By now, you've heard of Pinterest--that crafty, women-focused social networking site based largely around posting photographs to crafts and recipes. At first glance, Pinterest probably doesn't strike you as the next big social channel you should be using to market your senior living facility. But could it be? Let's take a look at some stats.
Who's using Pinterest?
As of February 2012, Pinterest was already boasting more than 10.4 million unique monthly visitors, making it the third most popular social network in the U.S. in terms of traffic. Around that same time, users were spending an average of 97.8 minutes on Pinterest--a decent chunk of time considering U.S. users were spending an average of 3.3 minutes on Google+ during that same period.
Women between 25 and 34 years old are the primary user demographic on Pinterest. But many of those women are the primary household decision-makers, and they have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who could require senior housing either now or in the coming years.
(Our thanks to HubSpot for rounding up these great stats.)
So why Pinterest? Should you bother?
More than 80 percent of pins are repins--that means there's a strong tendency towards sharing content posted by others. We're always looking for ways to get more likes and shares on Facebook, but it's harder to do there. With Pinterest, your content is more likely to be shared.
Another interesting Facebook tie is that about 20 percent of Facebook users visit Pinterest daily. With Pinterest's easy Facebook connect and auto-sharing capabilities, it's likely that percentage will increase as users head to Pinterest by clicking on Pins that appear in their Facebook news feeds.
With the emphasis on sharing content and the strong ties with Facebook users, it's clear you could gain a lot of exposure for your senior living facility by using Pinterest.
There are a few leading providers already capitalizing on the power of Pinterest:
So you've decided the evidence is convincing enough to at least give Pinterest a shot. What should you pin? Many users think they're limited to posting crafty creations or images of food, but there are tons of other possibilities.
- Show off your facility. Sure, you're limited in the images you can make public because of privacy laws. But you can post images of your facility, the grounds, activities rooms and more--including videos. How about a virtual tour?
- Make it a tutorial. Tutorial, guide and how-to pins have a 42 percent higher click-through rate than any other type of pin. Doing a fun activity with residents? Write a quick how-to planning article with a quality image and pin it.
- Use high-quality images in your blog posts. Make sure your blog posts contain high-quality images; that makes them easily pinnable.
- Highlight events. Just be careful that you have the proper permissions before you pin any images including residents.
- Introduce your staff. No need to worry about resident privacy if you're simply showing off your activities staff dressed as Santa's eight flying reindeer.
- Follow the trends. Pins related to trending topics have a 94 percent increase in click-throughs. Find out what's trending, craft some content around it and pin it.
- Brag about your fine dining services. Does your facility have the best chefs in town? Go ahead and share a couple special recipes with photos of your delicious food. Dining is a big decision-making factor when it comes to choosing a senior living provider, so don't be shy about showing off your dietary department's culinary prowess.
- Use a call-to-action. Research shows that pins with a call-to-action in the description see an 80 percent increase in engagement. Your CTA doesn't have to be sales-focused; something as simple as "Click to see more photos of our facility," can be enough to drive visitors to your Website.
- Pin in the afternoons. The best time to use Pinterest is between 2 and 4pm Eastern Time. Between 8pm and 1am Eastern Time is also a good time to be pinning. Not inclined to sit in front of your Pinterest boards every evening? Good news: Pins can be scheduled, just like you can schedule your Facebook posts. Jeff Bullas recommends a tool called Pingraphy for doing so, and Reachli is another option.