The VPM Blog

Engaging Students Through Pinterest for Higher Ed

Posted by Eric Callaghan on Nov 9, 2015 9:22:14 AM

Pinterest, a do-it-yourself-er's dream. It's perfect for recipes, home decorating tips and travel ideas, but believe it or not, it's great for higher ed brands as well. You can create boards for your traditions, merchandise, student events and more!

Engaging Students Through Pinterest for Higher Ed

Pinterest Basics - Some Stats, Some How-To's

For starters, 51% of users on Pinterest are between 18 and 49 according to a recent article in Jetscram. Seems about the ages of your basic higher ed demographics (current students, alumni, prospective students and their parents). 

Some other stats that Higher Ed marketers may find intriguing: (as written by Marketing Land)

  • The number of Pinners doubled in the past 18 months.
  • International users have doubled in the last year and make up about 45 percent of the total users.
  • There are more than 30 million education boards created by teachers and parents helping kids learn in a more creative way.

So how do you use it?

It's essentially a hybrid of a search engine and a social media platform. For brevity's sake, Pinterest relies on what they call "pins" (what other platforms call "posts"). You pin an image that serves as a hyperlink to another website, be it a blog, article, video or something else.  Users are able to browse Pinterest based on what keywords they enter in the search bar and when a pin catches their eye, they can add it to their boards. Boards are essentially grouped lists that contain pins of a common theme. For example, recipe boards are common and would contain various cooking tips and recipes for different foods and beverages, plus maybe some kitchenware that you're interested in. 

What's In It for Higher Ed?

Let's take a look at a higher ed brand that has an effective approach on Pinterest, Clemson University

Engaging Students Through Pinterest for Higher Ed

Clemson has boards for their traditions, recent research, their colors, current campaigns, their campus, athletics, etc. You can see how a well organized Pinterest profile with distinct boards can play well to your audiences. Prospective students and their parents can learn about Clemson's traditions, mascot and photos of campus. Likewise, current students and alumni can learn about events on campus, how Clemson is performing in athletics and go on a nostalgia tour with the "Vintage Clemson" board. 

See how different boards can apply to different target audiences? It's all about finding out what audience is interested in what content. You can easily find that out through the use of buyer personas. For students though, campus events, athletics and current campaigns can all be engaging boards for your page. Engaging students through Pinterest is possible after all. 

Pinterest is an exciting platform that is growing faster than any other. Best to strike the iron while it's hot, as they say, so get started on your strategy for Pinterest for higher ed. If you're looking for other tips and tricks for your Higher Ed digital strategy, take a look at the free eBook below to get started. Don't worry, it's free!

University's Tool Kit for Launching a Remarkable Campaign

Photo credit: pinterest via Pixabay (License)

Topics: higher ed marketing