When most people think of Pinterest they think of recipes, fashion tips and party planning. However, before you dismiss Pinterest for your medical or health care business, think again. The image-bookmarking site currently has 70 million users, and the bloggers over at Digital Marketing Ramblings tell us those users spend an average of 98 minutes a month on the site.
Pinterest works by allowing you to create virtual bulletin boards where you post or “Pin” links to individual boards that you create based on various topics of interest. Pinterest saves the link on your bulletin board as a “Pin,” highlighting any images that go with it, essentially acting as a visual virtual bookmark. Just like Facebook, you can “re-pin” or repost pins, as well as “like” pins. This is similar to sharing or liking a post on Facebook.
The numbers behind the value of a pin are worth noting on this relatively new social medium for businesses. The average pin generates two website visits and six pages views, according to Site Pro News. The potential to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) with Pinterest (i.e., getting your website to show up higher in internet searches) by pinning content from your company’s website is huge. Business Insider found that Pinterest drives more than seven percent of all web traffic back to websites; that’s second only to Facebook and more than Twitter and Reddit combined.
The other big reason health care companies should consider a presence on Pinterest: health care consumers are engaging in buying conversations on the site. A powerful example of this is to do a search on Pinterest for the word “cancer.” Everything from scholarly published research papers, news coverage about cancer studies and treatments, practical advice and inspiration for patients, and products for cancer patients all pop up. Patients at every stage of diagnosis and treatment are forming online communities and talking about multiple aspects of their illness and how to manage them. Most people facing a disease diagnosis are seeking information; Pinterest gives health care companies a way to visually demonstrate to current and potential patients how their test, service or treatment center is best qualified to help them meet their health challenges.
Patient education is another major benefit realized by sharing relevant articles, blog posts and videos on Pinterest. Health care companies can effectively segment their audiences by creating boards with content that specifically appeals to each audience. For example, radiology practices offering both self-referred (vein) and physician-referred (mammogram) procedures could set up Pinterest boards for those respective audiences.
The bottom line on Pinterest: this new social medium is a great way to start and continue key conversations with interested consumers. The formula for success on Pinterest isn’t vastly different than Twitter or Facebook. It all comes down to regularly sharing quality content that’s relevant to your consumers. Pinterest just achieves engagement in a slightly different and more visual way than other social media platforms. Need some ideas on how to get started? Check out how we’re using Pinterest here at Armada Medical Marketing.