Pinterest: the Next Big Thing?
While some providers are still considering whether to branch into Facebook or Twitter, people with their ears to the ground might have heard that another social networking site is picking up speed: Pinterest.
To the uninitiated, Pinterest is a bit like Twitter, in that it's a series of posts by people users "follow." Unlike Twitter, all of the posts are images, rather than text.
What you end up with on your homepage is a cool mosaic of fashion, food and home décor shots that your friends (or whoever you follow) choose to post.
Is there something in this for providers?
I've been looking into whether you guys are using Pinterest, and it seems like most of you are still on the fence or aren't into it.
However, if you listen to David Bargmann, social media consultant for Duckridge Advisors, it might just be worth a shot.
Bargmann called Pinterest "a nice medium for the HME/DME industry, which spends an enormous amount of time and energy educating patients."
He says the highly-visual website is more engaging than other social media sites, so if providers share quality content, it could help HME providers and other small businesspeople engage with the community and drive people to their websites.
"Through Pinterest, businesses can tell their unique story through creative boards," Bargmann told me. "Pinterest has literally become a referral goliath."
Pinterest has brought word-of-mouth to a new level, referring more internet traffic than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and YouTube – combined, according to copyblogger.com.
Bargmann concedes that it could be quite a time commitment for already overloaded providers, since you have to keep at it to keep your viewers engaged.
Still, it's an opportunity for showcasing beautiful images and videos to drive traffic to your website and enhance your brand—all while engaging with the community, he said.
Bargmann cautions that if you're not already on board with Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest might not be the best place to start.
"If a provider is just beginning to engage the power of social media, I would probably recommend starting with other social sites and adding Pinterest as time and resources allow," he said.