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How to be More Pinteresting to Your Followers

I don’t know about you, but the thrill of scrolling through an endless page of pins on Pinterest makes me 👇

As Pinterest users, we know what we like, we know what we’re looking for and we aren’t afraid to pin 172 pins to one board in a 24-hour period. But representing a brand on Pinterest totally flips your view of it, or it can.

We already have a couple great blogs on Pinterest strategy and tips, but we want to share some secrets and show you what Colorado State University’s top pins are…and why.

Know Your Audience

Before I share what our top pins are, it’s important to know CSU’s Pinterest audience.

Pinterest is so interesting (and amazing) for brands because it is one of the only social media platforms where the majority of your engaged audience likely isn’t your normal key stakeholders (students, alumni, donors, etc.). That means you have such a rare opportunity to expose your brand to people who might have never even heard of your organization before.

Here are the top five places our Pinterest audience live:

– Atlanta

– Washington, D.C.

– Los Angeles

– New York

– San Francisco

Neither Fort Collins nor Denver are in our list of top five cities.

Here is our audience’s top interests:

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-3-08-59-pm

What does this tell me? A lot of our followers aren’t following us because of their admiration for green and gold, and CAM the Ram. They don’t have an affinity to CSU or Fort Collins. They’re following us because we are posting useful information and tips anyone can apply into their lives.

Know Your Analytics

If you’re newer to Pinterest and want to know how we found our top pins, here are the steps:

– Login to your organization’s Pinterest board

– Click on “Analytics” in the top left-hand corner

– Click “Overview”

– Click “More” next to “Your Pinterest Profile”

– And then click the “All-Time” tab

There are three categories Pinterest ranks your top pins in:

1. Most saves (your most shared pins)

2. Best in search (pins that rank higher in search)

3. Power pins (pins with a high mix of saves, clicks and more)

Most Saves

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-3-00-07-pmHere are our top 10 most saved pins:

1. 16 unlikely animal friendships

2. The Dash Diet

3. Yellowstone wolves 

4. Bear in a tree/motivational pin

5. 8 Coachella-ready braids to master ASAP

6. Tips for raising backyard chickens for eggs

7. Snow in Old Town

8. 25 study infographs with tips and tricks to help you get good grades

9. Tips for preparing, cooking and eating healthy meals for one or two

10. Puppies napping

Our most-saved pins are a great mix between our own content and content we’ve saved from other users. But, there are only two pins that are really tailored for our key stakeholders (snow in Old Town and study tips). It’s important to pin a variety of content to your board that will attract your key stakeholders and random pinners just roaming Pinterest.

Best in Search

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-3-02-10-pmHere are our top 10 pins that are best in search:

1. HIIT workouts for each area of your body

2. AW! 🙂

3. Take advantage of in-season asparagus, and try this balsamic roasted asparagus and tomato recipe

4. This puppy in a onesie

5. It’s all you can do, Rams. We believe in you

6. Beginner dumbbell moves to get you moving

7. Need to spice up that old washer/dryer? Try duct tape

8. lol aww

9. Feelings lazy? We got you. Try these 7 exercises when you can barely get off the couch

10. Fall + soup + freezer ideas. These soup recipes are autumn approved and easy to freeze for later

We’re really fortunate to have a Veterinary Teaching Hospital at CSU. We get to pin puppies galore, which as you can see, appear in a lot of these lists. We’re also fortunate to have a nutrition center, fashion program, and extension offices across Colorado. Our followers want recipes. And we have a lot of them. (Seriously, try some of them out. They’re delicious.) Something I’ve learned? Pinterest users search “aw!” a lot. If you have a cute pin, try throwing it in there and see what happens.

Think outside the box! At first, you might question what spicing up an old washer and dryer has to do with CSU. We created a “Living Off Campus” board where we share cheap and easy DIYs to fixing up a college apartment or house.

Most of our Best in Search pins are content we didn’t create ourselves, but that we added solid captions to. Never underestimate the power of re-pinning content from other users –and giving them a great caption.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-3-06-04-pmPower Pins

Here are our top 10 power pins:

1. Feelings lazy? We got you. Try these 7 exercises when you can barely get off the couch

2. Football puppy chow

3. It’s that time again: back to school. Prepare your wardrobe with these outfit ideas

4. These scallops are a quick, easy, and healthy meal for two

5. Tips to unlock your creative genius

6. Fall + soup + freezer ideas. These soup recipes are autumn approved and easy to freeze for later

7. Unlock the secrets to studying success

8. Study tip: Laminate your notes so the tears roll off

9. Try this arms and shoulders dumbbell workout

10. View the complex history of philosophy

Same song and dance as above. Most of these pins are broad enough to be on interest to anyone, including the CSU community.

Takeaways

– Don’t overthink it. You know Pinterest and what users are looking for. They want to be inspired. They want useful content. They want tips and ideas. Just like YOU. Use that knowledge and apply it to your brand account.

– Make sure to create pins your stakeholders will enjoy, too. We have a green and gold board, a CAM the Ram board, etc. Because that’s who CSU is. I don’t want CSU’s account to look like mine. I want it to look like CSU. You can be both true to your brand and create content for a broad audience at the same time.

– Pin other people’s pins, especially from your followers. It’s too much work creating 100% of your pins, and frankly that’s not how Pinterest works. Sit down with your morning coffee and start browsing your newsfeed. It’s likely your followers are pinning content that would work well on one of your boards.

– Our audience pins what they’re interested in. Above, I told your our audience’s top interests, and that is exactly the content they pinned from our boards. Figure out what your audience likes, and create that content for them (as long as it fits easily within your brand. We don’t have a lot to say as a University about furniture, other than for residence halls and off-campus life. So we don’t pin as much furniture or home decor as our audience might like. But we stay true to our brand).

If anything, I hope this has helped give you an idea of what type of content you can save to your boards to help engage your followers.