Pinterest board from Creative Wiltshire account

Guest Blog: Pinterest at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.

Here in the UK we haven’t been able to make use of the e-commerce buttons on Pinterest, which is a huge benefit to businesses who show case their products on the platform. So I get asked a lot what’s the benefit of being there, does it have a role in our strategy? I often argue that the best outcomes on social media happen when you use it creatively, not simply to broadcast your selling spiel, make connections and link to your press releases! Put your community first, involve your community in a way that meets your objectives! The Wiltshire and Swindon History do just that, and there use of Pinterest just sits so well hand in hand with what they do I couldn’t not ask them to blog about it for me!
“Over the last few years we’ve been gradually developing our social media use here at the
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. It’s been a really important part of engaging with
people who may not otherwise come into contact with our collections, and has enabled us
to be an active part of a wider network of heritage organisations.
Pinterest is one of the platforms we choose to have a presence on mainly for the simple reason it
enables us to make better and more enhanced use of the images we pick for our weekly blogs.
We’re lucky to have various departments based at the History Centre in Chippenham
including archives, local studies, archaeology, arts, buildings record, museums and
conservation. Our weekly blog cycles around the different teams
and means we can share our collections and highlight all the exciting projects that go on. So,
lots of the images we add to Pinterest come from our blogs (both old and new). This has the
added advantage that we have the background information to the image ready-made! We’ve
found that any way to save time makes it easier to keep things regularly monitored and
updated.
It’s also been a way for us to showcase projects or particular themes. We’re currently in the
middle of Creative Wiltshire  – a really exciting HLF-funded ‘collecting cultures’ project: collecting and celebrating the best of Wiltshire’s creative talent. Pinterest is perfect for this as we can share the beautiful artwork, objects and photographs that we possess at the centre, which we have collected from the museums across Wiltshire.
Of course we are limited by copyright in what we can upload, but it’s still a great tool. We can make material accessible in a highly visual and less ephemeral way than Twitter.
One of our most popular boards has been WW1. It’s been a really valuable way to place our
collection material into the wider context of a national commemorative event. One of the
topics we ‘follow’ is ‘World War 1’ and looking at all the tagged pins under that umbrella
shows how unique Pinterest is in being able to juxtapose material that couldn’t necessarily
be united in real life.help needed
A personal favourite board of mine on our account is the ‘We Need Your Help!’board – which directly engages our community and our followers and seeks out their wealth of knowledge. We upload pictures of historical items and places that have had us stumped in the hope that a member of our community might be able to help identify them and it always proves popular. A recent success has been a black and white photograph of a Wiltshire town that we couldn’t locate. A fellow pinner saw it, and was able to tell us exactly where it was and even how the location had been re-developed since. How lovely it was to hear their memories and comparisons. That information was then added to our catalogue record – problem solved!
So far we’ve been fairly conservative with our boards – focusing on showcasing the different
aspects of the History Centre. My plan going forwards is to get creative and be more
playful…. Magnificent moustaches board anyone??”
Naomi Sackett, Community History Advisor

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