Health Care 3.0

Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist

Pinterest recently hit 10 million U.S. unique visitors monthly, and they did it faster than any other social media site. As a result, this virtual pinboarding community has quickly become one of the most talked about social networking sites.

Offering users the ability to “pin” photos to boards organized around a particular topic or theme, Pinterest offers a uniquely visual spin to social media. These boards serve as a living way to organize, display and share photos that users find interesting or relevant.

While the implications and uses of Pinterest are easily understood in image heavy industries, like fashion, food and art, its uses in healthcare are a bit more understated. However, that doesn’t mean that Pinterest isn’t a valuable tool for hospitals, medical device and pharmaceutical companies to have in their social media repertoire.

The uses of Pinterest in the healthcare field are really only limited by the imagination of those doing the pinning. Are you a physician who wants to show your patients the best choices for healthy lunches? Or a hospital who wants to connect with moms? This is all possible with Pinterest. Here are some additional themes around which you can easily build boards (and then check out MedCity and WCG for more pinspiration):

  • Inspiration and Morale: Pinterest provides a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals to connect on a personal level with their patients. For example, a hospital could create a board full of photos supporting breast cancer research or one with inspirational messages.
  • Innovation: As a visually-driven community, Pinterest allows you to tell your company’s story in a very unique way: through photos. While a medical device company can always describe their history with words, Pinterest can give them the chance to pin photos showing the chronological progression of a particular device.
  • Personality: Your company undoubtedly has a unique culture, why not show it off? With Pinterest, pin photos of your office, staff and outings to give a clear face to what is otherwise just a name.

The great thing about Pinterest is that you don’t have to start from scratch. Do you already create videos for a YouTube channel or infographics to showcase on your blog? These make great material for Pinterest, and provide you a chance to cross-promote your brand’s social media presence. Additionally, images can be “repined” from other people’s Pinterest boards, making the process much simpler than having to constantly create new content. 

Pinterest’s quick explosion in social media makes it a great opportunity for the healthcare industry to get involved at the very beginning. So if you’re looking to expand your current social media strategy, get on Pinterest!

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Comment by Dana Gulick on March 2, 2012 at 12:55pm

Great ideas! It will be interesting to see where Pinterest ends up once the image copyright question is tackled - but great to see these early opportunities identified for healthcare either way.

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