Higher Ed Pinterest Examples and Directory

11.72 million! That’s how many unique U.S. visitors Pinterest experienced in January of this year. What’s more important, those users averaged nearly 98 minutes of time spent engaging with the website. As Mashable points out, that’s about the same amount of time as users spend with blog hosting platform Tumblr. Oh, and now Pinterest also generates more referral traffic than Twitter. Over the past few months, I’ve seen many college and universities begin to take advantage of the opportunity on Pinterest. Evidenced by some of the examples compiled below, institutions are quickly feeling their way through the site and identifying the most effective ways to use it for them.

Aaron Jaco, Digital Media Specialist at Drake University, states many reasons your institution should consider Pinterest, and in a follow-up post, shares several best practices for using the service. After you’ve looked through the examples below, I definitely recommend reading these posts if you have yet to do so.

Let’s get on to the examples!

Drake University

There’s no better place to start than the account Aaron oversees at Drake University. With 14 Boards, 391 Pins, and 26 Likes at the time of this writing, Drake’s Pinterest presence is one of the most highly maintained and engaging I’ve seen.

The Boards are fun, creative, and clever, with names like, “Rad room decor,” “Adorbs bulldogs,” and “Ran out of Bulldog Bucks?”. If you’re up for shortening adorable to “adorbs” in a Board name, you’re definitely keeping things loose! I love it. On Pinterest, showing off some personality adds the always craved ‘human element’ to your content that helps your audience relate. Remember, you aren’t out to be a marketing voice here – you’re a participant.

There’s an excellent variety of content, too, which includes products, animals, photography, food, clothes, quotes, and sports, to name a few. Pinterest is a network that provides an opportunity to connect via a huge variety of interests (which really equals people), so the broader the content appeal the better. Most impressively, Drake understands how to involve its community. The “Drake Alumni: Pin Your Pride!” Board encourages alumni to contribute and offers clear instructions on how users can pin to the Board. And numbers don’t lie, as it has a whopping 1,802 followers! Overall, Drake University’s Pinterest account is a fantastic example to be inspired by if you’re looking to get your institution’s Pinterest presence off the ground.

Duke University

With 228 followers, there are plenty of eyeballs on what Duke University is pinning. With 14 Boards, 139 Pins, and 29 Likes, the numbers suggest they’re doing a very respectable job. With Boards such as “Duke Faces,” “Duke’s Lemurs,” and “Sportsmanship,” Duke is creating an environment that represents themselves well, while still pinning interesting content. What’s this mean? Everyone wins.

Concordia College

Concordia College in Minnesota has amassed 79 followers and has created 16 Boards. My favorite of those are probably the “Why Liberal Arts Matter,” and “Concordia: Who We Are” Boards. The former Board offers an opportunity to pin a unique and very wide variety of content, which is an advantage since you can appeal to many different kinds of users. The latter is a fantastic way to show off what the brand stands for in an open, sometimes interpretive way. What’s pinned to the “Who We Are” Board can encompass many, many different aspects of Concordia College.

Miami University

With 543 followers, Miami University is the most followed institution I found on Pinterest (if you have seen a larger following, let me know!). I wonder how they’ve been promoting it?

Emory University

Currently, Emory University has chosen a different approach, and I’d say it’s a misstep. While they have 101 followers and 208 Pins, they only have 2 Boards – and 0 Likes. They have a primary, generic Board called “Emory University Pinboard” and another Board that simply contains other institutions on Pinterest, which multiple institutions are contributors of.

Texas A&M University

“School spirit” couldn’t come to mind any quicker than when I saw Texas A&M’s Pinterest account. Every Board, while unique in its own right, certainly looks the part! This is what the higher education community has come to expect from Texas A&M when it comes to social media.

Oberlin College

Oberlin has created a significant amount of Boards: 21. And they’re very actively pinning to those Boards, with 505 Pins. Is this too many boards? I think it’s a fair question but I also think it’s too early in Pinterest’s existence to really tell. I definitely recommend checking this one out!

SCAD – Savannah College of Art and Design

Leave it to the college of art and design to get fancy! (see above) Like Oberlin, SCAD has a large amount of Boards: 19. Topics range from fashion, to student work, to Kickstarter projects, to “Flat out interesting” – which has almost double the amount of followers as the main SCAD account. And these folks know how to pin, with 699! I wonder what their 700th pin will be?

Marquette University

22 Boards, 372 Pins, and 13 Likes. Seeing a trend? Certainly looks like at least a few institutions are comfortable creating many Boards. Marquette’s standout Boards include “Dear Marquette,” “100 things to do before graduation,” and “Marquette Weddings.”

Skidmore College

“Creative Thought Matters,” is the perfect example of an open-minded Board where a variety of content can be pinned, while everything being in sync with what the College stands for.

Syracuse University

Orange, orange, and more orange! In addition to the unique Boards, like “Citrus Dishes,” “Orange is the new pink,” and “Stress Relief,” what I like about Syracuse’s account is they invite people to send board and pin suggestions to @SyracuseU in their bio.

Nazareth College

Like every institution’s Pinterest account, Nazareth College’s is still growing. At this time it only has 12 followers, but I’m not sure that’s the result of a lack of content. They are pinning a decent amount (144) and have a very fun selection of Boards.

How About a Directory?

I’ve tried to quickly put together an alphabetized list of colleges and universities on Pinterest. While most of the institutions below have been active on Pinterest, please note that some have not. Feel free to click through on the college or university you’re interested in! If I left your college or university out of this list, be sure to add it in a comment below.

Academy of Art University

Allied Schools

Alma College

Augsburg College

Babson College

Baylor University

Beal College

Benedictine University

Bennington College

Binghamton University

Bogazici University

Boston College

Bucknell Career

Butler Blue II

Butler Community College

Butler University

California State University San Marcos

Cambridge University

Canisius College

Carleton University

Carrington College

Centre College

Champlain College

Chapman University

Cleveland State University

Colby College

Colgate University

Colorado College

Concordia College

Cornell University

Daniels College of Business

Des Moines University

Drake University

Drew University

Drury University

Duke University

Earlham College

ECPI University

Elizabethtown College

Emmanuel College

Emory University

Flagler College

Florida State University

Folsom Lake College

Frostburg State

Fulbright College

Full Sail University

Furman University

George Fox University

George Mason University

Gettysburg College

Gordon College

Great Lakes Christian College

Greenville College

Hofstra University

Hondros College

Howard Payne University

Humboldt State University

Illinois College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Immaculata University

Indiana University

Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing Bloomington

International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC)

ISU Dining Iowa State University

Kelley School of Business at Indiana University

Lawrence University

Liberty University

Lynchburg College

Mansfield University

Marist College

Marquette University

McKendree University

Miami University

Millikin University

MiTalk @ The University of Michigan

Nazareth College

Nescot College

Nichols College

Northampton Community College

Northern Illinois University

Oberlin College

Oklahoma State University

Piedmont College

Pomona College

Princeton University Career Services

Providence College

Purdue University

Radford University

Rensselaer Alumni Association

Royal College of Art

Saint Anselm College

Saint Leo University

Saint Louis University

Samford University Web Services

Savannah College of Art and Design

Seminary of the Southwest

Simpson University

Skidmore College

St. Joseph’s College (Wellness)

St. Mary’s University

St. Norbert College

Stetson University

Stonehill College

SUNY Oswego

Syracuse University

Texas A&M University

The School of Music at Cardiff University

Trine University

University College at the University of Denver

University Housing & Dining Services (Oregon State University)

University of Alberta

University of Bradford

University of Central Missouri

University of Central Oklahoma

University of Denver Graduate Studies

University of Derby

University of Detroit Mercy

University of Maryland Wrestling Team

University of Michigan-Flint Academic Advising and Career Center

University of Michigan Residential Computing

University of Mississippi

University of New Haven Graduate School

University of Oklahoma

University of Tampa

University of Texas at Tyler

University of Texas at Tyler (Teach for Kids)

University of Texas McCombs School of Business

University of Waterloo

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Victoria

University of Virginia

USC Rossier School of Education

Virginia Tech

Wake Forest Employer Relations

Washington State University

Wayne State University

Webster University

Wheaton College

Widener Law

Widener University

Wilmington University

Yale University

Yeshiva University

Published by

Stephen Biernacki

Account Coordinator & Social Media Specialist

Throwing around new ideas is fun. What’s even more fun? Taking a look at thoughtful ideas that have been executed well and brainstorming how they could be useful to you or your institution. While I don’t want to paint myself into a corner, that’s typically the point of view I find myself speaking from in my blog posts.

I enjoy focusing mostly on the tech/social side of things, as I love to stay up to date on the newest social tools, which are constantly being introduced. There’s a hearty amount of awesome people creating awesome things out there. I’m not going to lie, keeping up can get a little overwhelming at times, but blogging on services and other topics here at the Brand Manager’s Notebook helps me deal with the overload. So a big thank you to my readers for providing me with a little therapy!

Oh, right, the more bio-like info: I’ve been working with EMG for over 6 years now and to think about how much I’ve learned about marketing, advertising, and higher education over that time is pretty incredible. As always, thank you for your continued interest in my and EMG’s blog posts!

85 thoughts on “Higher Ed Pinterest Examples and Directory”

  1. Please add Elizabethtown College -www. pinterest.com/etowncollege — we’re still toying with it and haven’t promote much, but I think our “shell” is a good example of types of board. – Donna

  2. Hello! The Babson College link is broken and looks like there is a parentheses ) at the end of the link. Please fix for us? Excited to be added to the list!

  3. We’ve updated the blog again to include the newest additions, so thank you for commenting with your accounts Bucknell Career , Angelo Cannella , Nick DeNardis , and Alana Riley !

    If you’re just seeing this post for the first time and your institution is not included, share it in the comments and we’ll continue to update the list. Thanks to all for making this list more comprehensive.

  4. You can see the USC Rossier School of Education account at http://pinterest.com/uscrossier/. We have 27 boards with 456 pins devoted to teacher resources and inspiration. Though we have 49 people who follow all of our boards, some (e.g. Apps for Education) have over 100 followers. Perhaps some non-Trojan fans don’t want to follow our USC board?

  5. We have been seeing more traffic and interest with our Pinterest account than with Google+ . Also, since we were able to better integrate our Pinterest account with our official Facebook Page, we have also seen additional traffic to it.

    One suggestion, all the links above could you correct the URL’s. It looks like you are embedding some web code in addition to the Pinterest URL.

  6. Thanks to all of you who have commented most recently!

    We’ve updated the list with your institutions and all links function correctly.

    Thanks to *everyone* for making this a solid one-stop-shop resource for those interested in what higher ed institutions are doing on Pinterest.

    1. Marcus, we’ve added The Graduate School to the directory! Thanks for letting us know and best of luck with the new Pinterest account.

  7. We launched our Pinterest account this past May as a “graduation gift” of job-seeking and life-after-college resources for the Class of 2012 and recent alums (how to ace an interview, pay off your student loans, cook a cheap but delicious meal that’s good for you). We even have a Board that’s guest pinned by one of our Class of 2012 grads called “What’s Lydia Up To?” where she shares Pins about her ideas and adventures after college. Our next phase is for new students this fall, with a new round of welcome to the ‘Burg boards. We’ve gotten great feedback on our unique approach to specific audiences, and making our Boards as resourceful as possible for Pinners.

    1. Elyse, we’ve added your institution to the directory. Thanks for telling us of your page and keep up the good work!

  8. Hi Stephen. Great directory! I’m the communications manager at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, which has its own Pinterest account. http://pinterest.com/kelleyschool/ It’d be great if you could add it.

    We were looking for a way to make Pinterest more interactive and came up with a campaign that’s running right now called Kelleys At Work — students and alums email us a photo of themselves in front of their company logo, we pin it on Pinterest and send them a Kelley School pennant for their workspace. We’ve gotten a good response! A great way for Kelleys to show pride in their school and their company. And we can show the types of companies who hire our students.


    1. Jeni, that’s an impressive idea! Thanks for sharing it. 53 pins from students and alumni (at the time of this comment) who have taken the time to take an image of themselves and email it to a particular address is fantastic. Hope you keep getting submissions. Thanks again for sharing this background on your Pinterest campaign with us. I’m sure others will appreciate seeing what you’ve done, as well.

      Oh, we added you to the directory, too. Have a wonderful week!

    1. UCM has an impressive variety of boards! I noticed that for several boards you’re utilizing multiple contributors, with as many as 30 for Followers’ Favorites. How have you gone about getting those (and other) contributors? Are most of them current students helping out with the institution’s social media?

      Thanks for sharing UCM’s Pinterest page, Heather.

  9. Thanks for this great resource! It’s inspiring to see what other schools are doing with their Pinterest pages!

    We recently created a Pinterest page for the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing. Our boards feature fun things of interest to technology students – geeky humor, quirky and fun gadgets, pictures of cute animals at computers, as well as more serious boards about women in technology and career resources.


  10. I’ve helped on particular office on campus get some boards going. I happen to think they’ve done a nice job. Their office lends itself rather nicely to the visual appeal of the pins and boards. Please take a look at St. Joseph’s College :: Wellness Office here

    Thanks and the list above is also very helpful when looking for examples.


    1. Brian, you have a wide variety of wellness content and it looks great! And you’re right, the subjects of wellness do lend themselves well to being visually appealing, but you still have to earn that by choosing striking content, which the office has done. We’ve added your page to our directory.

      Question for you: in what ways have you promoted it?

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Brian.

      1. The SJCNY Wellness Office started a blog with one stated goal of using that as the hub of the social media information. So they bring the Pinterest boards, Twitter & FB content, and Flickr images into the blog posts, pages, and navigation. They literally just formally launched this week and they’ve not really gone out and promoted one social site over another. Promotion is hard here because we are a commuter based college with two very distinct campuses 50 miles apart from one another.

        Part of their plan is to continue to work on boards and create timely ones, like a board for stress relief right before mid terms and finals. Then, they’ll share links to the specific boards in a timely manner with the students/faculty/staff. That’s kind of a phase 1 approach with phase 2 being getting the students more involved with their own pinning and content curating.


  11. Great points Brian. Using the boards in a timely fashion is key. In collobarting with Brian, we also send a wellness survey to see what the current needs of our students are along with what they would like to see. In addition, we are currently in the process of reaching out to key student groups like the Peer Health Educators, Psychology Club, LGBTQA, Love 146 and Habitat for Humanity to draw a following of student leaders who will be able to pass the message along. We are looking to create boards that are in line with the student clubs. We have seen that students reaching students tends to be one of the most successful strategies to use. One last point – collaborating with other Student Life Offices and setting up stations at various events that lend themselves to wellness to get students to sign-up on the spot. More to come on how these strategies pan out since we are in the beginning stages.


  12. Great Lakes Christian College is on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/glcccrusaders
    For a very tiny Christian College in Michigan, we are doing quite well with followers so far. Pinterest has been added to our official Social Media schedule and we hope to get a lot more pins up soon.
    Thanks for the article – lots of great examples!

    1. Thanks for sharing Humboldt State’s Pinterest profile with us! We’ve added it to the list.

    1. Wendy, we’ve added UM-Flint’s Academic Advising and Career Center Pinterest profile to the list! Thanks for sharing it. Looks like you have some very pertinent Boards for your audience.

  13. University of Michigan Residential Computing has a Pinterest: pinterest.com/rescomp.

    Great article! As we develop our online presence at U of M, we love hearing about what everyone else is doing in the wonderful world of Pinterest.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! We’ve added University of Michigan Residential Computing to the directory. Good or not so good, it’s always valuable to see what others in education are up to when it comes to using Pinterest. It looks like ResComp has plenty of digitally-themed content. Have you promoted the profile in any way?

      Thanks again for sharing.

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