Pinterest, #HigherEd’s Secret Weapon@@

Ever since Pinterest launched in 2010, I’ve been obsessed. The visual nature of this discovery tool has always been my go-to for collecting ideas. People create wish lists, plan designs for their apartments, make travel plans, get new recipes, or my personal favorite…pick our their dream closets.

Pinterest has been a goldmine for retail and fashion brands, home and gardens, restaurants, and even CPG, yet universities are spending less time on this channel (which drives more traffic than Twitter, Linkedin and Reddit combined), and more time (and dollars) on Facebook, which continues to see major drops in engagement


The University of Michigan pins an average of 45 times per week. Other universities post an average of 5 times, if at all.

I’ve always seen Pinterest as a great place for brands, but many can’t see past its demographics — 80% women. When I first started at the University, I knew we had an opportunity to use Pinterest and connect with not only that demographic, but others, and share visual content with our fans in an innovative way.

Clearly, I was onto something. By renaming several boards, reordering and recovering our existing boards, and creating new boards that appealed to popular topics on Pinterest (Future Wolverines, Michigan Weddings, and Wolverines Around The World), we successfully increased our Pinterest following by over 2300% in one year. Pinterest has not only been a valuable asset to our social presence, it has helped solidify the University of Michigan’s position as a top school in social media, and captured the attention of higher ed and social media publications all over the web.



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