Pinterest is a smart social media strategy for veterinary hospitals can use to educate pet parents. If you’re a veterinarian or vet tech in need of ideas for what to post on your Pinterest – it’s EDUCATION. Why are client education & Pinterest a perfect match? Trust.
A 2012 BlogHer study found that 81% of American women (the top decision makers in pet health!) trust recommendations that they read on Pinterest, verses 67% of things they read on Facebook.
A veterinary hospital’s main social media strategy should be to establish themselves as their community’s “go-to” for pet health and pet care information.
If your animal clinic is using Facebook to stay connected with pet owners, then you should be using Pinterest to show them you’re an information source that can educate them. Instead of getting 15 minutes to educate pet parents during an exam, you’ll now be able to show up in their Pinterest feed whenever you’d like!
Creating Pinterest pins that educate pet parents is easy. Just follow the 3 following steps. You’ll be providing information AND driving traffic to your veterinary website in no time!
1) Create Useful Pinterest Boards
Pinterest is like an online bulletin board where you use boards to categorize different “pins”, or posts. (Learn more about Pinterest basics here.) Your veterinary hospital’s Pinterest page should be made up of various boards, each highlighting a different topic.
Great Pinterest board ideas for animal hospitals include:
- Pet Weight Loss & Fitness
- Pet Dental Health
- Pet Safety
- Boards dedicated to pictures of your furry patients.
Make sure to mix client education with fun, and involve your actual patients whenever you can.
2) Pick attention-grabbing pictures
Once you’ve picked a few great Pinterest board topics for your veterinary hospital, it’s time to pin! Pinterest is all about photos, and your should make sure your animal hospital is using Pinterest photos that stand out.Pet parents love funny and cute pet pictures, and it’s a bonus if you can use pictures of your own patients.
Generally speaking, a pin’s photo should be taller than it is wide. However, I have had some success with various shapes. Just make it eye-catching. If you have a photo you want to add text to, I’d suggest using PicMonkey.com. (You’re a veterinary professional, not a graphic designer. PicMonkey makes it easy to edit photos, trust me!)
3) Link your pins to client-ed information
Here comes the part about how a veterinarian can educate pet owners with Pinterest! Be sure to link your pins to useful client education information on your website, like a blog post or pet health article. (If you paid a third party for animal health articles, Pinterest can help you get that info out to clients. Let’s be honest, they aren’t going through your veterinary website to look at those articles. They’re on Pinterest.)
You link your pins to your information by listing your specific website as the source. How do you do that? After you upload the pin, you can edit it by clicking the little pencil-like link in the corner of the pin.
After you click that link, you’ll be able to add the source (your veterinary hospital’s blog post, etc) to the pin.
Boom! Now when someone clicks your pin, they’re brought right to your useful information. This is a great way to drive traffic to your pet hospital’s website. As a veterinary practice manager at Quinebaug Valley Veterinary Hospital, I find that Pinterest is usually the 3rd most popular traffic driver to my practice’s website. (Google & Facebook come first.)
And don’t forget! When a pet owner re-pins your animal clinic’s information-filled pin, it will go on their personal board. Their friends will be able to see it and click it, AND your clients will be able to use your pin as reference info in the future.
Look at that – now your veterinary hospital’s Pinterest is a trusted source of pet care information.
Have questions about using Pinterest at your pet hospital? Ask them in a comment below, contact me via email or tweet me @DanielleSNOUT.