Just a couple weeks ago, Boston College launched Pinterest. I’ll admit to being skeptical that this site would be worthwhile, never mind have staying power. Just a few hours on the site proved what we had been reading, Pinterest is the new “it” site.
Before jumping in, we surveyed the cyberscape – only a handful of other colleges and universities are currently on Pinterest. We have found Marquette, Drake, UNH, Simmons, Texas A&M, Emory, Skidmore, Colgate, Oberlin, University of South Carolina, Illinois College, Hanover College and University of Texas. These schools have a number of different approaches and varying degrees of success.
The admin for the BC Pinterest page became familiar with the site through personal use (for Pinterest 101, click here) and quickly learned Pinterest etiquette, especially when it came to how users wanted to interact with brands on this site.
BC has opted to start with 11 boards – We Are BC, Superfans, Campus, BC Eats, Boston College Love, Boston College History, Faculty, Alumni, Books, Eagles for Others and Boston. Hundreds of people have started following them, even without any official publicity. The number of followers has been increasing steadily and the number of re-pins has been encouraging.
To the left, you’ll see an inforgraphic (love these) from Bufferapp.com. It shows the surprising statistic of what people are doing on various social media sites in 60 seconds. The big three – YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – probably come as a surprise to no one. Seeing sites like Pinterest and Flickr in their company shows, if nothing else, a sizable demand for sites that allow image sharing.
Our most popular pins center around beautiful pictures – sunsets, the Gothic architecture of our campus buildings, foliage – or interesting, quirky items – recipes for Boston Cream Cake, Baldwin wedding cake toppers, an image of Linden Lane without the Linden trees
The lesson here is simple: don’t rule out a site before experimenting. Get familiar with the site before launching and let user demand dictate content. Happy pinning!