Pinterest is the newest player in the social networking world – it features a “virtual pinboard” as its user interface. Users find and share their favorite images (and links) and “pin” them to their pinboards or other peoples’ pinboards. Pinterest has simply exploded, growing beyond its modest 40,000 user base in 2010 to more than 70 million users today! So how can a pretty, image-driven social site affect your industry? Is it possible to spice up your healthcare marketing using Pinterest? Absolutely! Here are ten tips to get you started:
1. Patient education
A department can pin images related to different aspects of healthcare that patients are generally interested in seeing or learning about. Pinning information onto other hospitals’ boards with related content is also effective for revving up your Healthcare marketing.
2. Showcase specialists and specialities
Specialists can post create boards and pin content and images related to their expertise and experiences, and content of interest for patients.
3. Post videos of medical procedures
In Healthcare marketing, videos are highly effective for targeting traffic. Posting videos of medical procedures will allow people to get a close-up view of what might be expected during surgery. Pinning videos will encourage people to spread the word and more will become interest in seeing the videos.
4. Health-related industry news and events
Pinning news, events and information of interest to people in the healthcare industry is an excellent way to garner interest and reach more people. Inviting other people to contribute to those boards will skyrocket the effectiveness.
5. Pin visual stories of different patients
With Pinterest, images tell a story. Each patient has his or her own story visually, which will interest other users of the social site enough to take a look and spread the word. For example, posting “before and after” pictures of procedures will help to increase patient interest in those procedures.
6. Post motivational images
Whether its losing weight, overcoming a disability or fighting an illness, some turn to friends, family, art and motivational themes for support. Pinning motivational images will help boost the users who turn to Pinterest for an inspirational nudge.
7. Consider senior-citizens
The demographics of Pinterest are generally older than the users of other social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Many of these users are uneasy with the thought of hospitals, assisted living and nursing communities. Posting beautiful pictures of the positive attributes of these environments will help to ease their fears.
8. Feature contests
Encouraging users to create a board and post images is a highly effective, indirect form of Healthcare marketing. Contests usually never fail to stir up interest as people get excited to sign-up and spread the word to others, in hopes of winning.
9. Place a Pinterest icon on your website
Posting an icon on your website will encourage visitors to go to your Pinterest board. Healthcare marketing professionals who fail to use this simple tactic miss out on a substantial number of potential visitors, who would have otherwise clicked the icon.
10. SEO-optimize all images
Saving all images with relevant, keyword optimized file names and descriptions will help increase the speed in which Pinterest indexes these images. The faster they are indexed, the faster they can be seen using Pinterest search!
Companies, institutions and brands with the highest and most consistent visibility will be the ones on top-of-mind when a patient looks to the internet; to perform due diligence on a device, provider or a procedure. The potential to increase brand awareness and visitor traffic makes Pinterest the site to establish a presence.
Written by David Kaufer
David Kaufer is Founding Partner and Chief Dynamic Office in Kaufer DMC. He’s also a huge Oregon Ducks & Microbrew nut, Dad of awesome 8 year-old twin boys, husband, and big Sustainability and Autism advocate.