First things first: you do have an Instagram profile for your doctor’s office, chiropractor clinic, or other medical services business, right?
Because you should.
Just like a Facebook page, it’s one of the bare social media essentials for any practice hoping to grow in the Digital Age—a place where patients can discover you, learn more about you, and get engaged enough to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
Instagram is hot and growing
In fact, Instagram is such an important part of the social media landscape that Facebook actually bought them in 2013, and they’re still one of the fastest-growing social networks.
Instagram already boasts more than 90+ million users in the US alone, and it’s projected that in 2017 more than half of all social media users will have an Instagram account they regularly use.
59% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 are already using Instagram, and older demographics are catching up—28% of internet users ages 30-49 and 11% of 50-64 year-olds were on Instagram in 2015, and their numbers are only growing as the platform’s popularity spreads.
What makes Instagram so popular?
In large part, it’s down to the type of content that the social network focuses on. Instagram, in case you’re unaware, lets people share pictures and short video clips with all of their followers—every post you make has to be based around an image.
This low-text, highly-visual environment gives social media users exactly what they want (social media posts on all platforms see an average of 94% better engagement when they include a visual element), which is precisely why they keep coming back for more, and in ever-greater numbers.
For healthcare providers whose services have a visual component—dentists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, etc.—this makes Instagram an especially powerful tool.
Even if your practice doesn’t affect your patients’ outward appearance, there are plenty of ways to tap into Instagram’s power, build an audience, and start attracting new patients.
Here are six ideas to get you started.
Before and After Photos/Videos
You’ll need your patients’ permission, of course, but photos that show off the physical changes your services provide are one of the best advertisements out there. Let people see the kind of improvement they can expect, and they’ll be knocking down your door to get the same results.
Selfies of You Being You
Bedside manner, approachability, friendliness—whatever you want to call it, patients want to see the human side of your medical practice. You want to project a professional image, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit goofy now and then, if that’s your style. Take selfies that show off your personality, and it will ring true with patients and encourage them to call.
Pictures of Your Office
Show prospective patients the amenities they’ll enjoy when they come in for an appointment. Let them get a feel for the layout, give them a glimpse of comfy new waiting room furniture, share “unboxing” photos of new equipment when it arrives, and let all of your Instagram followers feel like they’re a part of your practice.
Videos of Procedures
Again, you’ll need patient permission to take and share videos of procedures being performed, and you’ll want to keep everything PG-rated, but videos are the hottest content around and should get you more views, shares, and potential patients than still images alone. If you have trouble taking your own videos, sharing other relevant videos you find online can also work.
Inspirational Quotes with Compelling Pictures
You don’t have to get too cheesy, and you shouldn’t make inspirational quotes the mainstay of your Instagram profile, but intermingling some of these with your other posts can help boost your reach, help patients feel confident and secure, and show them that you care about their wellbeing and state of mind even when they’re not in the office.
Pictures and Videos of the Faces of Your Practice
Chances are your patients interact with several people when they come in for an appointment—a receptionist, possibly some nurses or other medical support staff, billing personnel, an office manager, and so on. Make those faces and your day-to-day office fun a feature of your Instagram posts, and your patients will know just who and what to expect when they call or come by.
Instagram can seem overwhelming for a medical practice, but with a little bit of knowhow—and perhaps a bit of help—it can be easy to use it to start growing your patient base.