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How Universities Can Build Awareness and Community on Pinterest

Pinterest is a social network in a category all its own. Users interact with the site in a very different manner than other popular social sites such as Facebook and Instagram. On Pinterest, users are mostly collecting inspiration in the form of Pins rather than interacting with friends and family.
College and universities need to approach their Pinterest profiles with a different strategy than other social platforms to be successful. And how do we measure success? Because Pinterest users interact with the Pins over the Pinners, the KPI should be the number of website visits driven by pinned content.

Here are three tips for creating Pin-worthy and click-through-worthy content:

  1. Align with relevant trends. Brands need to engage with what is already popular and being shared and searched on the site. For example, there are many Pins for “life hacks” or “storage solutions.” Colleges and universities can join the conversation by posting content such as “three ways to organize your dorm room” or “top five organizational tools every college freshman needs.” These types of Pins should link to content about dorm life on your school’s website to help create credibility and build interest in the institution.
  2. Keep it seasonal. From decorating your dorm room in the beginning of the year to buying holiday gifts on a budget, make it a goal to release a Pin for each seasonal topic. When users search for popular keywords such as “gift ideas,” your brand’s Pins will be in the mix! Keep the conversation going by linking to a student blog article on the same topic.
  3. Promote what you stand for. Pinterest is a great place to share text art. Share your school’s values and mission in a bold way. Pinners will save the quotes that resonate with their own values—and they may just be the best prospective students next semester.

Ready to get started? Start building your community on Pinterest by visiting Pinterest’s “Explore” page to see what type of content your higher education institution can weigh in on. Then, thinking through the best place for that Pin’s content to live on your school’s website, whether it’s a blog, residential life article or other repository. Pinterest is a great way to get your school in front of future prospects by adding relevant content and insight on the topic users are already searching.

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