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Pinsanity!

I’m slightly obsessed with Pinterest. And I’m not alone. This year’s social media phenom — now the third most popular social network in the US behind Facebook and Twitter — made internet history as the fastest site ever to cross the 10 million user mark.

pinsanity
When Pinterest addiction goes a little too far. (click to view)

If you’re not familiar, Pinterest is basically a visual scrapbook. In their words, “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.” Pins carry embedded links to their sources, making it quite simply a fun, helpful, easy to use collection of collections. So not surprisingly, a huge number of that 10 million+ are women. Here’s a breakdown of the site’s stunning stats:

·      Daily Pinterest users have increased by more than 145% since the beginning of 2012

                ·      Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined

·      80% of users are women

·      78% are age 25+

·      50% have children

In other words, a demo that’s pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel for a savvy health care marketer.

Women like me turn to Pinterest regularly for fitness tips, healthy recipes, style trends and all sorts of other inspiration. Essentially, for ways to live well. While many health care marketers still seem to be scrambling to figure out Twitter and Facebook, the real opportunity, correction, the ginormous opportunity, lies in Pinterest.

Health doesn’t even have its own category on the site yet. But the potential for hospitals to engage patients is really exciting.

Baylor Health Care System in Texas has clearly recognized this and jumped right in. Pinning since January 2012, Baylor is already widely cited as the best example of what a health care marketer can achieve on Pinterest. In a recent chat on Twitter, the system’s social media manager summed it up: “Baylor Health tries to show people how to live a healthy life. We pin recipes, printables, checklists, inspirational pins, etc.” As with all brands using the site successfully, it’s not about promoting themselves. It’s representing what they’re about. Connecting with consumers through the things they find useful and that are true to the essence of their brand. Her most clicked-through item to date? A pin for an interactive health quiz on the Baylor site.

Hospitals can leverage this social marvel to educate. Rally. Inspire. And cross promote their other sites, apps and devices. All in a powerfully visual way. It’s such an incredible mesh of creativity and data. And not gonna lie, I’m almost as giddy about it all as that step-by-step DIY jewelry stand pictorial I just found. Almost.

By Colleen Berta