Instagram Marketing for Doctors
How is Instagram Stories similar to Snapchat? Which social media platform is better for a medical practice?
Instagram stories is similar to Snapchat because it enables you to share the best “live” feed moments of your day through photos and videos. You can also add in location, tag other accounts and even draw on your photos. Regarding which is better for medical practices, that depends on where you have already built a patient base. For example, if you already have 1,000 active followers on your business account on Instagram, then it makes more sense to leverage Instagram stories for greater visibility. However, if you have 5,000 people following you on Snapchat, then more people will see your live Snaps then on Instagram stories. Use the live streaming features of the platform you already have an established following on. Instagram stories makes more sense than Snapchat for medical practices because anyone can publicly see them- you don’t need to add someone as a connection to view the story.
How can doctors make the most of these new social media changes to grow their Instagram followers?
Physicians can make the most of these changes by integrating live streaming into their daily business practices. It is no longer enough to just post aesthetically pleasing photos on Instagram or Snapchat. If you are skipping out on live streaming, you are missing out on the entire social media experience of what fans are expecting to see from your account if they follow you. Furthermore, as more of these networks experiment with new features, there is a tremendous opportunity to be one of the first to start using them before everyone else figures out how to. This means more eyeballs on your services- for a cosmetic surgeon or someone in aesthetics, this can be substantial.
What are some other ways medical practices can increase their Instagram followers and engagement?
Medical Practices can increase their Instagram following through planning out their Instagram “grid” of photos a week or two before they ever post anything. This will help to establish a solid brand aesthetic, which is important to their potential followers. If someone is thinking about following them, the first thing they will do is look at their last 9 photos. If they look disjointed and unbranded, someone is unlikely to follow them. The next way medical practices can increase their Instagram following is through leveraging influencers. For example, if you are a top doctor in Westchester County, you should reach out to the blogger/influencer in your town that everyone goes to for advice. Even if that influencer isn’t looking for a specific medical treatment you offer, they may have a writer who is- invite them in to experience a new procedure and have them post photos and live stream their experience. Then, regram their posts from your practices page- this will help to increase followers as you will pick up some of their followers in your geographic location- which is highly targeted and can have a high conversion rate. A third way to increase followers and engagement is to start following the hashtags in your industry and town and comment on those photos. Like them, favorite them- leave comments to show you are engaged. You can also DM (direct message) potential followers to strike up a conversation, as long as it isn’t salesy or spammy! We also recommend tagging other accounts in each Instagram post to increase followers. This will display the photo on the “tagged” section of their Instagram page. Potential patients interested in finding a doctor will look there first.
How can medical practices repurpose existing content for Instagram posts?
One of the best ways to repurpose existing content for Instagram posts is to regram photos of patients who have posted photos at your office. This is often an underutilized part of a medical practices Instagram strategy.
What are some other tips to consider when building out a healthcare social media marketing strategy for my practice on Instagram?
Tip: Strategically Hashtag. Do not make the mistake of only hashtagging industry related keywords. This does not help potential patients find you- and only helps others within your industry find you- which won’t expand your digital footprint or increase followers if you are looking for leads on Instagram. For example, if you are a NYC Surgeon, hashtagging #surgeon #Doctor #medical does not necessarily help those find you who may be looking for solutions to their health-related problems. Hashtagging keywords related to what potential patients would search for is a better strategy.
Tip: Leverage Instagram stories. Because anyone on Instagram can view your story, you are much more likely to be seen by potential new patients than you are on Snapchat, where you have to manually add someone to view their content. Instagram stories is a great opportunity to be found by more people- be sure to include your handle and use the hashtag feature within the story as well as adding your location. This will help your business account get picked up in large stories such as the Instagram “New York Story.”
Tip: Add video to your content. This may seem pretty obvious, but the majority of NY Physicians still opt to post regular, static based photos on Instagram instead of videos. If you really want to become an influencer or dramatically increase your followers, you need to invest in video production. The people that are most successful on Instagram are leveraging video and basically have their own TV channels on Instagram. Give people a reason to tune into you.
Tip: Do not share your Instagram posts to every other channel. This is a big mistake medical practices make on Instagram to save time. They connect their Instagram account to Facebook and every other social media channel. However, Facebook will actually rank these posts lower in your feed because they prefer to see posts directly shared on their platform. What your practice posts on Instagram should not be the what it posts on Twitter or LinkedIN. You need to diversify content instead of mass posting to all of the other channels.
Tip: Comment on others posts. One of the best ways to grow your medical practices Instagram account is to comment and like others posts. This is a better approach than mass following hundreds of accounts and unfollowing everyone that doesn’t follow you. Spend more time engaging with the content you like and the followers will organically come.