To pin or not to pin? As the popularity of Pinterest continues to grow, that is the question many credit union professionals are starting to ask.
If you’re not already familiar with the website, here’s a quick rundown: Pinterest is a social bookmarking website that allows you to collect—or “pin”—content from around the Web to personalized pinboards. The usefulness for credit unions might not be immediately apparent. After all, Pinterest is practically tailor-made for brands that specialize in fashion, cooking, housewares, and other visually oriented pursuits.
So do credit unions really have a place on Pinterest? I would argue that they do—if you give some deeper thought to your current and prospective members’ motivation before diving in.
But first, let’s talk about some statistics. In terms of numbers, it making more and more sense to have a presence on Pinterest because that’s where the Web users are. Check out these insights compiled by Monetate, a provider of digital marketing and optimization tools:
- Estimated unique visitors to Pinterest increased by 329% from September to December 2011.
- Pinterest is now driving more Web traffic than Google+.
- The top five tips for using Pinterest include promoting a lifestyle, using it as a focus group, crowdsourcing, running contests, and inspiring your team.
So what are some specific ways that credit unions can start pinning? The key is to tap into the goals of members, and show them how your credit union can play a vital role in helping them achieve those goals.
Think about it like this: Users typically use their boards as future inspiration. They might pin images of new cars, dream kitchens, vacation destinations, or splurge-worthy shoes. Do you notice a pattern here? Your credit union can help members work toward all of these goals. You just have to position yourself on Pinterest as their biggest financial adviser and cheerleader. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Create a collaborative pinboard of potential savings goals, and invite other users to become contributors. Encourage them to pin content related to whatever they want to save money for, and offer advice and feedback through comments.
- Lots of pinners use Pinterest to find creative ideas for kids. Try creating a pinboard that focuses on projects or activities that teach children about money. Or, for something more lighthearted, create a pinboard dedicated to something quirky, like unique piggy banks. A quick Web search should reveal lots of fun images worth pinning.
- Use pins to direct members to specific areas of your website. But make sure you’re actually sharing content that will genuinely interest members. For instance, does your credit union maintain a blog or write articles for members? Pin attention-grabbing images or infographics that link back to your content.
As with any form of social media, getting started with Pinterest might be a trial-and-error process at first—and that’s perfectly okay. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches and strategies to find what works best for your followers.
Have you started using Pinterest for your credit union? Share your experience with a comment!
Casey is assistant editor in the center for personal finance at Credit Union National Association. She writes, edits and blogs for CUNA’s online consumer publications, including Home & Family Finance® Resource Center, MoneyMix™, and Plan It™, and also contributes to CUNAverse, CUNA’s social media outlet. Casey is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in journalism and mass communication and history. www.cunaverse.com