One of the latest social media trends is to use visual sites such as Pinterest to create boards and share ideas through the use of photos and other graphics. Known as pinning, creating online photo boards can be an excellent way to tell a story and promote your next conference.

The first thing you should know is that Pinterest is not the only social network of its kind. While it may currently have the biggest user base (around 12 million), sites like LoveIt.com and Gentlemint.com (targeted toward men) are quickly gaining momentum and shouldn’t be ignored. Regardless of which platform you select, you can make use of these new social networks for your meetings’ and events’ promotion and engagement strategies.

Here are 10 ways you can use Pinterest for your meetings and events:

1.   In general, accounts are created on these social networks by linking to an existing Facebook or Twitter profile, so be sure that you have one or both accounts set up before you start. By connecting through these networks, you can connect with people who are already in your and your organization’s social circles.

2.   Organizations can use Pinterest to demonstrate their culture. They can create boards that show their products, their facilities, their customers, and their interests—and the interests of their customers. Many organizations are having employees take photos “of each other” or “of the office” or “during the business day” to demonstrate visually what it’s like to work for the business or association.

3.   Event planners can use Pinterest to showcase previous events or to look for ideas for future projects. There are many boards focused on design that can spark creativity and lead to an amazing attendee experience.

4.   Meeting planners are starting to use boards to showcase their event’s speakers. They might link photos to their own Web site or to those of their speakers.

5.   Sponsors are always looking for added value. You can give them extra exposure to your attendees by creating a board filled with your sponsors’ products and services.

6.   The destination is often the focal point of an event. You can create special boards to showcase things to see and do in your host city. This can be a great way to build excitement and promote an event in a unique way. If your next conference destination is a secret, build a board that gives hints about its location.

7.   You can display photos from conferences past and present to create a buzz and get people excited about attending.

8.   You can discover ideas for content by browsing boards to see what people are talking about and are interested in. Make sure you are following your key influencers to see what they are posting.

9.   Do a lot of your presenters author books? Create a virtual book club for your event through a “books to read” board.

10.  Infographics are a popular method of depicting statistics. Add a few relevant infographics to begin the education before your event starts.

The world of pinning is still evolving. Studies have shown that people enjoy learning and consuming information through the use of visuals. These are just a few of the many creative ways that event organizers can take advantage of the latest craze in a strategic way.

Jessica L. Levin, MBA, CMP,is president and chief connector, Seven Degrees Communications. With a background in marketing, event planning, and technology, Levin has a passion for connecting people and creating experiences based on strategic goals. She uses social networking tools to build business relationships and teaches others how to embrace social media to create both corporate and personal brands. Her background includes experience in the professional services arena, association management, and industrial marketing.

She is president of the New Jersey Professional Marketers Association and is the digital communications chairwoman for the Association for Accounting Marketing. She is a candidate for Certified Association Executive. You can reach her at jlevin@sevendegreescommunications.com or via Twitter: @jessicalevin.

Visit the MeetingsNet Social Media special section for more on how you can use the latest social technologies to enhance your meetings and events.

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