Healthcare, Pinterest & Women

On Pinterest, it’s all about wellness … in terms of what healthcare topics its audience is interested in. Case in point: iHealthBeat recently quoted Jessica Maki of Brigham and Women’s Hospital saying that the hospital’s two most popular boards are about healthy recipes and parenting. (See “Health Care Organizations Turn to Pinterest To Connect With Community, Boost Brand.”)

Women constitute a majority of the Pinterest audience, with a 5X greater likelihood to be users over men (via Pew Internet and American Life Project). As the iHealthBeat article points out,  women are also the ones primarily planning healthcare for their families. Furthermore, they also are taking charge of the care of a fast-growing elder population: their parents. (I’ve blogged previously about women’s Internet use for health research.) Knowing the importance of women’s roles in organizing healthcare for families (and by extension, a large proportion of the population), smart healthcare organizations may want to explore new ways to communicate with their most active audience (i.e., women) and increase branding at the same time.

I am not saying every hospital, health system or physician practice should automatically have a Pinterest board; I typically don’t make blanket statements for marketing as varied and uniquely personal—and time-consuming—as social media marketing. All marketing involves choices about finite time and other resources. However, I think smart healthcare marketers should at least consider the potential for discovering, growing and ultimately retaining their patient audience on social networks such as Pinterest, especially in light of both its specific demographics and general popularity. In the consumer-driven healthcare future, places where women congregate and seek health information figure to be receptive audiences for wellness messages and public health initiatives.


Check out Fathom’s white paper on social media in the top 15 health systems.

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