Point, Press, Post…
With digital cameras in almost every type of mobile device imaginable, snapping photos of campus events is easier than ever before. Awesome, you say? I can now crank out photos and post them to my school’s Flickr page quickly and easily and then move on to the next item on my crowded “social media to do” list. Right?
There is no question that a Flickr photostream is a great place for getting bulk photos of events uploaded quickly and out to your constituents. But is that the most intentional use of your photos and your time? Perhaps not.
Consider, for a moment, that “more than one-fifth of Facebook-connected users are on Pinterest daily (which represents more than 2,000,000 members)” and that “97 percent of Pinterest users are women.” (Hanson). Now, compare that to anecdotal evidence that the decision for a child to attend an independent school is most often influenced by the child’s mother and you have a compelling reason to consider the intentional use of Pinterest in your marketing.
So how do you begin and what works best? Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Avani Patel, Ravenscroft’s new Digital Communications Coordinator and recent graduate of North Carolina State University, to get her take on how to make the most of Pinterest for your school.
Q. Why did Ravenscroft get started with Pinterest?
A. Our 150th anniversary was the initial starting point for getting Pinterest up and running as we wanted to showcase the events for this celebratory year in a fun way.
Q. What inspired the other boards on Pinterest?
A. We now have eight boards in total, but only three could be considered PR for the school – “150th Anniversary Celebration,” “Ravens on Stage,” and “Notable Alumni” – the rest are purely fun and useful boards for our audience. We tried to make the remaining five boards catchy and fun to pique our parent’s interests. For example, our “Dress Code” board gives parents an idea of what the School expects in student dress without it being a list of do not wear this or that. I think you have to tie your boards back to your constituents’s experience at the school.
Q. What other sections do you plan to add?
A. Right now we update the boards we have every week but moderation is everything. You do not want to have so many boards that people are overwhelmed and are not sure which boards to follow on your site. I think the eight boards we have are the perfect mix of PR and fun but we may look to add one or two more boards. A teacher resource board is something we are considering as well as an idea board for senior portraits.
Q. How much time do you spend updating the page?
A. In the beginning I was spending maybe 30 to 45 minutes each day looking for photos on Pinterest that would parallel with the boards we started. In particular, the “Green and Gold” board took a little time to get just right — there’s lots of pics out there with green and gold in them and getting the right balance was important. Now, I maybe spend an hour a week looking for additional pins.
Q. Any advice for others considering getting started?
A. Be creative, think outside the box and experiment. The nice part about Pinterest is that it does not have to be purely a marketing tool for events on your campus. You have to beÂ OKÂ with other things being on your boards that might draw people’s attention. Our “Parent Resources” page is a good example as it brings value to our parents.
Sources and References
Hanson, Arik. “17 Pinterest stats to show your boss or client.”Â Ragan’s PR Daily. N.p., 12 FEB 2012. Web. 17 Sep 2012.
Patel, Avani. Personal Interview. 07 JUL 2012.