« Blog Picks of the Week | Main | Presentation: Best Tactics to Drive Elections Using Online Fundraising and Social Media »

101 +1 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits

101 +1 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits

There are a lot of books out there about social media strategy. I’m always inspired after I read them, but am left hanging after the stage is set for social media perfection. Sometimes in our busy lives, inspiration doesn’t always lead to action!

That is why Chad Norman and I co-authored the book 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits – to provide actionable ideas with mini-case studies featuring the leading social media rock stars in the nptech world. Assuming you have a social media strategy in place, this book serves as a field guide for implementing the strategy to meet your goals. By the way, we are also giving away a free copy of our book to one lucky Frogloop reader, so be sure and add a comment below about why you would like to win a copy.

Whether you are an events person, a web guru, or a director of development, there are sets of tactics geared towards many roles. All you need to do is set out your objectives and then flip through the guide and find tactics that align with your strategy.

If you want to get a taste of the book, head on over to www.101SMT.com where we’ll trade you a tweet for 10 tactics.

Why stop at 101 though? Today, I want to debut Tactic #102 on the Frogloop blog. And, it is a platform that I am admittedly slightly obsessed over—PINTEREST! I also have a bit of a confession… I co-authored this book while I was on maternity leave. (Slightly insane, but good timing nonetheless.) I guess I watched too many @garyvee talks and thought I could “Crush it!” while dealing with extreme sleep deprivation. Well, if there is a typo, I will blame it on that… or Chad.

Why am I telling you all this? Because, it all leads back to PINTEREST! I first heard about the platform from mommy bloggers and online mommy forums. (Where I spent countless sleepless nights surfing.) This makes sense though, if you look at the demographics - Pinterest user demographics are centered on women, ages 25-54. Women also happen to influence as much as 85 percent of brand purchases this year. Hmmm… you see where I’m going?

So, without further ado… Tactic 102.

Use Pinterest to Drive Social Commerce

If your nonprofit has retail goods for sale, a great place to catch the eyeballs of some very willing buyers is Pinterest. According to a recent Monetate infographic, Pinterest is one of the top traffic drivers for retailers. (Even more so than the “other” social network darling Google+.) And, it’s easily on the top 10 list of social networking sites. Creating a presence on Pinterest is a great way to not only extend the reach of your organization’s brand, but also its gift shop, online store or retail marketing. Provide the pinning tools, open up your boards, pin (some) of your products, and watch as Pinterest grows on your list of referring sites.

What you need
A Pinterest account, an ecommerce page with retail goods for sale, and a web developer

How to do it

Setup an account

1. Request an invite at www.pinterest.com or ask a friend to login and click “invite friends” in the upper right-hand corner to send you an invite.

2. Customize your account by adding an avatar and completely filling out your profile. 

Create a products board 

Disclaimer: As with any social network, being overly self-promotional is frowned upon. A products board should be part of your overall presence on Pinterest. Read more in Pin etiquette. Other boards should include mission and brand-centric pins.

  1. Once logged in, click “Add +” in the upper right hand of the screen.
  2. From there, select “Add Board” and name the board appropriately. (Our Favorite Books, Cuddle Duds, etc.)
  3. Select a category. For instance, “Women’s Apparel.”
  4. Determine who can pin. Selecting “Me + Contributors” will allow you to invite guest curators to the board. (You will need to add their name or email.)

Determine who can pin. Selecting “Me + Contributors” will allow you to invite guest curators to the board. (You will need to add their name or email.)

Once the board is created, follow the process for adding pins and assigning them to the board. See what people are already pinning from your site by replacing “yoursite.com” with your website address at the end of this link: http://pinterest.com/source/yoursite.com.

Add “Pin It” buttons to your product pages

  1. Visit http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/.
  2. Add the url of the webpage the pin is on.
  3. Add the url of the image to be pinned.
  4. Provide a brief description of the image/product. (This is optional, but highly recommended.)
  5. Select the “Advanced” option for auto-generated code to add to your site. (The Advanced option lets you include multiple “Pin It” buttons on a page.)

A Closer Look

Established in 1954, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals—a world that will also benefit people. HSUS is America's mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect, as well as the most trusted voice extolling the human-animal bond.

When Pinterest burst on the scene, Carie Lewis, director of emerging media at The Humane Society of the United States, immediately started experimenting with how the organization could extend its already prolific social brand on the new platform. She setup a page at http://pinterest.com/humanesociety/, and started some boards including “DIY for Animals and Pets” and “Cute Animal Photos”, among others, harnessing the essence of the platform’s crafty and animal-loving demographic.

Carie also setup a board called “Products I Love” to share some of HSUS’ retail products. The name of the board is important, because it isn’t formal like “2012 Logowear,” or “Online Gift Shop.” When Carie created the board, she was selective about what she pinned. “I think it’s good to see what others like of yours before you go pinning every single item you have in your online store,” she says. “Our ‘Products I Love’ board has the most popular pinned items of ours plus other products from around the web that we like. In my research, there's a recurring theme of success for brands in Pinterest is both pinning content themselves and enabling users to easily pin their content."

Here are some other useful Pinterest links thanks to Beth Kanter, the master curator of all things nonprofit:

Is your nonprofit on Pinterest? Share a link and tell us what you love about it!

And don't forget to submit a comment below about why you would like to win a copy of our book.



Reader Comments (4)

I have helped my organization develop more of a presence on social networks. We are just beginning to truly engage those communities and are working toward integrating our social media w/ our traditional outreach. I would love a copy of your book to help us reach that goal. With how quickly things change these days it's so hard but so important to stay up to date.
February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
I adore Pinterest. It's been very refreshing to have a social media platform for our nonprofit that embraces the fun side of our organization. Too often, animal welfare organizations feel the need to highlight the horrors we see to engage supporters. Not so with Pinterest. The only adoptable animals I currently feature is on our Alumni board. Followers then get to vicariously celebrate the happy ending for these pets. The other animal boards all feature cats and dogs in funny or moving situations that Pinterest users aggressively repin. Other boards cater to pet guardians' desire to offer the best for their four-legged family members like "Creative Pet Spaces" and "Treats from the Heart."

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
I've just registered my Pineterest account last week, and I am starting to see the effects. Plus the fact that its really easy to pin in your favorites. :)
February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam
Congrats, Angela - you win the copy of 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits! Please email your info to: info@101socialmediatactics.com.

@Michael - love the Valentine's Day board. :) You have a fun subject.
March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie Mathos

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.