New Pinterest Analytics Show Higher Ed Communicators What's Hot on Campus

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It’s not just about pinning pretty pictures anymore. Pinterest, the image-sharing social media site, recently unveiled a new analytics tool that measures user engagement, further proof of the site’s massive popularity. This latest development in social media dashboards is providing higher education marketers with new insight into what makes an impression on student and alumni audiences.

“Pinterest has taken social media by storm, already catching up to Twitter in its short existence and the addition of metrics solidifies its place in the online marketing sphere. This is not a shiny new toy, but rather a formidable and results-driven online marketing tool,” said McKenzie Coco, founder and president of FSC Interactive, an online marketing agency that specializes in social media strategies for higher education.

Here’s some of what the data-mining tool is digging up:

  • How many people are pinning content
  • What content people are pinning right now
  • What content is most popular

“These new analytics allow us as higher ed communicators and marketers to further drill down into what visual content is most appealing, and then redirect social media strategies as needed. Since Pinterest is so popular with young people, we also use it as an admissions recruitment tool that visually showcases campus life,” said Meredith Hartley, director of Public Affairs and External Relations at Loyola University New Orleans. “Knowing what images are most relevant to prospective students is a great way for us to really make the case visually for our university.”

According to Coco, the analytics also allow strategists to identify prime audiences and create boards that specifically speak to students, alumni, faculty or other friends. Top pinners can be leveraged as major advocates and loyalty-builders, and knowing what content is popular right now makes it possible to quickly jump on trends. The new analytics provide insight into the who, what and why of the Pinterest audience.

“The idea here is to get a better sense of what your audience wants and how they interact with your brand. Tracking referral traffic from Pinterest shows us how pins translate to website conversions,” said Coco. “For universities, conversions can range from requesting an application, making a donation, purchasing online merchandise or visiting multiple pages on the website. With the new analytics, we’ll now be able to show the link between the popularity of a pin and those conversions.”

More from FSC Interactive.