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The Great Pinterest Experiment: One Year In

Last summer, Kids.Gov revamped its presence on Pinterest in an attempt to find new ways to connect with its followers.

The Marketing Team set out to learn more about our audiences and the kind of content they like. Despite being a difficult platform to navigate, we set lofty goals for ourselves and developed a timely strategy to pin every day.

A red pin, a plus sign and the word interest on a yellow heart.

A year in…

Twelve months later, our metrics are up and we correctly calculated that a shift to educational content would be key. However, Pinterest is still a challenge to predict. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, it’s difficult to identify trends. Despite all that, we have seen substantial growth in followers and content consumption, even taking into account our ambitious goals.

  • Average Daily Impressions on Profile

    • May 2015: 281
    • Goal: 500
    • May 2016: 1,864
    • Increase: 563 percent
  • Average Daily Views on Profile

    • May 2015: 157
    • Goal: 300
    • May 2016: 1,084
    • Increase: 590 percent
  • Average Monthly Views

    • May 2015: 36,000
    • Goal: 50,000
    • May 2016: 56,357
    • Increase: 56 percent
  • Followers

    • May 2015: 1,578
    • Goal: 2,500
    • May 2016: 2,240
    • Increase: 42 percent

Lessons learned

Perhaps the biggest lesson came from one of our early predictions. Like with other Kids.gov social media accounts, summer is the low season. Fewer teachers look for educational resources when there’s no school. By adapting our content by season, we were able to provide timely information to our followers. During summer break when kids were off from school, we focused on parents and caretakers. Once the fall arrived, we switched back to educational content for schools and teachers. This strategy was key to our success. Here are a few other things we picked up along the way:

  • Unlike other platforms all the action takes place at night, peaking around 9 PM.
  • Our primary audience (teachers) takes the summer off.
  • Infographics are more popular than on other platforms.
  • Vertical images perform much better than horizontal ones.
  • Health, history, and money related topics perform the best.
  • Posts have a longer lifespan compared to Twitter and Facebook.

Our hope moving forward is to learn more about the Pinterest audience and begin to predict certain topics and when they will be popular. Pinterest is still a challenge to our marketing team, but one we gladly approach and look forward to understanding.

Screen capture of 2 boards on the Kids.gov Pinterest page.

This post was originally published on the USA.gov blog by Edgardo Morales and Phat Nguyen; members of the USAGov Marketing Team.

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