16 March 2012
Using Pinterest in Your Digital Ministry
If one of the maxims of digital ministry is "be where people are," then you need to be on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a social networking site whose mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting." Launched back in 2010, Pinterest has recently exploded onto the social networking scene, boasting 20 million users, who spend gobs of time on the site and share lots of content.
It is now one of the top 10 social networking websites and it drives tons of traffic other sites.
I've seen this with my own blog. I recently started sharing my blog posts on one of my Pinterest boards and I already get a high percentage of my traffic is coming from Pinterest. This really got my attention.
Before you lament that you now have yet one more social network to keep track of...Pinterest is actually easy and fun to use and its has great Facebook intergration, so it leverages a network you probably already know pretty well.
Here's how you can get started using Pinterest in your digital ministry:
Pinterest accounts are currently available through email invitations, but soon everyone will be able to create an account without an invite.
Each user has a set of customizable "boards" - pin boards - for different topics. Pinterest gives your four default boards, which you can edit or delete. You can create new boards as you wish.
You add your content - pictures, videos, articles - to these boards by "pinning them." You can pin items in two ways. Pinterest give you a "Pin It" bookmark that you can put in your browser. You can also add pins on the website itself. The pinning function is much like sharing on Facebook.
People can share your pins by "re-pinning" your content on their boards. They can also "like" your pin, or share them on Facebook or Twitter. As with anything in social media, the best way to learn it is to get in and observe and play with it. It's a very intuitive design.
Pinterest for Ministry
As a first step, Pinterest is a great way to pull together the different content you already create in your ministry setting. You can see here that I've created boards for each of our major content streams: our YouTube 2 Minute Bible Study, sermons, my blog posts, information on digital ministry, and fun stuff.
This is a great way to visualize all the content you create - you can rearrange your board however you like - and it helps drive people to your blog, website, and your other web properties.
In addition to pulling together your content, Pinterest is a great way to give people a window into your ministry. Post your pictures all together on the same board or use multiple boards for different themes/activities.
People pin and share a lot of inspirational pictures and quotes on Pinterest, creating a great environment for digital ministers. Share your own nuggets of inspriation or those of others. Repin content that captures the spirit of your ministry setting.
Let people know you are on Pinterest. Put an icon on your blog and website. (Some here; scroll down.) Link your Facebook and Twitter account, so people can see your Pinterest activity. (On Facebook it displays your activity in a similar way to Spotify.) Like, repin, and comment on other peoples' pins and boards. Add a "Pin It" button to your blog posts and website so people can easily pin your content.
Are you using Pinterest yet? How's it going? What ways are you using it in your digital ministry or personal use?