I have to admit I am kind of obsessed with Pinterest. At first, I was a bit skeptical, but once I started exploring the millions of “pins” that are available, I became hooked! Favorite recipes, party decorations, and home decor ideas – Pinterest has it all! My morning routine starts with checking my Pinterest and seeing what pins are suggested to me. What I like most about Pinterest, is that it is a great example of a “positive reinforcement social media” tool. By that I mean that Pinterest suggests pins to you, based on what you have added to your board in the past. But somehow this isn’t done in the creepy way that Google adds does it. It’s more of a friendly suggestion!
So how can this multimedia tool be used for public health? Well, at first I was skeptical that it can, but after doing some research, I found a few helpful ways that Pintrest can be useful:
1. It can quickly capture the reader’s attention:
For example, here is a Pin from CDC on measles
This pin grabbed my attention, because it was brief, easy to understand, and relevant. Once I clicked on the picture, I was taken to CDC’s website, where I could view the same picture in Spanish, read about the ongoing initiatives to spread awareness about the disease, and find other sources of information.
2. It can elicit emotions quickly:
It is nearly impossible to look at pictures like this and not feel any type of emotion. When a picture like this shows up in my feed, I want to not only click on it, but also do whatever I can to help the cause. This particular picture was used to raise awareness of hunger in various regions of Africa.
3. It can be used to generate campaign awareness
This particular campaign is centered towards promoting safe sex habits amongst young gay men. Again, this is a great example of how a picture and a short slogan can be used to generate followers and attention. By adding this pin to one’s board, the user can follow other similar campaigns and learn more information about the topic.
4. Appealing to a younger generation
Pinterest can also be used is to appeal to a younger generation to raise awareness of public health issues. The “keep calm” slogans have been trending on social media for awhile, so using it to gain Pinterest users can be a successful way to raise awareness. This pin was posted by the CDC, to bring attention to various hygiene posters and banners that can be displayed in schools and other places to bring attention to proper hygiene
5. Making statistics easier to understand
This pin was used by Fenway Health to increase transgender awareness and provide useful statistics to help followers understand the importance of this issue.
Overall, Pinterest is a great multimedia tool to use for public health, because it allows organizations to share meaningful pictures that can generate awareness and support from their followers!