Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Boehringer, GE Healthcare, Menarini, Novo Nordisk and Bayer have a presence on the social network
A selection of pins from GE Healthcare's Cancer Pintherapy Pinterest channel
The number of pharmaceutical companies exploring Pinterest is gradually gaining momentum, with Boehringer, Novo Nordisk, Menarini and GE Healthcare joining Bayer on the up-and-coming social network.
Pinterest allows users to pin and re-pin images and short messages to personalised online pin boards and has been rapidly increasing in popularity since its 2009 launch.
The opportunity for pharma, once it works out how to take a more visual approach to campaigns, is that Pinterest looks set to be among the next wave of mainstream social media sites and applications, joining the likes of Instagram and Tumblr.
Pinterst passed 11m users in January this year according to ComScore, and the online analysts say it appears to be working its magic in Europe too, where growth since May 2011 has been in the double, triple and quadruple digits.
However, while the early movers in pharma featured below have joined up their Pinterest accounts to existing campaigns, Boehringer is the only one so far to have applied joined up thinking.
Consequently Boehringer sets out its Pinterest policy – including reserving the right to remove postings if they contain unverified medical advice and provides an email contact point for users.
Bayer US on Pinterest
The first pharma company to join Pinterest, Bayer's US operations has seven pin boards on topics such as Sustainability and Innovation. It has several that are aligned to its corporate objectives, with Business, High Tech Materials and Advertising boards, and a Science, Education and Advocacy board that ties-in with its long-running Making Sense of Science campaign.
Boehringer's four boards include two picture competitions (COPD – The Big Picture and More Health), a useful Welcome board and a History of Boehringer Ingelheim board (already a focus on its iPad app efforts).
GE Healthcare on Pinterest
GE has an eclectic mix of pin boards; with its three healthcare ones, Get Fit (aligned with this social media and gaming campaign), Cancer Pintherapy and Pinspire, rubbing shoulders with boards such as Badass Machines and Fabulous Kitchens.
Launched last month, the Cancer Pintherapy board features the experiences of women and men that participated in GE's Breast Cancer Mosaic and has information from GE's Is My Cancer Different website. Meanwhile GE's Pinspire board shares pins from cancer patients and features a new 'cancer journey' each week.
Menarini Spain on Pinterest
Like Boehringer, Menarini also has a pin board to share images related to its history. The Italian pharma company's Spanish operations also have pin boards for health 2.0 and a selection of health tips for patients in areas like diabetes, travel health and shingles (herpes zoster).
Novo Nordisk on Pinterest
After an initial misstep with its debut on Pinterest that saw Novo delete all of its pins, the company quickly returned to the social network, where its four boards cover the World Diabetes Foundation, Patient Stories, Sustainability and World Haemophilia Day.