Instagram Marketing for Doctors
Doctors on Instagram & Social Media
Despite the headlines, healthcare social media is not a waste of time for physicians.
Today, doctors and physicians are expected to be publishers, photographers and videographers in addition to running a private medical practice. As if you don’t already have enough on your plate with patients and tough cases to solve, social media for doctors requires a serious time investment.
Content creation requires a substantial amount of resources including your time, approving posts, coming up with content ideas and growing your following.
In the Healthcare Marketing Guide for Instagram Stories, you will learn:
- How to market your medical practice with social media
- The #1 mistake most surgeons make on Instagram
- Top medical Instagram hashtags
- 30 actionable Instagram tips for your medical practice
As a result of reading this healthcare marketing guide, you will gain new tools that can make the process of growing your following easier for your practice.
PLUS, I share 10 social media tips for doctors, physicians and private medical practices.
But first, let’s get down to healthcare social media marketing 101.
Instagram Marketing for Medical Practices
What is the value of disappearing content? This is a question we are asked all the time by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and dentists interested in using Instagram to market their respective practices.
Many doctors and plastic surgeons disagree with devoting resources to creating disappearing content.
However, Instagram enables you to save this content with pinned highlights. Take advantage of this feature!
Audiences crave this type of spontaneous content which makes it that much more appealing.
Pro Tip: Make sure you pin your stories to branded highlights. If you don’t, you are missing out on a huge opportunity for your practice to get more out of your content.
HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM FOR HEALTHCARE MARKETING
How can doctors grow their Instagram followers?
Physicians must start 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 social media experience your followers are expecting to see from your account.
As social media platforms rollout new features, there is a tremendous opportunity to be one of the first doctors to start using them before everyone else figures out how to. This means more eyeballs on your medical practice services. For a cosmetic surgeon or someone in aesthetics, this can be substantial.
Instagram Stories for Healthcare
Why You Need To Tap Into Story Posts Beyond the Newsfeed
Over 500 Million+ accounts use Instagram Stories every day. That is substantial!
So, the million-dollar question when creating your healthcare social media marketing strategy is: Instagram Feed posts or story posts?
As a doctor, if you can only create content for Instagram feed posts, you are missing out on a massive opportunity: Instagram Stories.
“We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in Feed as the most common way that people share across all social apps. That’s because Stories is a better format for sharing multiple quick video clips throughout your day.” -Mark Zuckerberg
Instagram feed posts are still important, but you also have to remember that they were initially designed when desktop reigned supreme prior to the iPhone explosion.
Instagram Stories will be the leading healthcare social media trend in the mobile era. It is critical to tap into how patients use Instagram Stories so you can leverage this marketing tool for your private practice.
INSTAGRAM 101 FOR DOCTORS & HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS
How are Instagram Stories similar to Snapchat? Which social media platform is better to market my medical practice?
Instagram stories is similar to Snapchat because this feature enables users to share the best “live” feed moments of your day through vertical 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 patients following you on Snapchat, then more people will see your live Snaps vs. your Instagram stories.
Healthcare Social Media Tip: 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.
Instagram captions for doctors
Combining the right image with the right caption goes a long way, and will subconsciously make a difference to the click through rates and likes you rack up with new prospective patients.
What is visually appealing?
Try to capture images that really draw you in to see more. Images that have a nice contrast, are clear and clean and are not overwhelming are easier for the eye to register.
For example, if the front desk at your office is aesthetically pleasing, snap a picture of it and post it. You can caption it “Isn’t our new office beautiful? Love the office views!”
- Use compelling captions to that tie back to your service offering.
- Encourage your audience to associate trendy images and clean aesthetics with your medical brand.
- Keep it simple and clean or else the images can get lost in a jumble of visual clutter.
- Each post should complement the next, so also be selective about images you post on your feed.
The most important thing potential followers want to see is that you are consistent with your social media strategy and that you can execute it in a way that will enhance the quality of their life.
Focus on the features and benefits of the procedures you offer in your copy.
If you post the right content, the right patients will be drawn to your practice.
Best Instagram names for doctors
The best Instagram handle name for a doctor is your name or the name of your medical practice!
Best Instagram bio for doctors
- Keep your bio short and to the point
- Use bullets and emojis to break up the text
- Include a link to the URL of your practice
MEDICAL SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TIPS
How do you market your medical practice with social media?
INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS FOR DOCTORS
Best medical hashtags to use
#surgeon #doctor #medical #healthcare #dermatologist #functionalmedicine #patientreview #dentist #oralsurgeon #MD #boardcertified #medicine #health #physician #wellness #nurse #hospital #surgery #womeninmedicine
Content for Medical Followers
Understand the type of content that will appeal to your target audience (new patients!).
Healthcare Marketing Instagram Story Ideas:
15 Instagram marketing tips to increase visibility of your private practice:
- Branded GIF stickers for Stories
- Long Form Story content
- Sponsored Stories
- Saved Story Highlights (make sure all stories are labeled be procedure/ treatment)
- Avoid over filtering story photos
- Keep your audience engaged A/B test what content is most appealing to them.
- Office decorations for the holidays
- User Generated Content (UGC) and branded stories of office swag
- Behind the scenes photos at the office
- A featured employee of the week, with an image of a member of the team
- Behind the scenes photo in the operating room
- Selfies with other doctors
- Photos at medical conventions and trade shows
- Medical PR press coverage
Pro Tip: Consider creating branded Giphy images for your private practice in the searchable Instagram library.
Looking to increase new patients? Contact us today to discuss a plastic surgery social media strategy for your private practice. We specialize in healthcare marketing and medical public relations for doctors.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR DOCTORS
What are some other tips to consider when building out a healthcare social media marketing strategy for my private practice on Instagram?
10 actionable ways medical practices can increase Instagram followers and engagement.
PLAN OUT YOUR GRID. Physicians can increase Instagram followers by planning out your Instagram grid of photos a week or two before you ever post anything. This will help to establish a solid Instagram brand aesthetic, which is important to your potential followers. If someone is thinking about following a doctor on Instagram, the first thing they will do is look at their last 9 photos. If they look disjointed and unbranded, someone is unlikely to follow your medical practice.
HEALTHCARE INFLUENCER MARKETING. 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 local advice. Even if that influencer isn’t interested in a specific medical procedure you offer, they may know a writer who is.
FOLLOW REGIONAL HASHTAGS. A third way to increase engagement on social media is to start following the hashtags in your industry and town and comment on those photos. Like them, favorite them and 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! I also recommend tagging other accounts on 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 new doctor on social media will look there first.
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.
USE 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.”
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 a top healthcare influencer or dramatically increase your followers, you need to invest in video production. The NY physicians 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.
DO NOT SHARE YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS TO EVERY OTHER CHANNEL. This is a big social media 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. Be sure not to make this embarrassing social media mistake, including having your practice manager running all of your social media!
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.
REPURPOSE CONTENT FOR INSTAGRAM. 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. However, make sure that everything you regram and post on social media is HIPAA compliant. Be sure to check out our list of 13 social media mistakes your practice is making that could cost you legal trouble, including regramming without attribution. You could also repurpose existing content from a medical podcast you were featured on to exposure the content to a new audience.
HEALTHCARE PUBLIC RELATIONS. Invite a writer in to experience a new procedure and give them the opportunity to 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.
PLASTIC SURGEON INSTAGRAM MARKETING
Plastic Surgery Social Media Marketing Tips
Not every prospective patient is ready to commit to purchasing a procedure from a plastic surgeon when they browse your Instagram account.
PRO Tip: Create a look book of your best cases similar to an old-school portfolio. For example, you could show off all of the recent breast augmentations, rhinoplasties or filler work. Keep people coming back for me to see a sample of your work.
Social Media Ideas for Plastic Surgeons
Social media marketing for plastic surgeons is challenging because posting on social media in between cases is most likely not at the top of your list. However, many plastic surgeons are using Instagram to give patients a behind the scenes look inside their practice.
Here are 10 ways to grow your Instagram following and your plastic surgery practice on social media.
- Host an Instagram live showing different plastic surgery procedures and answering questions followers have about the procedures you offer.
- Create an Instagram carousel showcasing different cases and before and after photos.
- Post educational videos discussing different surgical procedures and answering questions that followers may have who are interested in possible getting the procedure.
- Use relevant medical hashtags such as #plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #boardcertified.
- Create an Instagram story to showcase different thank you cards you have received from patients (with their names removed).
- Create an Instagram story to let followers know of any specials you may be running on fillers.
- Host an Instagram takeover with regional medical marketing influencers.
- Give followers a behind the scenes look into your office environment. Post team photos of other staff members.
- Highlight a new surgical procedure or new piece of technology you have recently invested in.
- Post educational videos highlighting what your followers need to understand about plastic surgery procedures you offer. For example, educate followers on safe injectables, why it is important to see a board-certified plastic surgeon or the danger of purchasing plastic surgery services on Instagram before thoroughly checking out a surgeon’s medical credentials. You could also post a video on how to get the most out of each procedure post-op.
How do I market a doctor on social media?
Do not make the mistake of only focusing on feed posts.
Healthcare social media managers must learn how to design content for vertical videos. Graphic design skills for Instagram Story posts are drastically different than designing feed posts. Social Media Managers must expand their skill set to include storytelling and videography in a Story driven world, vs. a feed post world. If you only have core competencies in feed posts, you may fall behind your competitors if you aren’t up to date on how to design for stories. This is why we recommend doctors to outsource healthcare social media marketing to specialists in this area.
Do doctors use social media? (YES!)
If you have made it all the way to the end of this article and are still asking this question, we clearly didn’t do a good job convincing you why you need to be active on social media. Just kidding!
Social media is a great tool for medical doctors to increase visibility and give prospective patients a behind the scenes look into their practice.
However, doctors must always remember to use social media with caution because of patient confidentiality issues. It is important to make sure all posts on behalf of your practice are HIPAA compliant.
You also want to make sure you have a healthcare social media policy in place for your practice that has been approved by your lawyer.
An organized feed is an organized practice.
The way your healthcare social media is organized is a representation of the way your practice runs. If your Instagram feed appears cluttered, unorganized or non-cohesive, people associate that with the effectiveness of your practice.
SOCIAL MEDIA FIRM FOR DOCTORS
Not sure how to promote your practice on social media? Do not worry. We specialize in social media for doctors and hospitals. As an award-winning social media agency for physicians and healthcare providers, we create content that converts for doctors and surgeons. Contact us today to learn more about your Instagram services for private practice physicians. Plus, we will share Instagram bio ideas for doctors and review your current profile to see what could be improved in the first 15-minute call.
Want more Instagram marketing ideas for healthcare brands? Snag our social media e-book here.
HEALTHCARE SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES
*Date last updated 2019