On Pinterest, you can find a killer pie recipe, plan your wedding decor and drive traffic to your nonprofit’s website all in one. Though the most pinned categories are indeed food and drink, nonprofit communicators are also seeing success leveraging Pinterest to drive significant traffic to their websites, build brand recognition and engage audiences through resource sharing.

A visual discovery, collection, sharing and storage tool, Pinterest dominates among females—Pew Research reports that 42 percent of online women are Pinterest users, compared with just 13 percent of men. The same report reveals that those most likely using Pinterest are also earning at least $50,000 or more a year and live in suburban or rural areas. And, while Pinterest remains popular among younger users (34 percent of online users age 18-29 are on the platform), there’s been an increase in Pinterest usage among those 50 and older.

I share these audience demographics to encourage you to think strategically about how Pinterest will reach your target audiences and support your overarching goals. Now, if social media strategy makes your eyes glaze over, the trusted team at Prichard can help set you up for success! Check out some our service offerings that our clients get excited about, like social media trainings, content creation and digital strategy.

Now, onto the good stuff!

6 Practical and Tactical Tips for Optimizing Your Nonprofit’s Pinterest Presence

  1. Start at your website or blog

Make sure your main content hub has visually striking images, especially if you decide to pin content from your website or blog. That image will carry through to Pinterest to represent that web page or blog post; the more compelling the visual, the more likely it will get “repinned” (shared).

  1. Create original images that stand out

For a special campaign or initiative, create original images that really stand out on Pinterest and build a visual identity for your campaign. The platform accommodates larger, longer images, which is great for displaying infographics, but even larger photos can attract more attention from your viewers. Consider creating custom images with Canva, a free, easy-to-use graphic design tool. Canva even has a pre-sized Pinterest template to work with. And, adding a logo to your image will ensure that the image is always associated with your nonprofit’s brand.

  1. Help Your Audience Discover Your Pinterest Page

Add a follow button on your website or e-newsletter to make it easy for your audience to follow and engage with your brand on Pinterest. Another way to grow your following is to follow partners, donors or volunteers and “pin” their content to show them you’re present and engaged.

  1. Write Great Captions

The captions that accompany your images and boards when you pin a piece of content will help your pins get found and repinned. Make it easy for potential fans to find your content by including keywords and phrases that they are likely to search for.

Playworks does a fantastic job of creating vibrant, searchable Pinterest boards. The nonprofit is committed to bringing play to every kid, and supports this goal by promoting tips and valuable resources to parents on Pinterest. With boards titled “Craft Ideas for Parents” and “Indoor Play,” Playworks taps into the questions already on parents’ minds, creating an entry point into their organization by delivering content that parents will likely search for.

  1. Repin and Comment

Just like any other social media network, Pinterest is a place for your nonprofit to engage with audience members, rather than just pushing out content. Follow relevant Pinterest profiles and repin content that will be valuable for your audience. Also take time to respond to fan comments with personal replies.

  1. Listen

Finally, even if you decide not to adopt Pinterest for your nonprofit, users can still pin content from your website. Monitor this activity to learn what kind of content is resonating with your audience. Just add your website’s URL to this link to check out who’s pinning from your website: http://www.pinterest.com/source/your org’s website/.

Craving more? Check out the other blog posts in our series, sharing practical and tactical tips for Instagram and Facebook.