by • 9 Feb, 2012 • TechnologyComments (20)26138

5 things you could do with Pinterest, your institution’s new best friend

Almost overnight my RSS timeline changed from “Facebook blah Facebook blahblah” to “Pinterest blah Pinterest blahblah”. There’s so much buzz around this new social network that I’m not even going to explain what it is and why it is the future. Others have done so and have done so better, especially Neil Patel’s marketing guide to Pinterest. A must read, which lists SFMOMA as a brand doing well on the platform. Chapeau.

Pinterest is the perfect platform for culture, if you ask me. It’s the platform most suited to give meaning to our mission statements and values. Among the many, many things you can do on Pinterest (thanks Jenni), here are five I find especially valuable:

  1. Make your blog more compelling, and easier to fill
    Regardless of your topic, an image and strong tagline almost always tell a more convincing story online than an image and a 2,000-word essay. I’m sure a good board can replace many a regular culture blog, reach a wider audience and be more engaging. Plus, it’s easier to get a 5-word quote about a painting from a curator than have her write a 500-word blogpost.
  2. Create a mindblowing gallery of influencers and influenced
    So the Guernica inspired hundreds of artists (and rightfully so)? Make a board that shows a “timeline” of all the art influenced by this piece, and where Picasso took his inspiration from. This makes a great exposition, and – thus – a great board on Pinterest. You could also crowdsource such a project by opening up the board to contributions by your followers.
  3. Put your audience in the spotlight
    Pinterest is all about showing your taste. It’s not about painting your house, but about exactly which colour scheme you want to put on your wall. Recommending (liking or repinning) tastes that fit your values and collection is a great way to make your audience feel special and putting them in a positive spotlight (and improve their opinion of you).
  4. Charge your brand
    What you can do for your audience, you can do for yourself as well. What does your institution find tasteful, beautiful, appropriate, useful, desirable, inspirational…? Pinterest can do for you what a consultancy firm would charge a small fortune for: charge your brand. Especially look for things both you and your ideal target audience like, so you can build relationships between the two of you.
  5. Discover trends in your target groups
    If you look at my Pinterest timeline, you’d think all my friends’d be married soon. And some of them are thinking about tattoos. Researching the names of the boards of the people that follow you and the stuff they pin gives an incredible insight in their psyche. Must more than by reading good-weather tweets and by checking Facebook likes, Pinterest can show trends within your target groups.

Most of these things are pretty obvious, and I’m certain that in the months to come we will find new and more successful ways to use Pinterest for culture. If there’s anything you’ve done that worked amazingly well, please share in the comments. Happy pinning!

N.B. Following my own advice, I’ve taken this blog to Pinterest as well. Same content, less words, more imagination.

Photo by Karla Cantu on Flickr.

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