Should Dentists and Surgeons Consider Pinterest?
Pinterest is the latest social network to grab the spotlight according to the latest trend report from Experian Hitwise . The report shows the social pinboard/bookmarking site is the third most popular social network behind Facebook and Twitter.
So what, you ask? While Pinterest is certainly not for everyone, the growth alone is cause for a moment of reflection. Below, I break down the some of the basics any surgeon or dentist should address before considering Pinterest as a component of your search and social marketing strategy.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to categorize likes and interests. It is a place without status updates or timelines. Users have the ability to show their followers what makes them tick, what inspires them, what products they use, and what services they offer.
Pinterest also works well for event planning, as many users pin images on their board to help them map out events like weddings or home renovations.
One benefit to using Pinterest is the potential for referral traffic. Just like Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest provides an engaging platform that is designed to let you and your practice shine and further engage with current and potential patients. While you will be dedicating time to creating a new following on another network, success here can lead to more traffic on your site.
Is Pinterest the Place for You?
What is the average age of your patient base? Do you see more men or women in your office?
87% of Pinterest users are currently females, and the most common age range is 25-54. While this is going to even out as the platform becomes more popular, early adopters here have a chance to make a significant impact on the aesthetic healthcare industry.
That said, time and interaction are required for success here just as they are with Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. If you only have time to maintain one social network, Facebook is still far and away the number one priority.
Bottom line? If you believe you have something visually exciting about your practice to share (before and afters maybe? with patient consent, of course), and have the time to share it, Pinterest could be the place for you.
Is Pinterest Worth the Effort?
This is a tough question to answer. The potential is there, but a lot will change as more people begin to use the platform, and established networks like Facebook and Google+ make changes to adapt to Pinterest’s popularity.
That said, the potential for brand awareness and referral traffic is intriguing. As more users are exposed to an endless amount of content, those practices that are able to establish a strong visual presence are likely to have more sticking power, more recall when a patient turns to the internet to research a doctor or procedure.
In the end, the most important question to ask when deciding whether or not to join any social network is can I create quality, shareable content? There is no point to joining a network unless you are prepared to dedicate the time necessary to support and strengthen the social signals coming from your practice.
If you do have the time, and you believe your current and potential patients will benefit from the content you plan to create, then take the leap and promote it on your other networks.
Have you joined the Pinterest craze? Visit our Facebook page and tell us more about your experience, or post additional questions if you’re still undecided, but interested.
 2012 Digital Marketer Report from Experian Hitwise.