If you’ve been paying attention to social media news lately you’ve probably heard a lot about the website called Pinterest. One could quickly explain Pinterest as a virtual pinboard for things you find on the internet. I know, it sounds simple and pointless, but after using it for a while it is actually surprisingly addicting. It might take a little while to figure out the practical usefulness of the website, but that’s why I’m here
First, some stats…
Since Pinterest launched in March 2010 they have grown to almost 11 million users while still being in invitation only open-beta. Yes, that’s right, they are still invitation only!
It has been reported that 97% of Pinterest users are women. 97% of users are women! This is a good thing to keep in mind when posting content.
It has also been reported that Pinterest is driving more traffic than LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, and Myspace combined!
What is Pinterest?
- Pinterest is an online pin-board for things that interest you.
- Pinterest is VISUAL.
- Pinterest is a content water cooler.
- Pinterest is currently invite only (if you need an invite just let me know).
Should your church use it?
Now you should know me well enough by now that I’m not one to just recommend that your church should hop on every new social network out there just because its what is hot right now. Context is everything, and if it isn’t right for your context, and if your people aren’t using it, then don’t worry about it. But you should at least explore these new tools, and find out if your people are using them.
If your people are using Pinterest then you definitely need to create an account for your church.
How can your church use Pinterest?
Your church can use Pinterest in a couple different ways.
- As a church you can create different pin-boards that can be focused on different things. Here are a few examples:
- Sermon Series
- Book Lists
- Blog Posts
But what I’m really excited about is the opportunity that this gives churches to really be engaged in design and culture. Your church could create an architecture pin-board, or a photography pin-board, or a design pin-board. All of these things which are very visual but also point back to Jesus in some way. For example, Park is doing a photography exhibit for Good Friday and Easter and this would be a great use-case for Pinterest.
Another good idea I had was to create a pin-board for the neighborhood your church is located in. Or if you have multiple campuses. For us at Park, Chicago is a very multicultural city, so each neighborhood has it’s own feel and style. For Park we can create different pin-boards for different neighborhoods that could include restaurants, cafes, or other cool spots for people to visit and engage with their neighborhood.
Again, I cannot stress enough how visual Pinterest is. Pinterest will force you to become much more visual and design savvy if you plan on using it for your church (which is a good thing!). In each of these ideas there are visual aspects, and that is what you need to remember.
An example of a church that is using Pinterest well is Mars Hill. So if you need any ideas before you launch Pinterest at your own church check out how Mars Hill is using it. Tim Schraeder also did a great interview with Jake Johnson from Mars Hill over at Church Marketing Sucks about their use of Pinterest, check it out!
And if you need an invite, just let me know. I’ve still got some to go around.
Are you using Pinterest at your church?
Do you think churches should use Pinterest?
What other ways do you think churches could use this platform?