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Pinterest offers great potential for helping organizations achieve goals

Clear back in November 2011 — just over three months ago, seems like eons in this era of rapid adoption of new technologies — I read an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek about this hot new social network called Pinterest. So I did a status update on Facebook asking for an invitation. Early adopter Jackie Danicki promptly e-mailed one.

Right away, it seemed that this social network was different from others to burst on my screens  — much more visual. Images of shoes, women’s clothing, vacation spots, insightful quotes, funny sayings, infographics…

“There might be some possibilities for use in the health care world,” I thought, especially as I read about this network’s overwhelming popularity with women and its power of driving traffic to websites.

Then, I heard about Dayton Children’s Medical Center’s Pinterest page. It was super interesting to hear how Dayton Children’s was using Pinterest to connect with parents and patients by offering content they value. Soon, Joanne Maly and Jodie Heflin shared at New Media Cincinnati in February about tapping the power of Pinterest to advance goals of non-profits and connect with patents of children with diabetes.

“Enough, already,” I thought. Time to set up this page for Catholic Health Partners, my employer. It looked like a good network to integrate into CHP’s social media strategy, especially to reach employees (82 percent women) and potential new hires as well as billing coders, also mostly female. We could capture the attention of med students to support physician recruitment. We could repurpose videos we’d put on our YouTube channels and get more value for the production costs. We could share information that helps further our mission — improving the health of our communities, with an emphasis on the poor and under-served. We could build awareness about CHP among important audiences that may not have heard about us.

Within two weeks, I found myself on a lunch and learn panel at Boot Camp Digital, thanks to an invitation by CEO Krista Neher. Krista gave a comprehensive overview about Pinterest to the sold-out session (all women, except one). Then, Debba Haupert offered a super interesting presentation and Q/A about how she uses Pinterest to support Girlfriendology. I explained CHP’s strategy and, thanks to Krista’s questions, how I’m able to fit Pinterest into my daily social media duties. Social media, after all, is just part of my job.

So, with that little story as background, here are a few of the things I’ve learned this far:

* Keep your target audiences and business goals in mind when developing a Pinterest page for your organization. Do you want to drive traffic to your website or other social media platforms — with an ultimate goal of attracting job applicants, selling a product or service, or getting donations? Just what do you want to accomplish?

* Think visual! Debba shared how she has been creating files for pinning that contain an inspirational quote, the Girlfriendology logo and its URL. She’s repurposing the text that she had been just using for status updates on Facebook. If you share a photo, Photoshop a watermark on it with your organization’s name and URL.

* Take advantage of as many of the features of Pinterest as possible. For example, fill out the descriptions in your boards. Use keywords that search engines like. Put in links to your website and/or other social media platforms.

* See who is following the people/organizations who are following you — and find people/organizations to follow there. Also, use the search box to find people/organizations to follow. Note: You don’t have to follow all of their boards, either. Possibly follow the one or two most relevant to your goals. The content they are sharing gives you great resources for repinning on your boards.

There was more, it’s time to go do some pinning. Hope you found this valuable. Feel free to share more in the comments.

  1. March 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    This is really great, Mike. Love how you just jump right into these things. Thanks for all the practical ideas.

    • mikeboehmer57
      March 12, 2012 at 7:37 am

      Thanks, Dan. Lots of potential for Pinterest. Debba Haupert had great hands-on ideas that we can use in health care, too.

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