Pinterest has generated a lot of interest from the retail sector; the ability to show off pictures of things like food, clothing, crafts and a myriad of other things (basically anything one can sell) is appealing and extremely effective. In the two years since Pinterest has surpassed all of the major social media (save Twitter) in terms of driving traffic to websites which is pretty amazing for a site that is essentially a giant scrap book.
So much for retail, but what about more service driven areas such as hospitals? The medical industry has enjoyed some success using things like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn as a way to make them more visible, attract more patients and foster closeness with existing patients. They are great ways to bring together a community to support each other and share information and they can be used to show off progress in technology and cures.
There is no reason why these same things cannot be done in Pinterest; indeed, a few of them can be done better. Keeping in mind that Pinterest is all about images, how can you show off the hospital, clinic or medical arena properly and in so doing, drive traffic to your site and your medical area?
1. Show Off Your Products/Services
Photos are worth a thousand words after all and it’s pretty easy to show off things like new technology, new gadgets and how new treatments have helped others. You can even show videos of how a gadget or service actually works and since the video area is still fairly underused, you will have less competition. And Pinterest can also be used by device companies to show the progress they are making in the latest tech. All of these things are pretty nice for patients or would-be patients to know, especially if they are trying to decide on a clinic.
You can use Pinterest to hold a wide range of educational tools for your patients. For example, you can use visual graphs, have quizzes, show off conferences doctors attended (along with news and information), and show things like how mammograms and X-rays work. You can even show family history charts (hypothetical ones of course) and what symptoms of common problems look like. It won’t be too hard to be considered an expert.
People like to talk to other people and in times of medical crisis, it’s even more important for people to feel like the have a social net-even it’s a digital one. There are lots of ways to let Pinterest become a gateway for people to come together. You can pin client photos and testimonials (with permission of course) to show how your hospital helped them out. You can show charts of how a patient has progressed under the hospital’s care, good news stories/happy endings for patients and showing how doctors, nurses and their patients are bonding. It’s particularly effective with children since seeing happy kids is always a moral booster! And of course, social media like Pinterest serves as a great referral tool, giving people who aren’t too sure something to look at to help them make a decision. Don’t forget to link things back to your website!
There are plenty of ways to create motivational boards for people battled a variety of diseases. For example, boards with cancer surviving slogans on it, images of people who survived terrible diseases and many other things can be created that will help people feel a little better about what they are going through, or at least heartened by the fact that others have gone before them. The ‘Disease State’ categories in Pinterest is a great way to do that since it allows people to post visual diaries of their battles with disease and hospitals can link to them. Support is huge in both the medical world and the online world and Pinterest can bridge the two.
5. Laying a Foundation
Even if you have no idea what to do with a social media page yet, you can still use at least one really great image that can be pinned and shared by others who, if nothing else, will think it’s neat. Then as that one image grows in popularity, it becomes easier to advocate for a greater photo budget. There’s nothing wrong with taking it slow; it’s not like Pinterest is going anywhere anytime soon.
Of course there are plenty of other ways in which Pinterest can be used to help clinics, hospitals and medical centers get more patients, help other patients and generally make their presence known. It’s also a great way to connect with patients, keep others updated on the progress of your hospital and help patients connect with each other. So don’t be afraid of the next wave of social media: embrace it!
Kausik B is a Digital Marketing Professional and an enthusiastic writer, who holds an editorial position in Prepgenie, a test prep provider that offers exam preparation courses for GAMSAT, PCAT, HPAT, LNAT, UMAT and UKCAT.