Is your veterinary hospital already on Facebook? Twitter? Your veterinary business needs to conquer Pinterest next. If you are a veterinarian, veterinary practice manager or vet tech with questions about the basics of Pinterest – look no further. I will help you out by telling you Pinterest is, what “pins” are, what a board is, & how this drives traffic to your veterinary website. (Pinterest is consistently the #3 or 4 traffic source to my veterinary hospital’s website!)
What is Pinterest?
All of you veterinary pros out there might be wondering what Pinterest is. To put it simply, Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board where people “pin” information. They can “pin” info that they find through Pinterest or from around the Internet. This information could be about almost anything, from pet treat recipes to a dog collar they want to buy.
What’s My Pinterest Profile Look Like?
If you make a Pinterest for your veterinary business, you will have a profile! That’s where all of your pins are housed on various boards. People can follow your boards from there, and you can link to your other social media, like Twitter. At this time (December 2013), you CANNOT link your Facebook business page to Pinterest. This is a big hiccup, in my opinion. It will only let you link a personal page. Sigh.
Here’s a look at the SNOUT School Pinterest profile. This can give you an idea of what your veterinary hospital’s Pinterest profile would look like:
From your profile, you can access your feed. Like your Facebook feed, this is going to show you all of the information that the people you follow are posting.
What’s a Pin?
The pinned bits of information are called “pins.” Each pin within a board is represented by a separate image. Images are the main point of a pin. They should be great graphics that can hold their own in the busy Pinterest feed!
Need help with graphics? Get my 5 MUST-HAVE social media tools for veterinary hospitals to help you with creating great images.
Here’s a look at all of the pins that make up my current Pinterest feed to give you an idea:
Each pin can have a description, the words under it, and a source. The description is important for when people are searching through Pinterest. It will tell them what the pin is about, like a caption.
The source of a pin is very important. Often times, a Pinterest image is just a teaser for more information. You can give your image a source, like a blog post a veterinarian wrote for your animal hospital’s blog. When someone clicks your pin, they will be re-directed to the source – your blog! This is how Pinterest can drive traffic to your veterinary website.
What Are Boards?
Each pin can be put onto the user’s personally-categorized Pinterest boards on their profile page. A user might have boards categorized into things like “Pet Care Tips” or “Pet Fashion.”
If you click around Pinterest, you might see a lot of fashion and recipe boards. Are you wondering what on earth your animal clinic should make boards about? For a veterinary hospital, you might have Pinterest boards dedicated to categories like:
- Our Patients
- Pet Dental Health Tips
- Pet Weight Loss Advice
- Homemade Dog Treat Recipes
- Boards dedicated to specific breeds of animals
- Pet-friendly place in your local area
It’s good to have a mix of fun boards, useful boards, & educational boards. You don’t want it to be boring or too generic! Just like with all veterinary social media, the more you can involve your actual patients, the better.
What’s a Re-Pin?
A re-pin is how Pinterest users share pins from one another. For example, if your veterinary hospital follows another animal clinic, you might re-pin some of their information you enjoy. You can re-pin directly from boards, or from your Pinterest feed. Since Pinterest isn’t as big on comments as other forms of social media, re-pinning is a great way to connect with other veterinarians, vet techs or veterinary professionals that are pinning.
Beware of who you re-pin from, though! I’ve seen many a veterinary hospital re-pin images from online pharmacies that I can’t imagine they’d ever want to endorse. (As a veterinary practice manager, this makes me CRINGE! Don’t re-direct your veterinary business to an un-trusted online pharmacy.)
Have questions about using Pinterest at your pet hospital? Ask them in a comment below, contact me via email or tweet me @DanielleSNOUT.