Pinning for Health Protection

If you’re a picture person like me, I’m sure you already know about Pinterest. I could spend hours scrolling through nothing but pictures, and as a matter-of-fact, a lot of people do. Pinterest is rapidly growing in popularity and is ranked third only behind Facebook and Twitter. With Pinterest’s popularity rapidly growing, health organizations are looking for a way to get in the game.

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Pinterest is a social network, which allows its users to share and discover interests by pinning images or videos on boards they have created. Pinterest also allows its users to brows and see what others have pinned.

For many organizations, it can be hard to draw users in. People might feel pressured to donate or overwhelmed by the amount of health-related articles posted. Eventually, it can get to the point where users skip right over an organization. This is where Pinterest plays a refreshing role in the social networking world. It provides a unique twist over most sites that want to revolve around writing posts. But how can healthcare organizations incorporate themselves just by the use of pictures and videos?

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Here are a few tips on how to use Pinterest as a healthcare organization…

  • Pin throughout the day                                                                                                                 – Too many posts at once can overwhelm a viewer and overtake their feed. Choose three to five things to pin several different times during the day. Pick popular times such as morning when we all wake up and all reach for our phones, lunch break, mid-afternoon, and after dinner. All of these times are slow parts in the day when people are most likely to be scrolling through their phones or searching for new information. This is a great time to hit them with infographics or links to healthcare blogs to read in their spare time.

 

  • Add links

-One of the greatest things about Pinterest is their use of links. While scrolling through Pinterest feed, all users see is pictures. If they are interested in a particular picture, they click on it to enlarge the image. After this, they have the option to click on the picture itself to be sent to a link related to what they have clicked on. This link can lead to several things. If the image is related to a healthcare organization, the link could lead to the organizations website, an article, recipes, workouts, or other health blogs. If you don’t know how to add them to your own images, look here.

 

  • Use images that grab interest                                                                                                    – With Pinterest, you only have that one shot. Only one picture will represent the link you’re trying to share, so choose wisely. Try to choose bright, clear photos with catchy captions. Things like Healthcare Communication News uses great pictures to represent the message they are trying to get across. They also label their boards “Mobile Health” and “Working on Wellness” so their followers know where to find more on the same topic.

 

  • Create boards                                                                                                                             – Pinterest users love to follow uplifting boards. Healthcare organizations can create boards that will inspire pinners to live a conscious, active, and healthy life. Post new information or information stated in a new way, keep it light and fun. Keep with the seasons and pin things that keep you fit and healthy even in the winter, or colorful summer recipes or drinks to stay hydrated.EI-Blog-Posts-Pinterest-create-board

 

A perfect example of a healthcare board that properly uses Pinterest is Healthcare Social Media. Their boards are full of informative infographics. They have several pins that relate to all kinds of users seeking healthcare information. They also have great statistics and information for patients, not just doctors and healthcare providers. Their use of infographics is bright, colorful, and easy to understand. Their facts are to the point and many have fun cartoons to make them humorous.

 

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Tweeting the Healthcare Way

Wdownload (3)e all know that person… they’re witty, funny, and quick. They are able to light up a room with laughter and shout out a clever comeback before we can even process the message. Sometimes, I feel like Twitter is made for these kinds of people- concise, to the point, quick-witted, and amusing individuals. If you’re anything like I was, the thought of having to come up with something genius in three seconds over stimulates me to the point where I can’t think of a single thing. The only thing running through my mind is… think, think, think!! Luckily, Twitter doesn’t have to be for people like that, it can be easy and fun, for individuals or for organizations. I have come up with a few tips of how to ease and simplify tweeting so that your health organization is not stuck thinking blankly like me.

 

Twitter is an online social networking microblog that allows its users to write and read short posts called “Tweets” (limited to 140 characters). Tweets can contain photos, videos, or quick and frequent messages back and forth between family and friends. Twitter rapidly gained popularity and is now one of the top ten visited sites on the Internet.

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While many businesses use Twitter to promote their company, many healthcare organizations use it as a vital step in distributing information. Twitter allows these organizations to expand their reach of communication, build relationships, grow their business, and increase awareness. By following these simple steps, you too can get the most out of your Twitter account.

 

Here’s a list of Twitter “To- Tweets”

  • Short, sweet, and simple                                                                                                           –With a limit of 140-characters, you’re only limited to so much. Post a bold statement that grabs their attention and then post a link to more information. The American Red Cross tweets, “Calling all blood donors!” and a link with when and where.
  • Breaking news

images (5)-With the continuous stream of live feed, it is one of the fastest ways to break a story. “Measles outbreak in Disneyland” “Ebola in the U.S.” That’ll get their attention.

  • #Hashtag

The invention of hashtags was a great thing… the use of them is not always so great. However, they can play a powerful role in healthcare tweeting. Hashtags can be used to place your content into categories and broaden your followers with people who search or use the same key words or phrases.

#healthcare

#healthtalk

#doctortalk

#donateblood

#healthcarebills

  • Communicate with others

-One of the greatest things about Twitter is that is allows people to write and respond to short mini-messages. A great way to expand your Twitter followers and build strong relationships is to reply back. How hard is that? Thank them for sharing, ask a question, post a link with new information, or simply share information from someone else in the same industry. This is a great way for doctors to communicate with patients or get feedback on research. Not only does it boost your positive image but you will also gain followers through others interested in the same field.

A Great Example…

One example of a great healthcare organization that effectively uses Twitter is the World Health Organization. Their page is bright and informative with almost 3 million followers. The organization does an excellent job of incorporating important hashtags and almost always posting a link with more information at the end of a short tweet. They also do a great job of interacting with their followers through posting questions and replying to answers.

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Cue the Rants…

I don’t know about y’all but I get tired of people using Facebook to rant; so much so that I have been known to block or unfollow people who rant more than twice in two weeks. I am very picky about who and what I follow on all social media. So what is it that makes a page valuable? Better yet, what keeps someone following the page? Facebook can be a vital source of health information if used properly. I’ll explain how Facebook can be used successfully to distribute heath information and how others use Facebook to look for this type of information.

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Facebook is a social networking site designed so that others can connect with family and friends online. Facebook is currently the largest social network used globally all over the world. It is used to make profiles, post photos, videos, content, and send messages to friends and family.

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Like many fast growing social media sites, Facebook is increasing at a rapid rate; ranters or not. A very large percent of Facebook users rely on the site for health information. People are looking for things such as healthy living techniques, exercise, diet, treatments ( I don’t know about y’all but Rodan and Fields has ambushed my Facebook feed), and doctors. Is it Facebook’s popularity that makes it a reputable source?

 

Here are three reasons why Facebook is a good health information platform…

 

  • Provides a two-way communication channel

-Facebook allows people to message, comment, and connect with others who have               similar interests in a specific medical issue.

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  • Provides reputable sources

-When people we know post a positive medical experience, we are more likely to                  go to whom they suggested.

 

  • Allows you to reach your target audience in an easier way

-Post a funny video or share an informative article. The more likes, the farther                      your page will go. Be creative!

 

Relay For Life

          The American Cancer Society Relay For Life Facebook page is a great example of an organization that successfully uses Facebook to raise awareness and reach new people. Relay For Life is an overnight event that both celebrates cancer survivors and raises money for cancer research. Teams of people typically walk or run a track all night in order to raise money. The organization plays a big part in many high schools, communities, and colleges, trying to get as many people involved as possible. Because they have a younger, active following of people, they are able to raise awareness through Facebook. People who participate in an event post a link on their Facebook to the Relay For Life site where their friends and family can donate to their team. The site also posts powerful videos and pictures of candlelit events on their Facebook page.

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In with the Old, Out with the New

There he sat, every single morning, in the same seat on the couch, with his right leg sitting on top of his left knee. He was not visible from the waste up except for a few fingers that were holding the outside of a newspaper. This was a sight I saw every single morning of my childhood, as I’m sure many of y’all can relate. I would grab my breakfast, and sit beside him while he read aloud the best comics or fun facts he learned that morning. Lets be honest, most of our generation Instagrams their favorite “Daddy and me” picture of them sitting on his lap behind a massive piece of paper that was so big, I swear our dads grew muscles from having to hold it.

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What was it about newspapers that made them a staple back then and why are they dying out? One of the best things about newspapers is that they are easy to read and skim through because of their narrow columns. Blogs are very similar to this template and are a large reason why physical papers are dying out. Think about it, if you could have the same, easy to read, factual information, immediately right on your phone, who wouldn’t choose that over a paper?

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The word “blog” comes from the combination of “web” and “log” which is a literal meaning of a log on the Internet. Blogs are a combination of someone’s thoughts, experiences, or information they want to share via website or web page. Blogs are typically written by one or a small group of people and are usually written in a casual or conversational way.

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Blogs provide an awesome way for people with a certain interest or concern to learn and relate with others who have similar interests experiences. Take health care for example. A parent with a child who has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes might be scared and unsure what to expect. In this situation, they could search for a couple different types of blogs.

 

Here’s what to look for…

  • Someone who’s informed on the same topic

-Diabetic doctor

-Parent of a diabetic child

-Someone who grew up with type 1 diabetes

  • Someone who updates frequently

-Finding a great blogger is amazing but it isn’t helpful if they only post once every few months.

  • Someone who is consistent

-The most useful type of blog is one that stays on topic with meaningful information.

  • Someone who is inviting

– A great blogger to follow engages you, asking questions, and wants a reply. These bloggers are also more like to reply back with any questions you might comment.

 

A great example of a  health organization that successfully uses social media is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This blog basically contains all things related to health and health issues. A great thing about this blog is it’s extensive list of categories on the left side bar including diseases, symptoms, and more. The CDC uses their blog effectively by making their posts easy to read, accessible, and by making the information on their site easy to find. By doing these things they are a valuable site proving meaningful and helpful information to those who need it.

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