I’m not quite sure how people wasted time before social media was in our lives—though I’m sure they found their ways. What I do know is with the onset of sites such as Pinterest, staying focused on work has become infinitely more challenging.

In addition to being a marvelous way to spend an hour (or two) browsing (and feeling creative even though all we’ve really done is stared at a computer), Pinterest has the potential to be a powerful tool for nonprofits, if used correctly.

It’s All About the Eye Candy

I don’t mean pictures of Ryan Gosling posing in an undershirt and hipster glasses—though those are numerous and easily found—FYI. But because Pinterest’s main audience is females ages 25-44, rich image content is an expected key component of your nonprofit’s page. It’s not so much about posting pictures of what you sell, but rather, what you do. Post photos of people or animals that you’ve helped: don’t tell people what you do, show them.

Show off your nonprofit’s personality by creating boards and pinning content that you think is neat. Giving your nonprofit an identity and a sense of depth with personification will lead to more donations. We promise.

Like Anything, Measurement is a Must

Sorry for you mathphobics, but there are some numbers involved with Pinterest for nonprofits. Google Analytics can track how many people have pinned your content, which you’d be wise to pay attention to. The rule is pretty simple—if your content is getting consistently repinned, keep it up—if not, change your tactic and try pinning other types of content. In addition to Analytics, Pinterest offers weekly emails telling you if you’ve gotten any new followers, comments, likes, repins, etc.

Utilize these services—they’re sources of free feedback that you need as you start your nonprofit’s Pinterest page. And if used correctly, Pinterest can drastically help your nonprofit’s SEO. Every pin links back to your website, giving you valuable opportunities for backlinks and SEO boosts.

Don’t Be Selfish

Much like Twitter, no one will want to follow you if you don’t follow them back. This isn’t to say that you need to follow every one of your followers, but regularly repinning content that is applicable to your nonprofit is a must.

The bottom line here is that Pinterest is a great new avenue for posting visual content capturing what your nonprofit does. Your nonprofit needs to find that tricky balance between promoting your cause too much versus not enough. But the good news is, whereas Facebook and Twitter have some well-established unspoken rules, Pinterest still leaves quite a bit of wiggle room. It’s a new social media avenue, thus the rules aren’t set yet. So experiment. See what works. And pin, pin, pin!

What strategies do your nonprofit use when it comes to Pinterest?