Five ways your school district can use Pinterest

By now you have heard someone mention Pinterest. Usually it is followed by the words, “I’m addicted.” Pinterest shot to stardom in 2011, and so far it is an invite-only social network that allows users to “pin” their interests, dreams, likes, favorites, inspirations and more onto boards based on the categories of their choosing. Basically, Pinterest is social bookmarking, but visually appealing.

The image-based platform is one of the top ten most-visited social networks over the past year and interest continues to grow, especially among women, a key demographic. While it may not seem like Pinterest would be worthy of considering as a potential communications or marketing tool for schools, there are many ways a school district could use the site. And, based on its growing popularity, especially amongst moms, why wouldn’t you at least consider it and stay one step ahead of the social media game.

As always, corporations are already taking advantage of the site’s popularity, using it for various showcases, contests and more. Schools can also use this platform easily and effectively. Here are five ways to use Pinterest:

Digital News Clippings
Instead of clipping articles from your local newspaper, take advantage of the article being online and pin it. Pin the links to your television news stories or any other online media for that matter. You can also pin JPEG files as well. Create a visual, easy to look at digital clipping room on your Pinterest page to keep track of your media coverage.

Resource Room
Be helpful to your parents, students and other constituents by pinning resourceful articles and blogs that you find online. Perhaps you choose to focus on articles and resources about colleges, financial aid, career trends and the job market.

Employee Showcase
You can post pictures of your staff members and write brief bios on each. However, why not touch on what makes them stand out? Feature unique, pre-teaching career experiences or hobbies they have that are interesting. Maybe they played college sports or excel at playing an instrument. Why not humanize your staff members by telling brief stories about them and pinning it here in the “faculty lounge” section of your Pinterest page?

Education Advocacy
Now more than ever, those who work in education need to curate content and advocate for education at every turn. Create an advocacy board on your Pinterest and pin articles that support or inform about new legislation, school funding, testing, curriculum or more.

Student Success Showcase
Much like featuring your employees, featuring your students is important as well. Make this unique and differentiated from other areas of communications, though. We all know athletes and smart kids get a lot of attention, but here you could create a student success showcase of those that are doing remarkable community service projects, those who are remarkable employees at their after-school jobs or students who are earning industry credentials, college credit, scholarship money or more while in high school.

The possibilities with Pinterest are endless! Explore this hot, new social media tool and take advantage of its growing popularity. What ideas do you have for using Pinterest in schools?


15 Replies to “Five ways your school district can use Pinterest”

  1. Shane: These are solid tips and suggestions to experiment with for a school district. We’ve kicked this idea around too. The audience segment could be very beneficial to school districts if the content works. I’d only caution those interested in exploring this (and any other new/growing social media tools) to make sure you consider the strategy for using it/them. It’s one thing to kick the tires on something to see if it works, I’m more interested in tying goals and measurable communication objectives for the school district.

  2. Great ideas, Shane! However, as an avid user of Pinterest, I hesitate a little to use it for clippings and stories, as these are not the items that see traction on the site. It’s visuals, quotes and DIY stuff that really resonate with the Pinterest audience.

  3. The Atlanta Public Schools Pinterest site is only 24 hours old and already seeing plenty of traffic. Our parents rely on our Twitter feed, FB page, website and blog for daily updates, live tweet events and redistricting information and Pinterest will allow us to easily catergorize information that is shared on multiple platforms throughout the week.

  4. @Amy – You guys are doing a PHENOMENAL job with your boards. Something tells me that by the end of the school year other districts will join the bandwagon.
    Tammy Garnes – Digital Content Media Manager, Atlanta Public Schools

    1. Thanks Tammy! You guys are doing great, too! I see Pinterest as a GREAT tool for School Districts. I’m already seeing some universities getting on board. (See what I did there?)

  5. I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

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