Late Linky Love – Prompt Response

This week’s prompt response is particularly relevant to Eugene-Springfield area nonprofits. Though these responses are part of my J452 assignment, I feel today’s is important for nonprofits reading this as well, because my blog has continually emphasized the centrality of an effective, simple, and rigorous social media approach.

A growing number of nonprofits are using Pinterest as part of their social media strategy. These include the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Amnesty International USA, AARP, the Georgia Wildlife Federation, and nonprofit marketing consultant Joe Waters.

Currently none of these Pinterest profiles have a large audience. The biggest of the ones mentioned is Amnesty International, with nearly 2,000 followers. However, with over four million users, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites, so it definitely has potential.

What makes Pinterest so appealing to a growing number of nonprofits? The answer lies in its simplicity and the ability to express what it is your nonprofit is about:

The simple social network is attracting nonprofits that want to share images, inspiration, and ideas. While many nonprofits have attracted little more than a modest following on Pinterest, they like the network because it is especially easy to use.

“It’s not one of those things like Facebook where you have so many layers to it and there are so many things you can do,” says Joe Waters, a nonprofit marketing consultant who is active on Pinterest. “It’s a virtual pinboard. It’s not that complicated.”

Although these are powerful advantages, I am hesitant to recommend Pinterest to all – or even any – local nonprofits. Understanding the demographics that drive Pinterest’s growth is critical to deciding whether or not to integrate it into your social media plan. Ignite Social Media provide such demographic information.

First and foremost, if your plan is to target men, forget Pinterest. 80 percent of Pinterest’s user are female. 56 percent of Pinterest user are between the ages of 25 and 44, and 69 percent make between $25,000 and $75,000 a year. Although 60 percent have some college experience, only 25 percent have a bachelors degree or higher.

Based on this information, Pinterest targets a highly specific audience and is definitely not recommended as part of a general social media plan to accompany Facebook and Twitter. However, if your plan is to reach out to middle-aged, middle class, moderately educated females, then by all means use Pinterest.

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