Alexa recently reported that Pinterest is the 13th most visited website in the United States and 38th globally.
But in order to be effective on Pinterest and use it to accomplish your nonprofit’s goals, you first need followers!
Here are my top 17 tips to get more followers on Pinterest for your nonprofit.
1. Grab the low hanging fruit first!
Let the people who love you know that you are on Pinterest.
Put a call out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and via other social networking channels.
2. Send a special email newsletter featuring three of your best Pinterest pins.
You can also write a short blog post about using Pinterest and how your nonprofit uses it and why.
Make sure to embed the pins in the email newsletter and blog post and include a link to your Pinterest page.
3. Feature a “Pinterest Pin of the Month/Week” in your email newsletter to draw more visitors.
You can feature the Pin that got the most repins or comments.
As John Haydon says, always “promote awesome” and not mediocre pins that didn’t do as well as you had hoped.
4. Invite your friends to follow you.
Through Pinterest, you can send an email or connect with your Facebook, Gmail and Yahoo connections to invite them to follow you on Pinterest.
(Be wary of spamming people – just do this once.)
5. Follow others.
Similar to Twitter, the more people you follow, the more followers you will have.
I suggest being strategic in who you follow – use the Pinterest search bar.
For example, type in your location (“Beverly, MA”) to find pinners in your area and search keywords in your industry (“nonprofit”, “environment”, “animals”) to find pinners with similar interests.
6. Interact and engage.
Repin, comment and like pins frequently.
Build good Pinterest karma!
7. Link to pins on other online channels.
Link to specific pins in Facebook status updates, Twitter tweets, blog posts and your email newsletter.
8. Push pins out to Facebook.
You cannot push pins out to Facebook brand pages yet, but you can certainly put a pin or two on your personal Facebook profile to help spread the word about your work.
Encourage staff, volunteers and your Online Brand Ambassadors to do this as well.
9. Add a Pinterest tab to your website.
10. Push pins out to Twitter.
Click the Twitter box when posting a pin, or copy and past the pin URL and add it to your Buffer.
11. Optimize your website for Pinterest.
Make sure people are able to pin the images on your site and your blog!
Add Pin It buttons to very page and a Follow Us On Pinterest! image or Pinterest logo on your main home page.
12. Include hashtags in every caption.
I prefer fewer hashtags in captions – one or two is sufficient.
Hashtags have the added benefit of showing your content to anyone who searches on the particular hashtag, such as #socialmedia, #infographic, #nonprofit, #animalrights, etc.
Hashtags are a great way to get your pins in front of new people.
13. Post popular pins!
Stay true to your brand and your message, but do a bit of research on what makes popular pins.
Then repin away!
14. Have a variety of Boards.
Do not just post promotional content for your own nonprofit. Nothing is more boring!
Mix it up and include boards about your location, the city and town you are based in, funnies, words of inspiration/quotes, beautiful sunsets.
The key is always thinking about your audience first and what they want to repin and like – not what you want to promote to them.
15. Make sure to add descriptions to your Boards.
When creating Boards on Pinterest, include a short description of the Board and what kinds of pins you will be sharing there.
16. Pin consistently and at peak times.
According to this infographic, peak times seem to be around 2:00 and 4:00 PM EST, and then in the evening between 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM.
Think about the Pinterest demographic – predominantly women, many of them mothers.
When are they pinning? In the evening when the kids go to bed!
17. Add your nonprofit’s Pinterest URL everywhere you promote your Facebook page.
If no one know you are on the site, they won’t be able to follow you.
Add the red P to your email signature, all blog posts, promote it everywhere you promote your website and Facebook page.
An effective Pinterest strategy demands an investment of time and involves a lot of trial and error, but the results for your nonprofit can be astounding.
Is your nonprofit using Pinterest? How are you building followers?