3 Reasons Your Veterinary Practice Should Be on Pinterest
Launched in March 2010, Pinterest has nearly 12 million users, making it the fastest site in history to cross the 10 million mark. In August 2011, Time magazine listed Pinterest among the “50 Best Websites of 2011.”
Basically, Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that connects people through common interests. It allows you to organize and share what you find on the web, everything from architecture and art to sports and entertainment.
Why Should I Use Pinterest?
There are 3 main advantages to using Pinterest:
1. Connect with clients
2. Connect with staff
3. Market your practice and your website
Organize your pins into boards, called pinboards. Use your pinboards to reach out to existing clients and potential new ones. According to Modea, a digital agency, 68.2% of Pinterest users are women. Keep this in mind as you develop your profile page and consider ways to reach out to your clients.
For example, create a board that provides relevant information to clients in their communities. This might include elements such as puppy training classes, best dog parks, and pet-friendly hotels in your community. You could also create a board for your clients organized by breed – one for dog lovers and one for cat lovers, where pet owners can find specific information related to each. Create another board that features products you want clients to know about. Another board could feature resources for pet owners, such as books, websites, or articles about nutrition, dental information, or behavior. Think outside the box and make it fun by designating a board for photos of your patients. You can post favorite pictures of your staff and patients and encourage clients to post their favorites too.
Holding contests is another way to connect with clients and increase your exposure. Ask clients to create a pinboard on their own account to demonstrate what they love about your practice. Ask them to send you a link to their pinboard so you can evaluate the entries. Then pick the coolest board and give out prizes.
Pinterest is also a great way to communicate with your staff. Create a board to keep your team informed on events happening in the clinic. Post educational resources, such as books or handouts that team members will find beneficial. Designate a board for your technicians and veterinarians so you can connect with each group on an individual level. Encourage staff interaction by asking for feedback on various topics.
Increase Website Traffic
You can also use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your website. According to CNN, in February 2012, Pinterest drove more traffic to websites than Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.
Here’s how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your website:
1. Go through your website using the “Pin it” button.
2. Organize the images you pin onto a board on your profile page.
3. Users will then be able to click through that image from Pinterest right back to your website.
Also, don’t forget to let clients know your practice is on Pinterest by adding a Follow or Pin it button directly to your website. That will allow visitors to pin your content or products to their boards.
Develop a Pinterest Plan
However you decide to use Pinterest, create a strategic plan. It takes time and effort to keep your profile page current and actively engage users, but it can go a long way into promoting your practice and expanding your reach. The trick to a successful Pinterest page isn’t just showcasing your practice and what you have to offer, it’s about finding creative ways to connect with your clients.
Getting Started on Pinterest
Using Pinterest is simple. Follow these steps
1. Go to Pinterest.com and request an invite
2. Add the “Pin it” button to your browser
3. Start pinning
Develop your profile page by adding a picture, short description of your practice, and links to your website. Organize your images into boards. You can add as many pins to a board as you want. If you find an image already on Pinterest that you want to pin, you can repin it. Repinning is similar to retweeting on Twitter. By repinning the image, you add it to your own board.
Tips for Using Pinterest
Pinterest is also a great marketing tool. Meredith Schneider, of Fetching Communications, offers the following tips for practices interest in tapping into Pinterest:
• Connect with customers and other veterinary professionals – Like Twitter, Pinterest allows you to build a list of followers. Follow your clients and other professionals in the industry.
• Organize boards by categories/themes- Separate your pinboards into different categories to make it easier for users to view your profile. Think about what words people may use to search for the content and include them in the name of each pinboard. Like Twitter, Pinterest supports the use of hashtags. Tag your pins to make your content more search-friendly.
• Be thoughtful when choosing images – Make sure to select the most eye-catching images. Pictures that are funny, emotional, or visually appealing are shared the most. The more your images are shared, the more visible your practice will be.
• Actively engage with other users – Don’t just post images; interact with others. Respond to comments on your pinboards and thank people who like or re-pin your posts. Interaction will help build and develop relationships.
For related articles, see:
The New Essential Business Communication Tools
Nine Steps to a Successful Veterinary Facebook Contest