Pin It on Health

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Most people don’t necessarily think of health organizations when they think of Pinterest.  I know most of us usually think something more along the lines of cute DIY projects or ideas for new recipes to try at home, but organizations are finding innovative new ways to use Pinterest for marketing purposes.

But what even is Pinterest?  Pinterest is a social bookmarking site developed in 2009 that focuses on sharing photos that are usually linked to another page.  Users can organize their “pins” by categories on things called “boards.”  Basically it is an online version of pinning pictures to a cork board in your room, except there are millions of pictures or ideas and the boards are just a little bit bigger.  It also has the third most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter.

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What Pinning Can Do for Your Organization

Pinterest offers a unique opportunity to connect with people in terms of a visual product.  When most people think of health in terms of Pinterest, we usually think of those “Four Workouts for Toner Legs” pictures or a very (intimidatingly) in-shape model with an inspirational quote attached to it.

Organizations found that it allows access to a a specific demographic, specifically women and mothers, who are five times more likely to use Pinterest compared to men.  Women are also very influential in many health decisions in a family, therefore organizations are looking for new ways to target this demographic through social media.

Using Pinterest also allows a quick, easy way to market and promote for your organization.  Sharing infographics, flyers, PSA’s, or just information in general becomes that much easier when you can post it to your profile.  Here is an example of an infographic from GOOD Magazine

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By organizing your organization’s different information into boards, it allows users to pick the board with the information they are most interested it.    Women’s Health Magazine does a great job of organizing their information into different, easily accessible boards.

Tips for Success

  1. Know Your Audience.  Keeping the user demographic of Pinterest is crucial in deciding what information you will pin and share to your organization’s page.  With more Pinterest users being women between the ages of 24 and 52 , organizations will be more likely to cater their information to this specific group.  With any organization or information, the biggest question should be, “Who are we trying to reach with this information?”
  2. Be Who You Are, Share Your Story.  Users are more likely to be trusting of an organization if they feel like they personally know them and what it is they are doing.  By posting the story of the organization or sharing behind-the-scenes pictures allows users to get a better idea and understanding of exactly what it is your organization is trying to achieve.
  3. Be Inviting.  People want to see that there are actual human beings behind the account of an organization, not just an automated computer system spewing out information.  Being personal and building relationships with your users will also create more brand recognition and a higher level of trust in your organization.

For more helpful tips, check it out here!

Tweet Your Way to Success

If Facebook is the “parent” idea of social media, Twitter is the teenager who is talking a million miles a minute.

Developed in 2006, Twitter has been one of the fastest growing social sites, with over 500 million users, since the development of Facebook.  I mean, is anyone shocked there?  In spite of only having 140 characters per tweet, tweeting offers a constant stream of information in shorthand.  But what even is Twitter?

Twitter is something known as a microblog, which is basically a type of blog that allows users to post short updates.  Things like Instagram or Yik Yak can also be considered microblogs.

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Even if you still aren’t quite sure what a microblog is, Twitter is definitely a must-have for personal and professional social sharing.  Sign-up is simple, but here is a step by step video on how to sign up.

Tweet Your Way to #Success

I’m sure you’re going to have a lot of questions joining Twitter; Who to follow, what to tweet, how to get people to follow you, etc.  Here a few tips on how to successfully utilize twitter:

  1. Start with a good profile picture and cover photo.  This will be the first thing that anyone viewing your profile will see.  You want clear, high quality photos whether it be a selfie or the logo of your company or whatever you decide on.
  2. Be clear and concise in your bio.  Now your bio can be funny or serious or however you want to be perceived, but regardless of what tone you write in, be very clear about what you do or what your page is about.  And, with only 160-characters of space, you can’t afford to be Ernest Hemingway when explaining yourself in your bio.  Also, check, double check, and re-check for any spelling or grammar errors.  That’d be embarrassing….
  3.  Keep your tweets short and be conversational.  Keeping tweets around 100 characters is generally a good rule of thumb when tweeting just as much as being conversational is.  You want to seem approachable and knowledgeable.  Building customer relations is one of the most important things if you are creating a page for a business or organization.
  4. Take it easy on the hashtags.  Although hashtags can be useful when joining a trending topic or searching for specific key words, seeing one after every word is extremely annoying.
  5. Tweet about what you know.  Similar to writing your bio, if your page focuses on a specific topic, tweet about that topic!  If you are a fashion page, you aren’t going to go tweeting about deep sea exploration.

Mental Health America does a great job of following these general guidelines.  Both their header and profile picture are the logo of the organization, their bio is short and concise while also utilizing a hashtag, and their first few tweets show conversation with others.

Want more tips?  Check out this nifty infograph for more Twitter tips.

What Twitter Can Do for Your Organization

Along with all the funny videos and pictures out there, Twitter will give you a unique opportunity to share your information for your organization.  Promotion and marketing is made that much easier because with every retweet your information receives, that’s a whole new audience being exposed to not only the information, but the organization itself.

Twitter also allows your organization to communicate with clients or just people in general in a more relaxed setting.  If Jimmy Johns, Under Armour, or  Office Depot can utilize and master communicating with people over Twitter, I’m sure you can, too.  Remember, be personable and approachable while still being knowledgeable.

Twitter also has this cool new tool called Periscope, which is basically a live stream video that lasts for about 24 hours.  Do something fun! Live stream an event, let your audience see what it is your organization actually does.

Now, go with this information and tweet your way to your #goals!

 

Get Friendly with Facebook

In a time where staying connected is crucial to every day life, social media has taken on a life of its own with the plethora of sites and apps that allow us to keep up with the world around us.

One of the most popular, and probably the oldest of other popular apps, is Facebook.  With over 700 million registered users, Facebook takes the cake in terms of accessibility to current and future clients. People are spending more and more time time on the internet with over 22% of that time being dedicated to social media.

With more time being spent on social media, this becomes an incredible opportunity for campaigns and organizations to utilize this new medium for their own use.

Facebook is in the process of becoming a “jack-of-all-trades” in terms of social media.  They are looking to be somewhat similar to Google in the sense that they want to be the source that people come to to find information.  Surprisingly, over 40% of surveyed people said they turn to social networks (Facebook het) to find health information, whether it is health and dieting tips or finding out more about specific providers and organizations.

So What Can Facebook Do For Me?

Facebook is unique in that it offers a two-way channel of communication.  What this means is that organizations can not only connect with their audience, but their audience can connect back with them, be it through commenting, liking, or sharing.  In other words, it is perfect for marketing.

According to Healthcare Success, here are a few benefits of using Facebook:

  • It’s free, for the most part.  It’s free to sign up for and fairly easy to get started on a page. Granted, it will take some maintenance and attention to make your page successful.  You will have to stay updated with content to keep your audience interested.  The only thing that will cost you is if you were planning on advertising on the site as well.
  • It’s interactive.  Instead of just having a traditional website that merely presents information, Facebook allows organizations to communicate with their audience, have their audience communicate with them, and have their audience communicate with others.
  • It lets you brand yourself.  Making your mark on social media can be crucial to your reputation.  What you say or post about your organization directly affects how your audience will see you.

On top of these benefits, Facebook has been working on creating new feature to help non-profits and other organizations utilize Facebook more effectively.  Recently. Facebook developed a way for users to donate to a non-profit without having to leave Facebook.

There are a few organizations that nailed Facebook, creating different campaigns to get their audience involved.  Organizations like Breast Cancer Awareness and the It Gets Better Project utilized Facebook to reach a larger audience and through shares and audience participation, their content gained quite a bit of attention and traction.

Blogging: Yes, That’s Still a Thing

When most of us think of blogging, something along the lines of Tumblr comes to mind: pictures, videos, funny and relatable texts posts, the whole shebang.  But believe it or not, blogging can be used for so much more, and the best part is, you can blog about just about anything.

Want to blog about amazing food?  Make a food blog.

Want to share your amazing fashion sense?  Make a fashion blog.

Obsessed with how amazing your dog is?  Dedicate a blog to that beautiful mutt.

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Getting Started

The hardest part of anything is getting started, whether it is getting started on a new diet, starting a new project, or even just starting your homework (guilty).

For all your basic questions (i.e. What is a blog? What does it look like? etc.) please refer to this “What is a Blog?” video.

Although blogging has an endless amount of options of things that can be blogged about, I’ve often found that people, in any form of writing, struggle with settling on a topic.  Selecting a topic sounds simple enough, but when it comes down to actually writing about it, people seem to get stuck.

If you have a food blog, is it going to be reviews of food?  Your own recipes?  A log of things you’ve eaten or made?  Tips with cooking?

The trick I’ve found is find a topic that: A) you are interested in, B) that has a wide enough scope so you can have options of entries, and C) that is narrow enough so your reader doesn’t feel overwhelmed.

Once you’ve picked a topic, then there are matters of layout, writing style, entry ideas, etc.  The most important things to remember when blogging, regardless of topic, are:

  • Know your audience
    • It always does well to know who you would want reading your blog.  Different audiences have different needs, meaning different styles or themes may appeal to them.
  • Do research
    • You do not know everything in the world, I promise, and doing research on whatever your topic may be will make you much more credible in the long run.  You may even learn something in the process.
  • Be yourself
    • Regardless of your topic, remember this is your blog.  Your readers will come back for what you have to say, let your personality shine!

(For more tips, please see “Beginner’s Blogging Tips” and “16 Rules of Blog Writing and Layout”).

Now, be on your way.  Good luck, bloggers!