You’ll probably be seeing a lot more of the federal government on Pinterest now that the General Services Administration (GSA) has negotiated a federal-friendly terms-of-service agreement with the social network. At HHS we see the social network as an opportunity to share information on a variety of health and wellness topics. But what is Pinterest? How can it be used for health and wellness?
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social bookmarking website. It lets people share content in a unique and visual way. Pinterest works like a corkboard—content found anywhere on the Web can be “pinned” to a virtual board. And you can create an endless number of boards.
Many users create boards to pin their favorite recipes from different food-related websites or to organize and share items they want for their birthday or homes.
You can also browse boards created by others to discover new things and gather inspiration. You can also follow other users’ boards. When someone you follow pins new content, it appears in your Pinterest feed.
Who is using Pinterest?
The majority of Pinterest users are female. About half of those females are 25-34 and have children. Pinterest receives approximately 1.36 million visitors every day, with the average amount of time spent on the site being just over 15 minutes.
Why is Pinterest so popular?
With GSA’s newly minted terms-of-service in hand, several HHS offices and programs are launching accounts to promote social and health issues.
How can we use Pinterest to achieve our mission?
As the social network has grown, it has become characterized by its highly visual experience. Images convey their own meaning or can contain text to clearly promote a message or idea. Similarly, infographics have proven to be popular because they convey information both verbally and visually. Pinterest’s idea of sharing images fits in line with HHS’s desire to share important health and safety information to the public.
AIDS.gov sees potential in this platform because it wants to meet people in the online spaces they are currently using. Pinterest is another social media tool AIDS.gov can use to:
- Combat HIV/AIDS stigma
- Promote HIV testing
- Share resources
Last week, AIDS.gov launched their first Pinterest board in observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Prevention Information Network (CDC NPIN) uses Pinterest to:
- Share content on hepatitis prevention
- Promote HIV/AIDS campaigns
- Encourage people to get tested
- Broadcast important messages related to HIV
The Heart Truth uses Pinterest to give women a personal and urgent wakeup call about their risk of heart disease.
In the near future, we’ll launch the first board managed by HHS’s Digital Communications Division. The board will feature content from FoodSafety.gov. We will showcase tips on food preparation and how to prevent food from spoiling during and after storms or natural disasters.
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In our efforts to make our digital strategy work better, we’re also tracking and analyzing content from several of our major websites pinned on Pinterest. By looking at what get’s pinned (and what doesn’t), we hope to improve the quality of the images and content we offer on our sites. To see what users on Pinterest are pinning from your website, go to www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite/ .
Related: AIDS.gov Blog Getting Started with Pinterest