Welcome back, blog buddies. Today I bring you part two of my April email interview with Buffy Andrews of the York Daily Record. Check out part one of my interview with Andrews for more information about this series and for her bio.
6. What has been your most popular board and pins?
On the YDR side, some of our most popular boards are those I did as a reader service. For example, the York County Parks board (each pin links to a park website), York County Libraries (each pin links to the library), and Made in York County (each pin links to company website). Note that for the library board, I had the PR person at the library send me the exterior photos of each library to pin.
I did a board with my features staff (includes contact info. for each staffer) and that has 462 followers and my Buffy’s World ad campaign board has 530. Some of the contest boards are: Peeps, sharp-dressed shoes, Doing the Y and Vacation with YDR. (Note: Follower counts are from April).
It’s interesting that the individual boards have far more followers that the overall YDR account. It shows that people do pick and choose the boards that interest them.
7. Have you had much success with collaborative boards? What tips do you have for others wanting to try collaborative boards?
At this point, we are not collaborating via the YDR boards outside our newsroom. However, a fellow journalist, Jen Westpfahl, social media editor at the Pioneer Press, asked to collaborate on one of my personal boards, Under Stairs. I asked her if she would share two of her personal boards with our Smart account, and she was happy to do it. She shared: Gluten-free recipes and photo groupings.
I personally think that newspapers within the same company should look to collaborate as a way of populating their boards and sharing content. If we share boards, the boards become more robust and we reach more people.
8. If a newspaper is on the edge about whether or not to open a Pinterest account, what would you advise they consider?
I would say that you should have a champion, someone who is excited about the platform and passionate about it. I’m not going to lie, it can be time consuming and a bit addictive. But I think that we should always try new things. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. We must be willing to fail, willing to take chances.
So my advice is that a newspaper should explore this just as they would any new social networking site. I’m constantly trying new things with Pinterest. For example, I am in the middle of a fiction blog series The Yearbook on my writing blog, Buffy’s Write Zone. I started a pin for each day’s entry that links back to the post . The series is based on posts from a 1982 yearbook and the protag tells you what happened to that classmate. Again, just trying to reach a new audience.
9. How do you think newspapers can make the best use of the platform? What tips can you offer to other papers about pinning?
I’m still learning and trying new things. I’d like to find a way to monetize our Pinterest efforts, and I am working on coming up with some viable efforts.
I think this is a great platform for posting user-generated photos. For example, if readers send the newspaper weather photos (first snow, etc.) pin them to a board and then share that board via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc.
Our FlipSide account is asking for photos of Easter egg hunts. They’ve created a board and anyone who shares a photo with them to pin will be put into a random drawing for a cool prize.
Update: Yesterday Andrews sent me a few more comments and updates about her work pinning at the York Daily Record. Here are some bonus insights from her:
I continue to create new boards, experimenting to see what works. Over the weekend, I created a Honeymoons board. We are asking people to share photos from their honeymoon, along with a travel tip. We will pin these user-generated photos on our Pinterest board as well as pin on a Google map.
We are also planning a recipe contest using Pinterest as a display platform. Each month, we will challenge readers to enter a recipe using a seasonal fruit or veggie of our choice. We’ll ask that they make the recipe and take a photo of it for us to share on SmarMagPA.com and Pinterest. Random winners will be chosen in fruit and vegetable categories and will receive $25 gift cards. For May, we’ve asked readers for asparagus or rhubarb recipes.
Bonus! Check out Andrews’ blog for a recent post she did with the CEO of Pinterly, Rick Kats. In the post you’ll find valuable tips on pinning.
Don’t Miss This! The first installment of this Q & A blog series featured Amy Guth of the Chicago Tribune. Be sure to jump over to that post to check out how Guth responded to the same questions asked of Andrews.
Thanks for reading! Please say hello in the comments or catch me on Twitter @SocialScraps. Interested on being featured in this space? Please send a note to NewspapersOnPinterest@gmail.com.