How to Market Your Medical Practice on Instagram

Instagram Marketing for Doctors Instagram Marketing For Doctors  

Doctors on Instagram

Today, doctors are expected to be publishers, photographers and videographers in addition to running a private medical practice.  Content creation requires a substantial amount of resources, including time and budget, so we have outlined some tools that can make the process more seamless for your practice.

In this article, 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.

Do doctors use social media?

Social media is a great tool for doctors to increase visibility of their practice and give users a behind the scenes look into their practice! However, doctors need to use social media with caution because privacy issues can emerge. It is important to make sure all posts are HIPAA compliant.

Instagram Stories for Healthcare

Instagram Stories: 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 big question when deciding your healthcare social media marketing strategy is, Feed posts or story posts?  If you can only design 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 will still be important, but they were designed when desktop reigned supreme prior to the iPhone explosion. Instagram stories will be the leading social media trend in the mobile era.

How is 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 then on 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 Tips to increase visibility for your private practice:

  • Geo Tagging
  • Branded GIF stickers for Stories
  • Long Form Story content
  • Sponsored Stories
  • Saved Story Highlights

How do I market a doctor on social media?

Healthcare social media managers must learn how to design for vertical video. Graphic design skills for 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 competitors if you aren’t up to date on how to design for stories.

Do not make the mistake of resourcing efforts for Stories and only focusing on feed posts.

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 for their practice.

Many doctors 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 should integrate 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 medical practice services- for a cosmetic surgeon or someone in aesthetics, this can be substantial.

Pro Tip: Consider creating branded Giphy images for your practice in the searchable Instagram library.


What are some other tips to consider when building out a healthcare social media marketing strategy for my practice on Instagram?

10 actionable ways medical practices can increase their Instagram followers and engagement 

PLAN OUT YOUR GRID. 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 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 advice.  Even if that influencer isn’t looking for a specific medical treatment 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!  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 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.


Not sure how to promote your practice on social media? Do not worry. We specialize in social media for doctors and hospitals. 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.


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