I’m sure by now you are familiar with. The virtual pinboard for saving and organizing photos from websites. Based on the hours I know friends and family have spent there, I originally called it a “black hole that sucks your time”. I have since changed my mind.
I look at Pinterest from a different point of view than some. I created my account and have been using it similar to other social media sites.
I have been and always will be involved in children’s ministry. I have a Facebook and twitter account that I use to connect with like-minded people. I share ideas, both mine and others. Part of my mission is to help other people who work with kids. If I read an article that I think would help someone, I post a link on twitter or Facebook to share with everyone else. I got to thinking, why can’t Pinterest be another resource?
A little about using Pinterest:
The whole idea of Pinterest is to create a virtual ‘pinboard’ using photos. If you find an awesome recipe, you can ‘pin it’ to your board and reference it later when you are ready to cook. Are you redecorating your house? You can ‘pin’ the good ideas and DIY projects you think you might use. Create a few ‘boards’ to pin your items to. Since I am making my account to be a resource for kids ministry, I have a board for ideas, for snacks, crafts, etc. When I find a good idea, I can pin it on my board. When other people see your ideas, they can ‘re-pin’ it to their own boards to save it for when they need it. Everyone that follows their board will be able to see your pin as well.
A note about pinning: there must be a photo. Since Pinterest is a pinboard, you are actually saving the photo to your board, which will link you back to the original article or website the material first appeared on. This is important because you cannot pin a blog article if there is no image. You cannot pin a recipe if it is only text and does not contain a photo.
If someone enjoys the items you pin, they may choose to ‘follow’ one or all of your boards. That means every time you pin an item to a board they are following it will show up in their home view. By following boards, you will have access to lots of great material in your given areas of interest.
It is easy to just search other pins. They are all organized by category, beginning with the most recent pins. I search through the ‘kids’ and ‘DIY+Crafts’ a lot. I have found many great ideas there. I can visit the original website, or simply ‘repin’ the photo to my board. Be sure to put your boards into categories. That will make it easier for other people to find your ideas and resources.
It will not take long for you to gain followers if you are pinning lots of good material. It is also common for good information to be re-pinned multiple times. When you are pinning an item, you are promoting the original website that the information came from. This is a great way for people to find websites and resources they didn’t know existed. Do you have a website? Does this give you any ideas?
Ministry uses for Pinterest
In creating valuable boards for others to follow, sprinkle in your own articles and websites. I have a website that has printable lessons and resources for parents and teachers that work in children’s ministry. Over my first weekend on Pinterest, I pinned several of my own resources. Those items were re-pinned multiple times, and over the weekend I had over 50 new visitors to my website. If you have a blog or a website, create a board by pinning your own articles as well as other similar articles. Before you know it you will naturally drive people to your website, as well as providing links to other interesting and relevant websites for your followers. You also have the option of creating a ‘pin it’ button to place on your webpage. From your account home page, choose the ‘about’ tab, then choose ‘pin it button’ to copy a special line of code to place on your own website.
A nice thing about Pinterest is you choose who to follow and what to pin. If someone pins or re-pins your information, it is because they find it valuable. Then it gets spread out to others who find similar information valuable, so you are able to create a resource directly to those who share your niche interests. I have boards with some great kids crafts, awesome kid snacks, object lessons,kid and family games and more. What are your special interests? Could you create a Pinterest resource for others with similar interests? In a world where social media is a part of everyday life, have you considered adding to your online presence with a Pinterest resource board?
Do you have a Pinterest account? What do you use it for? Connect with me there, follow my boards and I can follow yours. Together we can share information and resources as they relate to kids.