ve read several good articles and found some helpful apps. I’ve collected several of them in this blog to share with you.

Linkedin Follow Company Buttons

Companies will be adding this button to their websites, making it easier for any consumer on the web to begin following companies of interest, on LinkedIn. Whether you are looking to stay up-to-date on company news, career opportunities or industry trends, following companies on LinkedIn is a great and easy way to gain insights and stay connected.

Copyright Issues and Pinterest

I love Pinterest. It’s fun to get inspiration. For the most part I’ve been pinning photos I’ve taken, but I’ve repinned photos of others that I liked. I don’t always know the copyright of those photos, and I suspect you don’t either. And that’s a problem. Pinterest’s Terms Of Use itself requires that “you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content as contemplated under these Terms.” Megan O’Neill wrote a clear piece on the problem for Social Times.

Telling a Story Using Video

I started my career as a print reporter. A photographer was assigned to capture an appropriate image to accompany the story. When I moved into PR, I took my own photos for newsletters. I had studied photography so it wasn’t too much of a stretch, although I would have preferred a professional photographer on staff. Today, I have to think about videos to go on my company’s blog, Facebook page and website. I do the same for my personal blog. If you want to learn more about how to tell a story through video, Poynter has an article with 9 helpful steps.

Favorite Apps

Trello organizes all of your projects and tasks.

Trello organizes all of your projects and tasks and who is assigned to them in an easy-to-view format. Even better, the mobile and web versions contain the same features.

Now that the weather is getting nice, my trainer is encouraging me to get outside and run. I want to know my distance so MapMyRun is my go-to app.

I’m always finding articles to read. Sometimes I go down scary rabbit holes and forget what I started off searching for. Now I use InstaPaper, an app that lets me bookmark interesting web pages for later reference. The best part is I can read it on my phone when I’m waiting for an appointment or stuck in line.

What have you read lately that’s worth sharing?

Pinterest Lets You Share the Things You Love

Do you remember having a bulletin board? It was a great way to post photos, reminders and mementos. But, unless someone was in the room with you, you couldn’t share your interests with your friends. Now you can, thanks to Pinterest, a virtual pinboard to organize and share the things you love.

Users must request an invitation to Pinterest, which usually takes a few days. Once you have a Pinterest account, you can create your own pinboards and repin from others. You download a toolbar that can be used to pin items from any website. The photo and information then appear on your Pinterest board, and users who follow you can see your collection of photos and even re-pin them if they like them.

The best part is that you can have multiple boards. One of my friends has a board that she uses to track books she wants to read. It’s helpful because others will share what they thought of the book. You can save your favorite recipes or restaurants. You can plan a wedding or restore your home.

At my company we’re using it as an interactive scrapbook to visually depict our mission. You may want to use it to share products. It’s also great for driving traffic to your blog.

Although Pinterest has been around for a year or two, it has become the social media network to watch after growing more than 4,000 percent in the last six months. It now ranks behind Facebook and Tumblr in terms of engagement.

What will you pin?