We’ve covered a great deal about social media here on the WebPT blog—from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Yelp. Perhaps, though, your practice already has these incredibly common and popular platforms down pat; maybe you’re looking for a different way to reach your audience online or help yourself grow as a professional. Here’s an answer that satisfies all of these criteria: Pinterest.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a tool that people use to organize whatever interests them online. Users create different categories called “boards” and then save—or “pin”—websites to those boards. The only caveat is that whatever website or webpage you pin has to have an image associated with it. Your boards then organize your pins by these images. Essentially, Pinterest is a visual way for you to see and keep track of your bookmarks. It’s a social media platform because people can view, comment on, like, and “repin” your pins, and you can do the same. You can also follow users or specific boards.
Okay, so Pinterest looks and sounds cool, but you may be wondering why you should give a hoot from a business perspective. For starters, potential patients are on Pinterest. Consider the following stats Digital Marketing Ramblings organized and shared:
- Pinterest has 70 million users, 80% of whom are women.
- The site has 500,000 business accounts.
- Pinterest receives 2.5 billion page views every month.
- It’s the third largest social media platform, and 9 million users have their Pinterest account connected with their Facebook account.
- Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money than visitors referred from non-social channels.
- 17 million brand engagements have occurred on Pinterest, and 43% of users knowingly associate with retailers and brands on Pinterest (compared to 24% on Facebook).
- The most popular age group on Pinterest is 25–34 years old, and 50% of all Pinterest users have children.
How can I use Pinterest to Market my Business?
As we’ve explained in previous posts, marketing today—especially online—is all about content, and if you support that content with good images, then Pinterest is the perfect place to share and promote your stuff. First, create a Pinterest business account. Then you can create boards based on what interests your audience; (defer to your marketing plan for a refresher on your target audience). For example, you could pin home exercises and stretches based on injuries or body parts (a separate board for each). You could also pin wellness tips, motivational quotes, healthy food recommendations, how-to videos (yes, you can pin videos), relevant infographics, or prevention tips based on your niche.
By pinning what’s beneficial and relatable to your audience, you can establish yourself as a thought leader, while strengthening your brand. Just make sure you demonstrate your brand’s personality, get creative, engage with others, and mix others’ content with your own. Sharing your own content, especially from your practice’s blog, is important because it drives traffic to your website. While you’re at it, add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your website, too.
Here are some getting-started tips and success stories from Pinterest. I also recommend this Copyblogger post, which features pinning tips for beginner, intermediate, and black belt (expert) pinners. Once you feel pretty good about your pinning prowess, check out Pinterest’s analytics and metrics.
How can I use Pinterest to help myself as a rehab therapist?
In a post titled Pinterest and Therapy: Using Pinterest as a Therapy Resource, Rehab Alternative explains that many speech, occupational, and physical therapists use Pinterest as a way to organize resources related to their profession. “While many professionals are accustomed to using magazines, training sessions, or books as a resource, [you can access] the resources posted on Pinterest...for free, whenever you have an internet connection!” (Oh, the perks of cloud-based tools!)7
Create boards and use Pinterest to organize, collect, and curate limitless therapy resources. Using the search bar, you can find activities, exercises, equipment, treatments, do-it-yourself projects, PT products, and published studies, all related to your profession. Furthermore, you can find advice and recommendations related to owning a business, hiring, getting hired, building a resume, continuing education, and other fields not directly associated with therapy, but very relevant to you as a professional or small business owner.
What are Pinterest’s rules?
All social media has etiquette. Be mindful of Pinterest's. The short version? Be nice, credit your sources, abide by copyright laws, avoid overt self-promotion, report objectionable or offensive content, and share your feedback.
And that’s Pinterest in a nutshell from a marketing and professional perspective. Curious about Pinterest? I’m an avid pinner, so please share any questions or concerns you have in the comments below. Does your practice use Pinterest? Great! Share your experience and best practices in the comments as well.