I’m definitely not the only person who’s noticed that I’m not getting as many re-pins on Pinterest or as much traffic back to my site these days. A new report shows that the big burst of the last few months seems to be ebbing and site traffic on Pinterest has dropped significantly. That report definitely takes the tone that Pinterest is dying, and all of the press surrounding the new network was nothing more than hype, but I take a different tone.
Every social media network’s traffic fluxuates, and while some never rise back up, others definitely do. I also recognize that jumping into a new network involves a lot of risk, and that reports like this will discourage many people from trying any new network or site that comes along. This is especially true for nonprofits which have limited staff and financial resources to market their programs and missions.
My experience is that, even if a social network fails eventually, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have valuable experiences and achieve communications successes there. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best social networks for your nonprofit:
1. Read up on what the experts are saying.
The internet is full of free advice for online community managers these days, and make sure you take advantage. Follow their blogs and Twitter feeds to keep up with news on how to use new tools effectively. In addition to helping you decide if this new tool is right for your audience and strategy, they will also give you tips on how to get the most traction there.
2. Make sure it matches well with your strategy.
From the very start I would have told you that, while Pinterest is exciting, it won’t be the best choice for every nonprofit. It’s demographics were very skewed towards middle-income, white women, which, while a very valuable demographic to some, it isn’t the target audience of everyone. As much as you may feel pushed to move ahead quickly, always take the time to research new networks to make sure it makes sense for your brand. If you don’t have a social media strategy for your organization and business, here is a post to help you get started.
3. Back-up your work.
This really goes for any social network or new tool, but especially for new and “Beta” ones. As I learned when I jumped onto Google+ early, sometimes new tools have problems. Make sure that, if you’re putting unique content out onto the web, that you’re retaining a back-up copy lest you lose your hard work.
4. Look at the long-term.
Every social network goes up and down, so don’t run for the exits because of one report showing a down tic. Give it some time, and see if it comes back around. Once a year or so, go over your communications strategy holistically to see what is working and what is not for your goals, and decide then if this network, or even one of the more established ones, still makes sense for your organization.
Has your nonprofit or business jumped into Pinterest? Would you say that your work there is successful? Why did or didn’t you join? Answer these or ask your own questions in the comments.