So it has been a few weeks now since I started playing with Pinterest, and how it might be used in the congregation.
Here’s my original post.
Time, now, to share a few things that might be of interest to others travelling this journey with me:
There don’t seem to be a lot of other churches trying this yet – or if there are they are hard to find. So far I have found Mars Hill, Wheaton Bible Church, and UCCA. Do you know of others?
I’m also curious about how the Pinterest & Coffee small group works at North Church.
Some Sites aren’t Pinterest Friendly
I ran into some less-than-ideal results when I started trying to pin some websites that just didn’t have relevant graphics in a suitable size and proportion (square or portrait shaped images work best).
I have since learned that you can pin the ‘right’ image from elsewhere (like a deeper page of the website) and then edit the link. Note, I’m not talking about neglecting to credit the source (see below).
For example, when I wanted to pin a link for our synod, I found the only logo on their page was part of their header (which would result in the left thumbnail image ). After making the pin by uploading an image of just their logo from my hard drive (right), I edited the link to go to their home page.
At some point I’ll need to go back and re-pin some of the other links from before I found this workaround.
Etiquette is Important
There’s a great article at My 3 Boybarians, but basically, make sure the link or credit goes back to the original poster.
On a related note, Pinterest is not Twitter. What I mean by that is although some ‘experts’ may say otherwise, there is no right or wrong way to use Twitter. There are valid arguments for and against following, linking, replying and retweeting on Twitter. It is perfectly acceptable for some accounts to be exclusively broadcast or heavily self promotion. Pinterest is different.
It’s right there in the official etiquette:
“Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”
In my opinion, Mars Hill doesn’t get it. At this time, every one of their pins links back to their own website.
I admit, I was inspired by Mars Hill to add boards for our monthly newsletter and upcoming events, but I intend for the core of my congregation’s Pinterest presence to be the same sorts of general interest things that our members are pinning.
Stats Surprised Me
In these few weeks, according to Google Analytics, 60% of referral traffic to our main website has come via Pinterest. I know shamefully little about interpreting analytics, but that seems huge.
Members are There
Beyond the handful of members I originally found through personal contacts, I’ve already found about 80 members of the congregation that are using Pinterest (through the totally unscientific method of browsing through followers of my personal contacts for other names I recognize as members). Compare that to Twitter where through methodical search I’ve found about 100 members of the congregation, of which only maybe a dozen actually tweet.
My current goal is to do about one repin and about one ‘fresh’ pin most days. I’ve found that for me ‘likes’ are a good way to temporarily bookmark pins that I might want to repin later. When I don’t have much time to look for something to repin I can choose something from my ‘likes’ and then ‘unlike’ it.
Here’s an updated look at my boards: