26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.
I is for Instagram
Instagram is on the rise, and will no doubt play a bigger part in healthcare communicators’ social media strategies over the course of this year.
With Facebook reach on the ever-steady decline, and Instagram’s active audience now rising above a billion per month, it makes sense to add the image-sharing platform to your social media mix.
Why use Instagram for healthcare marketing?
Instagram (IG) enables healthcare providers the opportunity to connect in an immediate way with their patients. It is particularly good for community outreach activities and patient education. Healthcare providers can also use IG to show users a behind-the-scenes view of their practice.
Here’s how board-certified plastic surgeon, Jonathan Kaplan MD describes his approach to using IG in his practice.
By watching us in our “natural habitat,” the prospective patients feel like they know us. We seem more approachable. By the time they show up, there’s more rapport between us vs patients unengaged with us on social media.
Dermatologists, cosmetic dentists, and plastic surgeons can benefit from Instagram by using photos or video to illustrate their services. Practices can showcase before and after photos of patients, as well as videos or illustrations that educate patients on procedures and treatments.
How to get started with Instagram
To get started with Instagram, set up a business profile (or convert your current Instagram profile) to a business Instagram profile. If you aren’t sure if you are using a business Instagram account, it’s easy to find out. Go to your account and next to “Edit Profile” check to see if you can see the “Promote” button which will tell you if you are using Instagram for business.)
When you create a business account on Instagram, you’ll be able to get insights about your stories, posts, and followers. With an Instagram business profile, you can see real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform, and get insights into how followers are interacting with your content.
Next, choose an Instagram username – pick a name that clearly identifies you, your practice, and/or your specialty.
Complete all of your practice information and don’t forget to include a link to your website in your bio so prospective patients can go directly to your site. Aside from your business name, username, and website URL, your Instagram profile provides 150 characters for writing a bio. According to Hootsuite, “your bio is an opportunity to make a first impression, to articulate what your business offers and why people should care. Your bio should explain who you are and what you do while conveying your brand’s identity.”
Your bio is an opportunity to make a first impression, to articulate what your business offers and why people should care. Your bio should explain who you are and what you do while conveying your brand’s identity.
Adding a profile image that’s high quality and reflects your business is a must. Be sure that your IG is aligned with your website and other social media channels in terms of branding and imagery.
Looking for some inspiration?
Take a look at how these healthcare providers are using Instagram in their online marketing.
- For a medical student’s view of Instagram, read 8 reasons why Instagram is important in medicine.
- #Healthy Selfies: Exploration of Health Topics on Instagram is a study which seeks to characterize the health content shared on Instagram,