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Can Pinterest Help Grow Your Biomedical Nonprofit?

Can Pinterest Help Grow Your Biomedical Nonprofit?

By Karan Cushman, April 1, 2014

5 ways visual marketing can help you communicate like a leader.

As a virtual pin board of your favorite images and videos, Pinterest enables your biomedical nonprofit to share and highlight stories that inspire and encourage a loyal following.

Many think of Pinterest as a place to pin ideas for weddings and home décor, but more companies are using the online platform to promote their businesses and causes everyday. Why? As a virtual diary, Pinterest is a powerful tool for collecting and displaying the things that matter most to your brand and your audience. It is also a great marketing tool for brands that want to show industry leadership. Pinterest can quickly communicate your value to the world through categories that resonate with your audience and highlight the most meaningful aspects of your business.

How? With Pinterest, you simply create pinboards of the subjects that are most important to your brand and pin photographs, Infographics, videos, etc., for all the world to see. Each pin offers insights into your brand’s personality and reinforces your organization’s purpose and impact. Best of all, it encourages others to share your message.

So, what boards to create? What to pin?
What does your audience care about? Get personal. Get your creative team brainstorming. This is an opportunity to profile stories and highlight thought-leading data in a much different way than you do on your corporate website. Take a look at how other biomedical institutions are using Pinterest for ideas. Also, think about the other publications that your biomedical nonprofit is already creating, like your newsletter. You probably have content waiting to be shared through this social platform. Once you’ve done some research and established vibrant categories…start pinning.

Many biomedical brands have built good momentum on Pinterest:

  • Genentech: We Love Science, Patient Perspectives, Science is Personal
  • The Mayo Clinic: Healthy Recipes, Fitness, Health, Tips for Parents, Cancer Care, Diabetes, In the News.
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute: Races, Faces of DF, Things that Make Us Smile, Portraits of Care, Our History, Things Worth Reading
  • American Cancer Society: Life Lists, Statistical Infographics, Become a Volunteer, Stories of Hope, Events, Donate to Fight Cancer, Get Inspired, Screenings, Eating Healthy
  • Boehringer Ingelhrim: A-Fib and Stroke Visualized, COPD Inspirations

Here are 5 ways Pinterest can make a difference for your biomedical nonprofit:

1) Promote Your Research Focus
Create pinboards based on your specific research areas. Compelling visuals go a long way towards helping donors, investors and patients understand the effectiveness of your research; how your organization is advancing science; and ultimately, how you are impacting our health. These are all important components of effective Leadership Marketing. To use the platform effectively, you should incorporate visuals and graphics that draw in viewers. Compelling Infographics can bring focus to impressive numbers and highlight the potential impact of your work. Dynamic scientific illustrations can also help donors understand complexities in your work. Videos that feature your biomedical institution’s thought leaders can be powerful for connecting with potential investors. This personal touch gives viewers an opportunity to get to know, trust and value your work, scientists, and institutional brand.

2) Position Your Biomedical Nonprofit as a Leading Institution
From the examples above, you’ll see many in the biomedical field are using Pinterest as a way to share their expertise by helping educate patients about specific diseases and health issues. Custom Infographics explain statistics, how the body works, warning signs, treatment procedures, etc. Short videos that simplify complex processes can be a helpful educational tool that can engage potential donors.

3) Inspire Hope and Confidence
One of the best parts of social media is bringing individuals from all over the world together with shared interests, such as battling cancer or recovering from surgery. One of the most obvious representations is the American Cancer Society listed above, but also Live Strong where boards like Cancer Inspiration exist for those seeking support. Baylor Health also has a robust collection and following. Living with Diabetes, Heart Health and even Healthy Tailgating are a few of their categories.

4) ROI: Repurpose Existing Content
Social media enables you to repurpose content from your website, blog, print publications and events. Consider creating a pin from an important infographic in your annual report or from your latest blog post, then include a short description and keywords that are linked back to your website.

5) Digital Collaboration & Donor Cultivation
Some say contemporary biomedical research is about breaking down silos and solving biomedical problems together. If so, Pinterest gives us the opportunity to share and collect information globally. And not just within the scientific community, but with patients and donors, too. As more and more of us turn to social media everyday, Development and Communication Directors should give Pinterest some thought.

Do you have questions or need help getting your biomedical nonprofit started with Pinterest? I’m here to help. Call me at 866-960-9220 or email


Tagged: Biotech, Leadership Marketing, Nonprofit

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