I recently encouraged you to consider using Pinterest to market your school because we've seen Pinterest occupy the third spot in driving traffic to our school website behind Facebook and Twitter. In this post I want to share three tips to help you use Pinterest to market your school effectively.
1. Drive Traffic To Your School Website
One of the biggest mistakes I've seen with schools using Pinterest is to not think strategically about driving traffic back to their website. The reason for this thinking is to be able to convert the traffic into an inquiry – plain and simple. An example from Sewickley Academy’s Pinterest page is our Class of 2012 College Choices and Class of 2013 College Choices Pinterest Boards. We asked our Seniors if they would like to participate by having their Senior Photo included in the college choices gallery. It was optional. Rather than pinning the photos directly to Pinterest we created the slideshow on our website and then pinned the photos from the slideshow. As a result, when someone clicks on a photo they are taken to our website where we can convert them into an inquiry.
2. Don’t Upload Pictures to Pinterest
This tip is related to #1 but I feel so strongly about it that I felt it needed to be pulled out as it’s own tip. This one is pretty straight-forward – please, please, please DON’T UPLOAD photos directly to Pinterest. Instead, please post photos on your school’s website and then pin them to Pinterest.
3. It’s Not Really About You – Be Helpful
Recently I interviewed the author of Youtility, Jay Baer, for edSocialMedia. In his words,
Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for (if you asked them to do so). The idea is that if you provide something truly useful, customers will reward you eventually with their attention, purchases, and loyalty. A big opportunity for schools that too often are only in the “interruption marketing” mind-set.
I couldn't agree with Jay more and think that being useful is so important in marketing today. However, so many schools would still rather talk about themselves and not about how they can help their prospective families – or be useful to them. In order to take this idea to Pinterest I recommend creating boards that are related to education and children but are not directly related to your school. Let me share a few examples from our Pinterest boards:
- Fun Stuff for Kids
- Great Ideas for Families
- Books to Enhance Mathematics
- Education/Child Development
- Recommended Books
Not surprisingly the most repins we receive are from the following boards in this order: Fun Stuff for Kids, Thoughts, Great Ideas for Families, Food, and then Blog Posts. Being helpful draws people to our Pinterest Boards which then allows them to learn more about us, if they want. In the end, being helpful allows families to know, like, and trust us and when they are ready to research educational opportunities for their children we will be in the conversation.
Schools on Pinterest Examples
When you are ready to begin using Pinterest for your school make sure to check out the Schools Using Pinterest Wiki and please be sure to follow these 3 Pinterest marketing tips in order to successfully use Pinterest to market your school. If you would like to have your school's Pinterest account added to the Wiki please post a link in the comments section of this post and I will add you to the Wiki.