How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Practice Online
By Daniel Ruscigno
Pinterest is an extremely popular, but often underutilized social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the Internet. You can think of it as a virtual bulletin board where you can post your favorite things to come back to later and to share with other people.
The first time you explore Pinterest, you'll notice it's full of pictures of food, clothing and home decor. The opportunity to market your business here may not be immediately obvious. But as you create interesting "boards," other people will start to follow you and even "re-pin" items from your Pinterest account. With the following tips, you can take advantage of Pinterest to expand the reach of your brand and engage with potential new patients.
Create a Pinterest account for your clinic. When you create your account, include your clinic's name and website on your profile. You can then connect your Twitter and Facebookprofiles for increased visibility. This way, with every pin your brand name will be shared; and over time, people will start to remember you.
When you sign up, select the option to sign up as a business and go through the process of verifying you are the owner of your website. This way, people know you are who you say you are, which builds trust.
Tip 2: Engage By Sharing
Pin interesting content. As with any social media platform, the key to engagement is sharing interesting content. Constantly promoting your own business is not interesting for other people, so you'll want to maintain the 80/20 rule. That means 80 percent of the time, you'll be posting interesting content that is related to your business, but not about your business. The other 20 percent of the time, you can post about yourself.
When you first sign up, Pinterest will prompt you to install its browser plug-in. This sounds technical, but Pinterest makes it very easy to do; and this plug-in allows you to pin anything you find fascinating on the Internet to your Pinterest account.
Before pinning, think about what your patients will find interesting. It could be an article on health and exercise advice or even interesting things about your neighborhood. Since this is a business account, remember to keep your pins related to your business.
Tip 3: Keep Things Fresh
Create interesting content. You don't want your Pinterest account to exclusively be links to other people's websites; you want to cash in on that traffic, too. In fact, according to data from Shareaholic, Pinterest is only behind Facebook when it comes to referring traffic to websites.
To take advantage of that, you want to create your own interesting content you can pin. Stick to your area of expertise and write about things people will find interesting and would be willing to share. Pinterest users love tutorials, how-to's, DIY, infographics, and unique solutions to common problems. Take a few hours out of every week to be a content creator and share your knowledge with people.
Tip 4 : Think Thematic
Create themes. Pinterest uses "boards" to categorize pins, so for your profile, you want to create a theme for each board. For example, stretching, nutrition, exercise, about your neighborhood, inspiring quotes, and of course, a few boards about yourself, like promotions and modalities. This allows people to easily navigate through your profile and focus on the themes about which they are interested.
Tip 5 : Make Your Website Pinterest Friendly
Last, but not least, since you will be creating interesting content and not only pinning it to Pinterest, but also sharing it on your website via your blog, you want to make sure your website is Pinterest friendly.
What does this mean? It means talking to your website developer to include a "Pin It" button on each of your blog posts to encourage people to share your content to their own Pinterest accounts. You'll also want to feature a prominent "Follow Me" button on your website, so your patients know you are on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a lot of fun and a great way to engage with your patients between treatments. With a little time commitment each week, you can use Pinterest to expand the reach of your brand and potentially attract new patients.
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