Steve Potter tends to dabble in all social media when first launched because that’s where the Mid-Continent Public Library customers are at.
So recently, Potter, director of libraries at MCPL, started experimenting with the latest social media craze – Pinterest. The 2-year-old website features “pin boards” in which users can collect images based upon certain themes, such as interests, hobbies, events and food.
Individuals and organizations alike – including MCPL and the Fort Osage School District – are using the site to further connect with their audiences, just as they have previously with Facebook and Twitter.
But what is it about tacking items onto virtual cork boards that has peoples’ hearts all aflutter? Potter, along with Fort Osage district spokeswoman Stephanie Smith, share their insight on what is keeping them “pinterested.”
|1 It’s user-friendly.||
While users have to request an invite to join Pinterest or receive one from an existing member, the site is free. It also encourages users to freely exchange their own photos of crafts, baked goods, tattoos or other interests, which others may “repin” to their boards.”
|2 Men can join, too.||
In the United States, Pinterest users are overwhelmingly female. But in the United Kingdom, it’s actually more evenly split among men and women.
|3 It’s learning about others and yourself at the same time.||
Users are coming to think of the site as a one-stop shop for ideas and inspiration, whether it’s a DIY craft project, a way to revamp your backyard or ideas for a new outfit. Smith said the site is great because it allows uses to “pin” an idea and then look back later to remember where it originated.
|4 Pinterest is another means of sharing information.||
The Fort Osage School District Pinterest account has three goals, Smith said – get more information out about upcoming events; share educational information sites, such as sites where children may play educational games on their home computers; and parent information/resources on getting children ready for school, natural disaster preparation and other topics.
|5 It’s quickly becoming the way of the world.||
While the U.S. uses the site to share crafts, interior design, wedding, hobbies/leisure, clothing and recipes, U.K. audiences focus on venture capital, public relations, content management, design, web statistics/analytics – and crafts, of course.