Turning Pinners into Patients: A Guide for Healthcare Marketers

Kaitlynn Crane 11/11/14 - 2:49 pm

More than likely, your healthcare system has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. But, what about Pinterest?

As we’ve all come to know during the rise of social media, users respond when we tell them stories, and they respond even more when we do it with visuals—which is what Pinterest is all about. Visual storytelling has long since been the most powerful way to get a message across. Why, you ask? Because almost half of a person’s brain is involved in visual processing, so the brain can interpret a visual in less than 1/10 of a second. Understanding a visual is easy, but more importantly, it’s effective. And so is Pinterest.

To date, Pinterest has more than 70 million users. They’re older, richer, and they’re predominately female. In fact, 80% of Pinterest users are women, and coincidently, 80% of all healthcare decisions are made by women, as well. (Talk about your target audience!)

So, if that’s convinced you to join Pinterest, the question then becomes: how do I turn pinners into patients? How do I drive these users to my other social channels, my website or even into my healthcare system? And the answer is simple.

1. Build trust.

Did you know that 61% of social media users trust what’s being posted on social media? After enough interactions with certain brands, they grow to accept any information they present to be true, and they rely on them to keep presenting it. By regularly posting relevant, useful and timely information, you build that trust. And you’ll be happy you did.

2. Promote health and happiness, and provide tips to achieve them.

Here’s an opportunity to get really visual. Start a board for health and wellness tips. Start a board for recipes. Start a board for positive, uplifting quotes. Create relatable and shareable content and watch as your engagement rises. Pin your patients’ success stories. If a pinner is looking around for a new healthcare system, nothing affects their decision like a story from someone who’s been in their shoes. Visual testimonials that say, “This doctor fixed did my knee replacement, that specialist cured my illness and this nurse never failed to make me feel at ease,” will do wonders for your reputation. And if you’re a great healthcare system, why not pat yourselves on the back a bit? You deserve it.

3. Promote your key service lines.

Imagine this. A pinner who happens to have asthma and happens to be dissatisfied with his/her current pulmonologist stumbles upon one of your pins—showing a new pulmonary function lab in the area. It just so happens to be at your healthcare system. He/she clicks through the pin and lands directly on your website, and a few weeks later, they’re coming in for an appointment.

4. Show off your doctors.

If a user is about to have surgery, they want to know who’s going to be doing it. They want a first name, last name and a list of their hobbies. They want to know their doctor is human—relatable. They want to know they’ll take care of them. What better way to show them off than a Pinterest board? Include their headshot and caption it with their name, title and a few interesting things. And of course, drive the user back to your website, where they can learn even more about the physician.

For even more Pinterest tips and tricks, download our free whitepaper: How to Sell Pinterest to Your Hospital C-Suite.

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