Should Local Government Agencies Use Pinterest?

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Pinterest is known as a go-to site for personal style inspiration and crafty do-it-yourself projects. 

For local governments, it can be a tool to further connect with the public while keeping messaging to the point. 

With its grid-like feed, Pinterest is a visual platform, which gives municipalities an opportunity to simplify information and not overload people with too much wordiness. 

A great thing about Pinterest is that its content is super shareable. With just a click on the “send” option on posts, known as “pins,” content can be spread to other social media networks a government uses via Facebook, directly through Facebook, Messenger, on Twitter, Whatsapp and with an embed link. 

Using Pinterest for Local Government

Municipalities can get in on the how-to nature that’s often found on Pinterest in ways that are helpful to citizens. It can be as simple as posting a step-by-step graphic on use information such as “How to become a volunteer” and “How to conserve water in the summer” and public transit tips. Pins can link to government websites for further information. 

In keeping with the platform’s visual style, photos are optimal to share and can be used to promote upcoming events. Beyond useful public safety information for residents, local governments can appeal to tourists by sharing attractive photos of local hot spots, natural wonders and businesses that Pinterest users will want to share on their personal “Travel” or “Dream Vacation” boards. 

Check out this list StateTech Magazine shared of different municipality services in Utah that put Pinterest. Here are a few shining examples from the list from which local governments can take note:

1. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality shared a quick guide on recycling. They saved it to a board named “Recycling Repurposing”:

 
 

2. Utah’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism posts up-to-date pins on volunteer programs, as well as tips to running successful services and volunteer appreciation.

3. Visit Utah shares scenic photos of stunning landscapes of its national parks, local foodie destinations and along with travel guides that are sure to attract visitors. Bonus points for keeping their boards organized with clear categories!

 
 

As StateTech Magazine pointed out, Maryland used Pinterest to support local businesses with a contest that highlighted entrepreneurship by asking businesses pitch their ideas using 10 photos.

Using Pins to Interact

Pins are meant to be shared and offer comment sections. With those features, municipalities can use Pinterest to collaborate with the public and with other governments. Pins can also pose questions to residents so that their voices are heard and meaningful discussions are sparked. For example, “The parks and recreation department saved ‘X’ this budget season. How would you like to see those funds used?” 

Create a board with inspiration from ideas that other governments are executing well that can be implemented locally. If for some reason officials would like to keep a board under wraps  while ideas are still being developed and are not yet ready to be pitch to the people, there’s an option to make boards secret. 

Keeping Organized with Boards

Stay organized. Save pins in different Pinterest board categories with clear labels (i.e. “Events,” “Prepare,” “How to”), to save time. If there’s an incoming winter storm, it’s easy to re-share a how-to on what citizens should do to prepare and helps create consistency in messaging across platforms. 

Ready to start a Pinterest page for your organization? Grab your Pinterest URL before it’s snatched up by an unofficial user!