It's always fun to track the evolution of social networks. For example, back in the early days of Facebook, the platform was limited to students at a handful of colleges. Over time, as we all know, the network evolved into the omnipresent force it is today.A similar shift is slowly emerging with Pinterest. Up until now, the platform has been pigeonholed as a platform primarily for women and for brands with a highly visual component like travel companies, wedding planners, boutique retail outlets, etc. Yet the platform also offers some intriguing marketing opportunities for more service-oriented brands, including—believe it or not—health plan providers.
If you think about it, the idea isn't far-fetched. For example, health care is an intrinsically visual medium. It's no secret that every health ad you see includes a smiling child, a family and a dog, or a woman doing yoga on a beach. Such imagery suggests health, comfort, and peace of mind, and they're integral to a health plan provider's brand.
Then there's the fact that, according to HubSpot, Pinterest generates more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined. Health care firms can turn to Pinterest marketing to drive traffic to their plans' site by judiciously including links in the pins. (Notice the key word judiciously; you don't want to transform your Pinterest page into a purely commercial sales channel.)
As a health plan provider, you'll also have a robust and compelling blog, and Pinterest is a great place to cross-promote your posts. Similarly, if you send out eBlasts with health tips and related content, you can include some Pinterest pins in the newsletter to drive traffic to the platform. Other strategies for promoting your profile include a related tweet two or three times a week, the obligatory Facebook posts, and adding a Pinterest app to your Facebook account.
Convinced? Maybe. Think it over. If and when you take the plunge, you'll soon find it's a pretty painless experience. Click this link and follow instructions for creating a business page. When doing so, remember your target audience and create boards that speak to their interests while extending your brand. Board ideas include Healthy Eating, Exercise, Women's Health, Charity events, and locally-focused topics like Bay Area sports teams or famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.
Most of your Boards will be non-commercial in nature, but you can nonetheless create a few that speak to things like health plans, cost, and health care basics. This is where infographics can come in handy. And if you hit any roadblocks, remember the words of Pablo Picasso: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Simply visit Pinterest pages of other health plan providers and see what they're up to.
What do you think? Has your health care company experimented with Pinterest marketing? What types of Boards did you include?