Monday, February 13, 2012

Pinterest: Why Bother for Church Social Media

From zero to gazillion miles per hour in weeks -- that's how quickly Pinterest, the latest social media platform darling has caught on. It's easy to get up and running after receiving an invite, but if you need a video-based crash course, click here or here.

First and quickly adopted by artists, photographers, crafters, and do-it-yourselfers, Pinterest has recently become blog fodder for business marketers. (I'm observing the conversation among healthcare social media colleagues about how physicians, hospitals, and wellness advocates might use it.)

Can church be far behind? This time, hopefully not, but lots of head scratching going on. As ever, I encourage quickly getting beyond "how to" and get into the conversation about "why to." Tomorrow night's chat will zoom in on this.

Personally, I think a prime clue for the rationale for adding Pinterest to the church social media toolkit can be extrapolated from the word "inspiration." Inspiration is rooted in the Latin verb inspirare ("to breathe {life} into"). For centuries, formal and informal images have inspired deeper faith and, in the case of icons, been means of prayer and devotion. Now add the challenge of communicating church and faith with people who are highly visual learners. How might Pinterest become another way to connect?

To be continued! Meanwhile, you're invited to look at the boards I've created to support my life of faith: St. Teresa of Avila, Archangel Gabriel, and the one I'll be futzing around with during Easter, Gorgeous Eggs.

Need/want an invite to Pinterest? Ping me on Twitter (@meredithgould) and I'll zap one over to you!

Terrific post about the basics and strategy on the ChurchJuice blog. Check 'em out!


Dan "the groom" Webster said...

Headline on Arts/Entertainment section of The Baltimore Sun today was about Pinheads. I think I'm beginning to get it.,0,6743092.photogallery

Sue Mosher said...

Been "pinning for church" for a week or so now. Had the same thought as you (Gabriel, eggs) and started a Brigid pinboard.

As for inspiration, a friend at another church noticed there wasn't much on "hope" in the Pinterest search results, so several people are now co-curating a Hope pinboard. I haven't made a contribution yet, though. My taste runs more to images without words, but in another recent online conversation, I learned that 20s and 30s are sharing and reposting just that kind of inspirational "poster", so I'm open to seeing what happens with this.

Did you notice that the Pinterest categories include nothing resembling "religion" or "spirituality" or "inspiration"?

Meredith Gould said...

Yes, Sue, I sure did notice there's no option for religion/spirituality, so I sent them that feedback. I also asked if they could make it possible to rearrange the images on boards. Right now they show up in order of being pinned.

Interesting observation about who posts quotes. Wonder why Boomers don't. Didn't we invent to dorm poster?