Your Medical Practice on Pinterest: A Guide to Getting Started
Pinterest is now the third most popular social networking site in the United States, which makes it an important resource for medical practices to reach out to potential patients in an effort to create meaningful connections.
A recent report from Experian found that Pinterest users fit a different profile than the types of social media users that are spending time on other websites. That means instead of just providing another route to reach the same people, Pinterest can actually help your medical clinic to reach those who are not spending time on Facebook and Twitter.
How to Get Started
When you decide to create a Pinterest account you will immediately find one of the leading factors differentiating this site from its competitors. Pinterest still operates on an invitation-only basis. However, you can easily request an invitation, and Pinterest appears to be happy to grant access to pretty much everyone who is looking to jump on board.
When you set up your Pinterest account be sure to use the same email address that you use for Twitter. This will make it easier to share content across social platforms. As of now, Pinterest does not have an option for businesses to share their pins on the Facebook business page, but this is OK because Pinterest has plenty of visitors on its own.
Creating your Pinterest Profile
Pinterest is all about generating personal connections. When your company name shows up underneath your pins, users may not be interested in sharing what your company has to say. Personalize your Pinterest by using your real name instead, and use your profile to let everyone know what company you are representing.
For this reason, medical practices may find it more beneficial to use a personal picture rather than the company name and logo when setting up the user icon. Optimize your Pinterest profile for your practice by adding the company name and URL there. This is a great way to advertise who you are without overtly using Pinterest to self-promote your business.
Make your Profile Visible to Search Engines!
This is important! After going through all of the effort of creating a Pinterest account, you want people to find it! There is an option in your settings for “visibility.” If this is turned on, then Pinterest will hide your profile from search engines. Make sure that you have this setting turned to OFF!
What is a Pin?
A “pin” is the single image that you are sharing. When someone clicks on it they will be redirected to the original website that it came from. So, from a pinning perspective, putting more original images up on your website could help deliver more traffic to your website.
Pinterest is set up like a virtual pin board. So, as you peruse the internet you can pin fun items to boards that you create. If you can think of something that is fun to look at on Pinterest, then chances are other people would love to see the image as well.
A few Pinterest boards that you can create that are relevant to your medical practice could include:
- Walking trails or other local resources
- Exercise tips and workout strategies
- Soothing images for stress management
- Fun organization tips
- Motivational Quotes
While you would not post links on your website to other internet resources that will help your patients with their health and well-being goals, Pinterest does provide a good platform for that. So, give credit where credit is due and let your pinners know where the recipe or workout idea is coming from.
Pinterest is more in the business of making genuine connections with clients than it is providing an avenue for self-promotion. Instead of constantly pinning pictures of your website or your patients, pin images from outside resources that others will want to see!
Remember, the trick to generating business through Pinterest is to gain followers. If your content is not worth sharing, then you won’t make it anywhere. You don’t need to promote a competitor to create an interesting Pinterest board, but you will need to share the spotlight a little bit!