Focus on: Pinterest

Charlotte Beckett, head of digital at The Good Agency, looks at how charities can use Pinterest to their advantage

The NSPCC's Pinterest page
The NSPCC's Pinterest page

Charlotte Beckett

Pinterest shot to mainstream attention in 2012 when it became the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique user mark. It did so by tapping neatly into existing behaviour - who hasn't collected magazine photos as inspiration for, say, redecorating?

It is essentially a digital scrapbook that allows people to 'pin' images from the web onto themed boards. It's very much driven by users: 70 per cent of engagement is people pinning content to their own boards, rather than branded ones. So with that in mind, how can charities get involved?

* Think about content. The NSPCC tapped into some of the most popular topics among Pinterest users, creating boards with ideas for healthy eating, baking and crafts. This is a clever way to join existing conversations, then draw people into different topics.

* Encourage shopping. Unlike most social media, traffic from Pinterest converts directly into sales. With Rich Pins, which allow brands to add product information to their pins, Pinterest is actively promoting e-commerce. The RNLI has pinned its online shop. Consider how you could create boards that highlight items in your real-world shops.

* Get others curating. Contributor boards allow multiple users to pin onto a group board. Use tools such as PinPuff, Pinalytics and Pinleague to find the key influencers to target.

* Shake things up. Some say Pinterest encourages people to be materialistic. Unicef has challenged that behaviour with its board, Really Want These, listing the desires of a 13-year-old from Sierra Leone, including rice, soap and a bucket - essentials rather than luxuries. This raised awareness and drove donations.

Here is a place where people are keeping track of things they love, and they're volunteering a lot of information. Pinterest offers charities huge insight into supporters - insight that, as retail brands have shown, can convert directly into revenue.

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