Well, I’m not sure it’s the best, but it certainly is the social media flavor of the month. Don’t believe me? Try signing up and see how quickly your friends find and follow you. If you are on Facebook, you’ve probably been experiencing the effects of Pinterest’s popularity without even knowing it. Have you noticed lately that many of your Facebook friends are sharing wall photos with pithy, inspirational or sometimes crass quotes? Those are most likely getting to Facebook via Pinterest.
What is Pinterest? For the more web savvy folks, I’d say it’s Delicious + Flickr. For the rest of us, I say it is this: A small tool you download onto your computer that lets you ‘pin’ websites that you think are interesting. It puts a photo of that website onto a bulletin board that you’ve named. You can save and share your interesting websites and you can browse through your friends’ interesting saves. It looks like this:
- You ‘pin’ what’s ‘interesting’, hence the name. Get it?
- According to comScore, Pinterest just hit over 11 million users.
- So can credit unions use it? Maybe.
I asked one of the smartest people I know, Tim McAlpine, founder of Currency Marketing, what he thinks. He said, “I definitely have social media ADD. I tend to sign up for everything just to get a feel for it and if it doesn’t stick within the first session or two, I move on. For me, Twitter has been the stickiest thing I’ve experienced in the last five years, but Pinterest has definitely captured my interest in a similar way. Being a designer geek and a bit of a collector, I love that the service is so intuitive and visual. Like most social services in their early growth phase, Pinterest is ideal for personal use and free from overt marketing – that’s what makes it so great right now. I am trying to wrap my head around how a credit union could use it and I am not seeing the application just yet.”
I say, if you’ve got a spare person in the office with a lot of time on their hands and a pretty forgiving firewall, you might be able to use Pinterest at your credit union.
I like this article from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/01/19/pinterest-brands/
Lauren Drell advises companies to consider using it as a branding tool and I agree. You could build a Pinterest page for your credit union and have bulletin boards such as:
- Money Saving Tips
- News in Co-ops
- Our Community
When you ‘curate’ (a word I stole from Drell that I think is the perfect descriptor) a series of images and websites on your Pinterest page, you give your members and potential members a good indication of the type of company and type of employees you are and have.
You could also peruse the bulletin boards of your credit union’s Facebook fans and get a better feeling for what they are pinning. I could see it working well for designing your next marketing piece.
But for now, my opinion of Pinterest for credit unions is – stick with Facebook.
Shari Storm is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Verity Federal Credit Union and is the author of the book “Motherhood is the New MBA”, available here: http://www.amazon.com/Motherhood-New-MBA-Parenting-Skills/dp/0312544316/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314126290&sr=1-1