SHIFT Communications experts discuss all things healthcare and media.

Healthcare : What’s your Pinterest Strategy?

Kristi Eells (@Kristi_Eells)

Toward the end of last year, I was convinced to join a new “crazy addictive” social networking site called Pinterest.  I vaguely remember the words “kiss your weekends goodbye” when my colleague sent me an invite, but just like so many other sites, I had my doubts.  But, here we are nearly six months later and not only is Pinterest still relevant, it’s on fire.  It’s the new black – or Google, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. – whatever your guilty pleasure once was, prepare to set it aside for the time being because Pinterest has climbed the social media ranks and grabbed the number three spot for most visited social network site behind Facebook and Twitter.

I’m operating under the assumption that you have a base-level understanding of what Pinterest is and its value from a personal standpoint – but what about from a professional one – and in healthcare no less?  To help you better understand what type of strategies other healthcare brands are and should be implementing via Pinterest, I wanted to share a few articles and highlight some unique ways of sharing content on the site.  Okay, here we go.

  1. How To Create a Pinteresting Healthcare Social Media Strategy” – This article from HealthWorks Collective calls out nine different ways businesses can leverage the potential of Pinterest for healthcare social media.  My favorites include creating infographics and optimizing your website to be “Pin It” friendly.
  2. How to Make Images Stand Out on Pinterest [INFOGRAPHIC]” – You’ll want to take a look at this infographic posted on Mashable with helpful info on how to make your images stand out.  Good tips for optimizing your Pinterest images for hospitals and healthcare brands range from making sure each one of your Boards at “keyword rich” to advice on the size of your images.
  3.  “11 ways to use Pinterest as a brand” – Definitely check out this Econsultancy article if you’re just getting started with Pinterest.  Lots of great ideas in here for brands who are unsure how to develop a thoughtful marketing strategy around this site.  Big ideas from a healthcare perspective include: 1) using images/videos to educate people about your orgo’s goals and mission (i.e. case studies, major projects and campaigns), 2) developing a press room to give a “snapshot” of what’s being written about your company (i.e. awards and recognition) and; 3) creating a Board to pin your company’s favorite photos, press clips and attendance at events.

Now here are a couple of my favorite hospital brands currently on Pinterest:

  • Children’s Medical Center Dallas – I love this page because it’s filled with adorable newborn babies, showcases the “amazing stuff around the hospital” and includes a Kids Health board with tons of great suggested reading materials ranging from how to prevent cyber-bullying, getting educated on teen depression and expert advice on dieting.
  •  Mayo Clinic – This page caught my eye because at first glance, you don’t necessary feel like it’s a hospital’s account.  By sharing lighter content such as healthy recipes, fitness tips and pictures from around Mayo Clinic, they increase the likelihood of getting their content re-pinned and seen by more people.

So while there isn’t a health or health IT category listed on Pinterest yet, if they haven’t already, healthcare companies should begin to consider what their Pinterest strategy would look like.  Make sure to ask questions such as:  Who is my intended audience?  What types of information are they most interested in seeing on this site?  What is my goal for creating an account?  How can I use images/videos to convey what’s most important about my company?

Based on my research (and my personal obsession with the site) my number one recommendation is to have fun!  Regardless of your intended audience, it’s going to be important to share images, videos and content that is aesthetically pleasing, in order to increase your re-pins and drive traffic back to your website.  I’ll be keeping a close eye on new hospital/healthcare brands that pop up on Pinterest and will report back any unusual and innovative ways it’s being leveraged.

Would you follow your hospital or doctor’s office on Pinterest?  If so, what type of content would you be most interested in seeing and re-pinning?

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One thought on “Healthcare : What’s your Pinterest Strategy?

  1. Pingback: Healthcare : What’s your Pinterest Strategy? | Digital Health Journal

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