Should Credit Unions Show Interest In Pinterest?

Pinterest is all the rage in social media. Your members are using it, but should you? Here's some firsthand insight from an avid Pinterest user.


Hello, my name is Alexandra Gekas and I am a Pinterest-a-holic.

Writing this blog requires me to sign myself off of my Pinterest account and put my boards aside, which is no easy task. Pintrest has become a part of my routine, more so than Twitter or Facebook ever were. And I’m not alone in my fandom.

This new platform has piqued the interest of more than 10 million unique visitors a month. Not only has it peaked the interest of millions, it has also kept their interest.

The average Pinterest user spends 15 minutes on the site per visit, which is three minutes longer than the average time spent on Facebook, according to Modea, a Blacksburg, VA,-based advertising agency. People are engaging with Pinterest for an extended period of time.

In case you are unfamiliar, Pinterest is a social media site that allows users to organize their favorite online finds onto different virtual boards, while at the same time being able to browse other users’ boards for inspiration. You are basically pinning your interests all in one place with images that you can see at a glance!

With hundreds of great recipes, fitness tips, fashion ideas, and more, I could spend (and sadly have spent) hours weeding through tons of material. When I want to remember something, I simply pin it to my board so I can refer back to it whenever I want. I’m pinning items such as inspirational quotes, healthy and easy recipes, holiday craft ideas, and do-it-yourself home decorations.

So how are credit unions connected to Pinterest?

To find out, I researched the content that exists on Pinterest. I searched the phrase “credit union.” The only results I found were an advertisement or two, but mostly images of interesting branch locations featuring the architecture.

Then, I searched “bank” and I got mostly pictures of piggy banks.

So I decided to get more specific and searched “credit card.” That hit the mark, but not the mark I was thinking. Cool technology gadgets and fancy holders were the main results.

I might not have found a lot of examples of what credit unions are currently doing on Pinterest, but my search sparked a few ideas about what they could be doing. People's postings could help credit unions better understand their members and potentially fill a financial need.

Here are a few dos and don’ts for adding Pinterest to your social media plan.

DO Promote A Contest

A furniture company has a small ad on its website promoting a Pinterest Contest called “Pin it to Win it”. The contest encourages visitors to create a board with what their dream would be for a kid’s room, and the prize was to win the furniture pinned on the board.

How could a credit union use this idea? Promote a similar contest on Facebook, Twitter, and your website asking your members to create a board for their dream vacation or what they would do with a $1,000 dollars. Give a prize for the one you think makes the best board. It would be a great way to engage members!

DO Use Pinterest For Research

Nearly 70% of Pinterest visitors are female, with an average age between 25 and 34, according to Mashable. The average household income is more than $100,000, with approximately half of users with kids. If this audience fits your targeting efforts, Pinterest is a great way to gauge some of their interests so you can tailor your marketing and products to serve their needs.

DO Share Relevant Financial Tips

One of my favorite things about Pinterest is all the wonderful ideas and tips you get from users. Have a great tip on cost savings that you want to share with members? This is can be a good forum. But remember, users don’t look at the name on the pinner, we look at the image and the caption only. If you don’t appeal to us right away, then there isn’t much hope you will get us to repin your post, let alone click on it.

DON’T Use Pinterest To Advertise

Pinterest is not a good place to take a picture and post your latest flyer. Users can tell it’s an advertisement and, quite frankly, that makes Pinterest users angry. So pin wisely.

There is still a lot to learn about this platform and how it can help businesses reach a larger audience. Meanwhile, I’ll keep pinning and researching how others are using the platform. Stay tuned for more in the coming months …


March 12, 2012


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  • We've been looking at how banks and credit unions can leverage Pinterest. Our current take is that it may be better to watch and wait. You can see my guest blog post on the ABA Journal.

    We've also started to aggregate some of the bank and credit union info we've seen on Pinterest. Our pins are at


    Steven Ramirez, CEO

    Beyond the Arc
    Steven Ramirez, Beyond the Arc
  • Sounds like a great tool, as long as the master remains the master and the tool does not become both the tool and the master
    Raymond Smith
  • This article piqued my interest!
    Dick McConnell
  • Great article. I have just learned about Pinterest. I am the CEO of On Your Way, a Gen Y outreach program for credit unions and think I'll run a contest. Don't advertise is always good advice on Social Media sites!
    Jared Cahill
  • Great article! I've been looking for ways to use Pinterest for my credit union. I actually "pinned" this article to my personal Pinterest account :)
  • Thank you, Mr. McConnell. I was about to write the same thing. Perhaps a lesson in basic word usage would behoove the author.
    E L
  • I found the article very informative and interesting as I had never heard of Pinterest. Thank you.