How will Pinterest impact B2B communication in healthcare?

By Dodge Communications on March 22nd, 2012

In the ever-changing world of social media, businesses are constantly faced with different ways to connect with audiences, share information and expand their online presences. The recent popularity of Pinterest on the social media scene presents companies with new PR and marketing opportunities, and if leveraged appropriately, it may turn out to be quite influential in the healthcare technology space.

What exactly is Pinterest? Pinterest is a social media platform that allows users to create virtual bulletin boards that express their different interests. By “pinning” images found on the web or “repining” images from other Pinterest boards, users collect photos for their boards and share them with their followers. Links are automatically embedded with each image, so users can be re-directed to the sites from which the images originated. According to a recent Mashable infographic, there are approximately 12 million active monthly users on Pinterest and 2.2 million active daily users.

How does all of this apply to healthcare technology? While there currently isn’t a Health category listed on Pinterest and most of the boards are consumer-focused, there are several ways that healthcare IT companies can incorporate this scrapbooking social network into their business communications planning. Here are some tips for making the most of your Pinterest profile:

  • pinterest logoCreate different boards based on areas of expertise. By categorizing boards according to different specialty areas, companies can showcase different products and services and how they meet targeted needs of specific audiences. As more hospitals and medical groups join Pinterest, it will be important for companies to provide easy access to this type of information as they connect with end users.
  • Include relevant infographics on boards to express industry knowledge. When it comes to B2B communication, Pinterest can be seen as the image-based equivalent to Twitter. Just as healthcare IT companies use Twitter to link to industry news articles, they can use Pinterest to link to infographics that depict facts and figures based on the latest healthcare studies and surveys.
  • Leverage the video component. In addition to images, Pinterest users can also pin videos to their boards for their followers to view. Videos add an interactive element to the boards and provide companies with unique promotional and thought leadership opportunities. Some examples of Pinterest videos can include product demonstrations, interviews with company executives and educational webinars.
  • Engage with the media. Pinterest profiles aren’t limited to individuals and businesses; the media is also active on the site. When the scope of Twitter expanded to include more and more media outlets, it became necessary for healthcare IT companies to engage in industry conversations via tweeting. As Pinterest continues to grow, it has the potential to create this same kind of pipeline to the news.

As the fastest site to hit 10 million U.S. monthly unique visitors in history, I think it’s safe to say that the Pinterest era has just begun. While it’s currently not the most applicable social media tool for B2B communication, a closer look at the new site reveals the potential it has to enhance the way healthcare IT companies connect with end users, the media and each other. It’s important to have Pinterest on your radar as you continue adding to your social media arsenal in 2012. Are you already on Pinterest? How do you think it fits in with healthcare IT?