Pinterest has been busy, busy, busy!
I recognize that in the resource-strapped nonprofit world, with information overload and overwhelm running rampant, it’s hard to stay on top of the fast-moving world of social media.
This blog post was written to sum up some of the most recent changes to Pinterest in the last month, and how they will affect nonprofits.
1) New Expanded Look For Pinned Articles
Pinterest is revamping the way they display article pins, and for good reason – Pinterest users pin more than 5 million articles every single day!
Last week the social network announced that they will be expanding their “rich pins” experiment to include pinned articles from all over the web.
Now, when you pin an article or story, the pin will contain much more relevant and detailed information about the article – including a brief description of the story, the byline and title of the story and a large link.
While this feature is being rolled out slowly to a limited number of large publications (think Mashable, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone), I believe this feature will have great implications for nonprofits.
This is great news for nonprofits who publish articles and blog posts, because the posts (as long as they have great, pinnable images) will be easier to see in the Pinterest News Feed and will include more information linking back to the original source.
Since all nonprofits need to include content curation in their marketing plans, I am hoping that this tweak will encourage more nonprofits to pin articles that are relevant and interesting to their target audience.
2) Encouraging Pinners to Create “Reading List” Boards
If you are like me, you frequently use Pinterest to pin articles and blog posts that you have read and want to refer to later, as well as ones that you’ve skimmed and would like to read in depth at a later time.
This is one of my favorite ways to use Pinterest, and an important part of what makes it attractive to marketers. Pinterest has a totally different culture than the other social networking sites. It’s aspirational, not of-the-moment.
I always say that while Instagram is a place to post photos of what you are eating now, Pinterest is a place you are going to pin recipes to make tomorrow (and into the future).
In a recent blog post, Pinterest explicitly encourages pinners everywhere to use the service much like a Delicious, a Pocket or an Instapaper. Pinterest lists many writers, publishers and celebrities who use the site like this – inspiration for your own bookmarking and content curating!
3) The “Tasteful” Move Into Monetization
We all knew it was inevitable –the hugely popular site couldn’t sit on potential millions forever!
Yes, Pinterest will soon be accepting and featuring advertisements on the site.
Before you moan and groan, see things from Pinterest’s perspective – take these statistics fromDailyFinance: “Last quarter, Facebook made $1.8 billion in revenue and $333 million in income. That was largely ad generated, with Facebook surpassing 1 million advertisers on the site. Where Facebook has over 1.15 billion monthly active users, Pinterest has somewhere closer to 70 million.”
In a blog post entitled “Planning for the future”, Pinterest lays out the plans for advertising, putting to rest people who are scared the entire culture and feel of the site will change. They wrote:
I know some of you may be thinking, “Oh great…here come the banner ads.” But we’re determined to not let that happen. While we haven’t figured out all the details, I can say that promoted pins will be:
—Tasteful. No flashy banners or pop-up ads.
—Transparent. We’ll always let you know if someone paid for what you see, or where you see it.
—Relevant. These pins should be about stuff you’re actually interested in, like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that’s your style.
—Improved based on your feedback. Keep letting us know what you think, and we’ll keep working to make things better.
The social network said it will start to test advertisements that show up in category feeds and search results based on relevance. For example, Pinterest users who click on “Halloween” or search for “Halloween” may come across a “promoted pin” from a costume company.
Nonprofits should take note, because while this is only open to a very limited amount of pinners right now, it will have the potential to increase your reach and exposure throughout the site. This is especially relevant if you are selling products, like Sevenly and Heifer International.
Nonprofits have used Facebook Ads to great success and are experimenting with Promoted Tweets – it remains to be seen how promoted pins will work, but let’s not cross it off the list just yet.
4) Inclusion in Bing Image Search
Yesterday Microsoft added Pinterest boards to the right-hand side of Bing’s Image Search results – called Image Collections.
Earlier this year, they integrated Pinterest into Bing with ability to pin image results directly from the search engine to Pinterest boards. Neat!
Here is a screen shot of what happens in Bing when someone searches “Halloween decorating ideas”.
It should be noted that this feature is not called “Pinterest Boards” – it’s called “Image Collections”, leading many to believe that Bing might be looking to showcase results from other visual sites, like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
The implications for nonprofits are clear – get visual, or get lost in the noise on search.
What features are you most excited about on Pinterest? What would you like to see?