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Nailing Pinterest: It's Not All Wedding Dresses and Desserts

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For many institutions, Pinterest is considered a “secondary” social media platform; one that’s handed off to the student intern, or something that you don’t even want to touch. Although Pinterest has a stereotypically niche audience (hint: it includes muffin-top-busting workouts and DIY projects), it’s not something to count out of your social media strategy. Jackie Vetrano of Skidmore College explains how she took Pinterest from a tertiary platform to the front of the college’s social media strategy, and the lessons learned.

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Nailing Pinterest: It's Not All Wedding Dresses and Desserts

  1. 1. PINTEREST: it’s not all wedding dresses and desserts JACKIE VETRANO social media coordinator skidmore college @jackievetrano #mcs1
  2. 2. HELLO!I’m Jackie. ∎ Daily social media manager/content creator ∎ Creative support for the marketing team ∎ Envelope pusher, outside-the-box thinker ∎ Token millennial ∎ Other duties as assigned @jackievetrano #mcs1
  3. 3. MY TEAM AT SKIDMORE∎ The Office of Communications and Marketing reports to its own VP ∎ Photo, video, graphic design, news writing ∎ Web team ∎ 3 student workers ∎ Skidmore blog….coming soon! @jackievetrano #mcs1
  4. 4. DEPARTMENT GOALS∎ Engage prospective students and turn them into applicants ∎ Drive alumni to give to Skidmore outside of peak ask-times @jackievetrano #mcs1
  5. 5. FINDConsider your team and other resources on campus. Who can help you move forward on your project? SUPPORT @jackievetrano #mcs1
  6. 6. YOUR PINTEREST NOW Do a quick audit of your institution’s Pinterest account @jackievetrano #mcs1
  7. 7. I forgot the password My intern uses it I pin… kinda Lookin’ good! YAAAS KWEEN @jackievetrano #mcs1
  8. 8. I forgot the password My intern uses it I pin… kinda Lookin’ good! YAAAS KWEEN Determine where you want to be on the line, and commit to it. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  9. 9. TRIVIA TIME It’s never too early for audience participation. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  10. 10. The main demographic of Pinterest users is middle-aged women. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  11. 11. FALSE.Pinterest has over 150 million monthly active users, growing faster over the past 3 years than Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The number of male users doubled in 2014, and now 40% of new signups are men. Over 50% of millennials in the US are on Pinterest to plan their future. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  12. 12. You should delete pins if they don’t see engagement over the first three months. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  13. 13. FALSE.Pins could take weeks, months, or years (ouch) to gain ground. Those who delete multiple pins see lower repin and follower growth rates. Delete pins only if they head to a broken link or have a low-quality image. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  14. 14. Pinterest success is best measured by the number of followers you have. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  15. 15. FALSE...ISH.A successful account has a high number of engaged followers. Success can be better measured by number of repins, pins from your domain, or traffic to your domain. Choose a means of measuring analytics with Google Analytics or Pinterest Analytics and measure consistently. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  16. 16. PINTEREST BUZZWORDS Before we move on, there’s some lingo you should know. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  17. 17. SMARTFEED ∎ Home base ∎ No longer “everything” chronologically ∎ Optimized based on user interests @jackievetrano #mcs1
  18. 18. SMARTFEED ∎ Home base ∎ No longer “everything” chronologically ∎ Optimized based on user interests BUSINESS ACCOUNT ∎ Opposite of a personal account ∎ Allows access to analytic reporting ∎ Can promote pins (ca-ching) @jackievetrano #mcs1
  19. 19. SMARTFEED ∎ Home base ∎ No longer “everything” chronologically ∎ Optimized based on user interests BUSINESS ACCOUNT ∎ Opposite of a personal account ∎ Allows access to analytic reporting ∎ Can promote pins (ca-ching) PROMOTED PINS ∎ Synonym for advertisement ∎ Pin is more likely to be seen based on pre- selected keywords @jackievetrano #mcs1
  20. 20. SMARTFEED ∎ Home base ∎ No longer “everything” chronologically ∎ Optimized based on user interests BUSINESS ACCOUNT ∎ Opposite of a personal account ∎ Allows access to analytic reporting ∎ Can promote pins (ca-ching) PROMOTED PINS ∎ Synonym for advertisement ∎ Pin is more likely to be seen based on pre- selected keywords RICH PINS ∎ Pin provides more information than only a caption ∎ Seen most often with recipes and articles. ∎ Requires additional metadata to activate @jackievetrano #mcs1
  21. 21. THEStep 1: Attend #mcs1 presentation Step 2: ? Step 3: PROFIT! PROCESS @jackievetrano #mcs1
  22. 22. WHAT DO WE HAVE? @jackievetrano #mcs1
  23. 23. ∎ Created without an initial strategy ∎ Many boards with few pins, or ones that did not resonate with the audience □ Notable alumni: all headshots with no links □ Athletics: individual action shots lacking a story □ Commencement: should have been a photo gallery ∎ Wasn’t included in the weekly content planning as a platform ∎ Usually given to the intern
  24. 24. SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?∎ Does this board have a purpose? Does it tell a story? ∎ Are these pins quality - the image, caption, and link it directs to? ∎ Can these pins be combined with another board? Here’s where you’ll start to get inspired. Write it down! @jackievetrano #mcs1
  25. 25. USING SEARCH TERMS @jackievetrano #mcs1
  26. 26. ∎ Google Search on skidmore.edu ∎ Analyzed roughly 700 search terms ∎ Used as inspiration for boards that will resonate with our audience: □ Employment, student employment, jobs, internships □ Visit, campus visit, campus map □ Study abroad, spring break □ Dining hall, dining, food
  27. 27. QUALITY IDEAS FOR BOARDS @jackievetrano #mcs1
  28. 28. NEW IDEAS @jackievetrano #mcs1 SKIDMORE DINING HALL RECIPES Collaborate with award-winning dining services and pin recipes that someone can do at home. SKIDMORE AROUND THE WORLD Combine images taken by Skidmore community and photos of locations for study abroad and alumni travel program in one board. LIVING AT SKIDMORE Show off award-winning residence halls and combine with “lifehacks” for living on campus.
  29. 29. NEW IDEAS @jackievetrano #mcs1 SKIDMORE SQUIRRELS Because every campus thinks they have the crazy ones. GETTING A JOB AFTER SKIDMORE Collaborate with the Career Development Center to provide helpful resources to panicked seniors. GET FIT WITH SKIDS Infographics of Skids the Thoroughbred demonstrating workout routines, developed by Skidmore coaches.
  30. 30. OTHER IDEASUNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN UMich outwardly cross- promoted its social channels, and it’s working. The pins are not only images, but link directly to the UMich social media blog. UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR UMHB leveraged their blog content on Pinterest on the “College Tips and Hacks” board - a common search term on Pinterest. UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE Not only does each board include “UNH” or “Wildcat,” but it is a great showcase of the culture of the campus. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  31. 31. CREATING A CALENDAR @jackievetrano #mcs1
  32. 32. NEXT MONTH ∎ What will the trends be? Consider holidays, fads, and events on campus. ∎ Pins take some time to gain traction, which requires some planning. HOW TO THINK IN THE FUTURE ∎ Pinterest content takes some time to create. ∎ What’s coming up in the next few months? @jackievetrano #mcs1
  33. 33. CALENDAR IDEAS SEPTEMBER Pins to Promote ∎ Organization for school/notes Trending Topics ∎ Campus photography: fall ∎ Halloween ∎ High school juniors: PSAT testing tips Keep in Mind ∎ Thanksgiving ∎ Study tips (midterms) ∎ Holiday gifts OCTOBER Pins to Promote ∎ Halloween ∎ Fall recipes Trending Topics ∎ Campus photography: fall/winter ∎ Thanksgiving ∎ Skidmore apparel Keep in Mind ∎ Holiday gifts ∎ Winter opportunities abroad @jackievetrano #mcs1
  34. 34. A PIN-FRIENDLY WEBSITE @jackievetrano #mcs1
  35. 35. ∎ Will add your profile photo to anything pinned from your website ∎ Access to analytics ∎ How to: help.pinterest.com/en/articles/confirm-your-website □ Or, visit help.pinterest.com and search “confirm your website.” CONFIRM YOUR WEBSITE @jackievetrano #mcs1
  36. 36. Place your screenshot here Rich Pins add extra details to pin descriptions from the website. ∎ Movie ∎ Recipe ∎ Article ∎ Product ∎ Place ENABLE RICH PINS @jackievetrano #mcs1
  37. 37. Place your screenshot here Rich Pins add extra details to pin descriptions from the website. ∎ Movie ∎ Recipe ∎ Article ∎ Product ∎ Place ENABLE RICH PINS @jackievetrano #mcs1
  38. 38. STEP BY STEP ADD METADATA ∎ Determine the type of pin you will be creating □ article, movie, place, product, recipe ∎ Use Open Graph or Schema.org to input required fields in <body> ∎ Help: developers.pinterest.com/docs/rich-pins/overview/ APPLY FOR RICH PINS ∎ Enter your metadata-rich URL into the validator: developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/ ∎ Sit and wait @jackievetrano #mcs1
  39. 39. MANEUVERING CONTENT @jackievetrano #mcs1
  40. 40. STARTAfter you find inspiration, talk with your team and collaborators, and build your calendar, get started. CREATING @jackievetrano #mcs1
  41. 41. IMAGES ∎ Portrait instead of landscape ∎ Use quick-and-dirty design apps to save time: □ Canva □ Adobe Spark ∎ Collaborate with your team and outside of it for consistent pins @jackievetrano #mcs1
  42. 42. PIN CAPTIONSSKIP THE HASHTAG Pinterest is a search engine, and doesn’t need hashtags to categorize content. HAVE A VOICE Focus on the feel of your campus. Academic tips and hacks will do well, but a focus on community and culture will speak to your audience. LONG, BUT SHORT A recommended length is 300 characters. Make this descriptive, and don’t forget your institution’s name. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  43. 43. WHEN TO PIN ∎ Pinning more often will lead to a larger following ∎ Experts say to pin 10-20 pins each day, upwards of 30 results in repin numbers dipping ∎ Have a realistic understanding of daily workload ∎ Start with 5 pins each day, and grow when you can ∎ Use a scheduling tool to help carry the load @jackievetrano #mcs1
  44. 44. PROMOTED PINS Put your money where your brand is. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  45. 45. WHAT IT TAKESPERFECT TIMING Look back at your Pinterest content calendar and think, “what is on trend right now?” These are the pins you should be promoting, or the ones on the horizon. SPECIFIC KEYWORDS Pick “interest(s)” your pin falls under, such as art, outdoors, or technology and pair it with unlimited keywords you provide. A GOOD REASON Maybe you want to see what happens, or maybe your blog has some amazing content you want to get out there. Either way, set a goal before you start promotion. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  46. 46. ∎ Pinterest provides analytics including CTR, CPM, CPC, pins, impressions, etc. ∎ Combine with effective use of Google Analytics’ Campaign Builder for a clear idea of traffic □ Include a conversion goal, where possible ASSESSING SUCCESS @jackievetrano #mcs1
  47. 47. WHAT COMES NOW? This is the “takeaway” part. Get your phones ready. @jackievetrano #mcs1
  48. 48. NEXT STEPSNEXT SEMESTER Calendar implemented as collaborative opportunities between departments grow. Keep checking analytics and adjust accordingly. NEXT MONTH Ideas for new Pinterest boards created, considering campus culture and tradition, as well as analytics found on Pinterest. These ideas are shaped into a calendar, with upcoming events and fads in mind. NEXT WEEK Pinterest account audited: What should stay, be edited or combined, or deleted completely? @jackievetrano #mcs1
  49. 49. PINTEREST: it’s not all wedding dresses and desserts JACKIE VETRANO social media coordinator skidmore college @jackievetrano #mcs1

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