Tag Archives: non profit social media

Oh, The Places You’ll Go: How to use Pinterest’s new Place Pins


If MTV ever filmed a “True Life” segment about being addicted to Pinterest, I would be the perfect candidate. I’m seriously addicted. I use it to find DIY projects, recipes, outfits, and look at adorable kittens. I’m obsessed and I’m not the only one. Pinterest is the fastest-growing social network available with 53 million monthly users — and, according to this Hubspot article, has more clout when it comes to ecommerce than both Facebook and Twitter combined.

Pinterest, really?

Pinterest should be an integral part of your marketing plan. According to studies done by Hubspot, Pinterest drives 25% more sales than last year. Oh, and also, Bing (the search engine) recently announced that it will integrate Pins into Image Searches. So not only are there millions of people using the site, but it can help you create leads and customers. For more information on how to set up and use Pinterest for your non profit, check out my “Pin the Change” page.

Pinterest Place Pins? What are those?

Pinterest Places

It’s the brand spankin’ new location based feature that turns your Pinterest boards into a map. It basically allows users to give their pins locations and plot them on a map. It’s kind of like Instagram’s photo map. But why? Why would Pinterest do this? According to the announcement they made on their blog, “every day people pin about 1.5 million places, and now there are more than 750 million pins of these destinations on Pinterest.” Basically, a whole lot of people use Pinterest to share things that are travel related. If you’re still a little bit confused about what it is, Pinterest has created a page of examples to help. It seems like a really cool feature but there are a few problems.

First and foremost, they’re using Foursquare integration (vs Google Maps). This means that adding a location can be a bit of a struggle because not all venues exist on Foursquare. If you find that a location you need to use doesn’t exist, visit this Foursquare link to add a venue.  Second, it doesn’t work properly. There are still lots of glitches with the program that should have been sorted out prior to going public with it. Third, I really don’t like that you can’t toggle between map-view and the standard Pinterest view. So if you add locations to your Pinterest board, it will permanently change to look like this. 

How do I make a Pinterest place board?

Add a Place

When you log into Pinterest you’ll probably see an announcement about Pinterest Places on the top of your page. You can click through the “how-to” guide there, where Pinterest will walk you through how to set up maps, or you can just select “add a map” when you create a new board. If you want to add locations to an existing board, go to the settings and click “add a place.” It’s all a bit confusing right now because, like I said, Pinterest is bugging a bit and facing lots of technical difficulties. If you want to see some examples of companies that are already taking advantage of the new tool, and doing so without technical difficulties, check out Fodors and the University of Michigan.

I should note that a lot of people are having trouble with adding maps to existing boards. It seems the features are still a bit buggy but Pinterest reps claim they are “working on it.” If you’re having technical difficulties I would suggest submitting a complaint to Pinterest and letting them know. It’s a cool feature, or at least it will be when it works.

How can my non profit use Pinterest Places?

Luckily enough, I was able to create a board for United Planet that you can see here. As I’ve mentioned before, United Planet sends volunteers to locations all over the world. That means that Pinterest Places is going to be a really great tool for us to use with our Pinterest marketing. Recently I added locations to our pins to show people where you volunteer with us! I’ll also start adding locations to any other relevant boards. That’s what’s going to be key about Pinterest Places: relevancy. Don’t add Places to boards that don’t need them! Here are some ideas for your non profit:

  1. Create a Pinterest Places board to show where you currently have projects like United Planet did. This will help people discover projects that are close to them!
  2. If you sell products with your logo on them, create a board similar to Charity:Water’s and add locations to your pins.
  3. Create a board that shows where you’re volunteers are working, like Amnesty International, and add locations to make it more visual.
  4. If you have a collection of photographs that your company has published, like UNICEF, try adding locations to make your boards more interactive.
  5. The World Wildlife Fund could add locations to their “WWF together” board to show us where endangered animals are located.

Other Links

To see how other non profits are using Pinterest, check out this “group” Pinterest board filled with international non profits. If you’d like to read what other people are saying about Pinterest Places here are a few more links:

P.S. Pinterest also launched a “now-trending” tool for select businesses (Zappos and Walmart) this week. It will show users what products are getting the most love from Pinterest. I suspect this will become a powerful sales tool for e-commerce sites this season!

Remember to follow me on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on my efforts.

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SEO and why it’s important.


In 2012, charities in the United States received just over $300 billion in donations. And, thanks in part to the incredible success of the Kony Campaign, online donations rose a median of 15.8%. So you can imagine how important it is that your non profit has a significant online presence, and a good Google search ranking can really help with that.


Did you know that the first three results on an average Google search get nearly 60% of the clicks? So, it follows that getting your website to rank in the first page results of your desired keywords

will mean a huge increase in the number of visitors (translation: donations) for your non profit. For me, that’s reason enough to justify studying up on your Search Engine Marketing (SEO).

I first learnt the basics of SEO when I was interning at Indivly with John Clark, but honestly the landscape of search has changed so much since then that what he taught me almost doesn’t matter anymore. Keywords in meta tags don’t matter. Content is king. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Keyword search is so unbelievably important to the success of your non profits SEO. It should be the first step in any marketing and/or SEO plan, and it’s often not carried out properly. There are so many different tools available to help you with your keyword search, so make good use of them. Make sure to always use keywords that rank high in searches and have low competition. If you’re willing to pay, I would suggest using Hubspot’s SEO Software. If you’re looking for something free, you could use Google’s Keyword Tool.
  • Avoid using a lot of images on your website, because they aren’t visible to search engines and won’t help your ranking. Images are better used on platforms that are visual, like Pinterest or Facebook.
  • Google loves frequently updated websites and fresh content, so update your blog once or twice a week. Also, make sure to add a blog section to your website if you haven’t already.
  • Going off that, Google also loves websites that are well connected. Because Google is trying to become more focused on the consumer, it displays sites that they deem “relevant” higher up in the search results. In the online world, relevance is measured by analysing page content and by the number (and quality) of other pages linking to your website. Think of links like up votes. This is called “Page Rank.” Each time your website is linked to by an external site, your PageRank increases. The more trusted or respected the website is (e.g. Wikipedia or BBC), the more weight it’s vote has. For instance, a link from BBC is more meaningful than a link from my personal blog. Don’t think that you can go out and buy PageRanks. If your website is linked to from untrustworthy sites (spam sites) it will be detrimental to your PageRank.

So basically, try to keep your website fresh and make sure that you are constantly linking back to your site. Not only will this help improve your non profits visibility, but it will also keep your customers coming back. I check BuzzFeed obsessively because they constantly church out new and interesting content. Also try to increase the number of pages that link back to your website. A good idea might be to reach out to relevant and popular blogs and ask if you could guest blog for them!

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