How Your Hospital Can Succeed on Pinterest

Pinterest is teeming with terrible health advice, from over-restrictive diets to claims that certain herbs can cure cancer. Health systems on Pinterest can go a long way in setting the record straight and providing reliable help to people looking to improve their health.

So how can your hospital have an active, engaging presence on Pinterest?

  1. Great graphics. Pinterest is the king of graphic content. Don’t just slap stock photos online; considering adding text or filters to your photos, creating a collage, making infographics or at the very least ensuring you have beautiful photography. Try Canva or PicMonkey for help if your designer(s) is swamped with work.
  1. Clear organization. Be specific in your boards. This helps people pick which boards they want to follow and gives them a clear idea of what to expect.
  1. Focus on lifestyle. Food and fitness advice go far on Pinterest. You can also focus on improving lifestyles for people with specific health concerns, such as pregnancy or chronic conditions that require lifestyle changes (Crohn’s, Celiac disease, diabetes) and offer help tailored to people with these conditions.
  1. Don’t be afraid to Repin. Or “Save” as it’s called now. You can save content from other reliable sources (Mayo Clinic, American Cancer Society, etc.) to your boards. That’s how Pinterest works. It may help attract new followers to your boards, even if it doesn’t immediately push people to your content.
  1. Try Promoted Pins. If you’re new to Pinterest, you can also try Promoted Pins to start boosting your number of followers. Promoted Pins are fairly inexpensive and can be very effective at getting people to your content. For the best results, pick a Pin that is already popular and give it a boost.

Not sure where to start on Pinterest? Give me a shout.

The Photography Sources Your Hospital Isn’t Using (But Should!)

All social networking sites, from Pinterest to Facebook to Twitter, are demanding more and more visual content. According to market research published in 2014, photos have an 87 percent interaction rate on Facebook, while the next most popular posts (links) only get a 4 percent interaction rate.

For hospitals on strapped budgets, it may be difficult to find the visual content you need to keep up and maintain an active, engaging online presence. Lucky for you, there may be a few sources of untapped content you aren’t using yet.

  1. Your smartphone. A good Instagram filter and the latest phone models can make some pretty gorgeous photos. Keep HIPAA consents with you at all times so that if you come across a great photo or moment in your hospital, you are ready to go.
  2. Historical photos. Celebrate Throwback Thursday by scanning in old, interesting pictures of your hospital.
  3. Your print materials. Someone at some point has paid for the stock photography in your print materials. Collect all those images up and use them where you can on your website and blog. Consider adding text or filters using free sites like Canva or PicMonkey to make them more social media friendly.
  4. Your employees. Not in your facility of course! Employees should decidedly NOT take pictures while at work. However, when your NICU participates in the March of Dimes or your hospital hosts a booth at a health fair, encourage and empower employees to take photos of these local events. They help show that you are part of your community.
  5. Your department amateur photographer. Nearly every marketing department has a designer or writer who loves to take photos. Consider paying for them to take photography classes and equipping them with a department-owned quality camera. Your investment just might pay off.

Need help running your social media channels? Give me a shout for help on social media strategy and content.

My Top Sources of Free Health Stock Photography

Need some good stock photography for your website or blog, but don’t have the budget to buy dozens of pictures from iStock? Check out these great sites I use all the time for FREE stock photography (you’ll probably see some of the photos I use on my blog!).

CDC Public Health Image Library. The CDC has made thousands of images online free. Everything from historical health photos to nutrition topics, from fitness to flu, you can find a lot of photos on this site (though quality can vary).

US Government Photo Libraries. While you’re at it, check out other great photos from the US Government. These can help out when you have something specific, like needing a fireworks photo for Fourth of July or a picture of a riptide for an ocean safety blog, but may not be useful to you every day.

Foodiesfeed. Got a blog about a nutrition topic? This site has beautiful pictures of all sorts of food, healthy and unhealthy alike.

ISO Republic. These beautiful free photos cover a range of subjects, from food to technology to commuters. Sometimes you get lucky and find just the right photo. Sometimes you don’t.

Picjumbo. Similar to ISO Republic, this site has a wide variety of pictures. It may take a bit of digging, but they probably have what you need.

Have the photos you need, but not the words? Give me a buzz so I can help you develop great content.