We get it- Instagram can seem like it’s only for fashion influencers, celebrities, athletes and flawless photos of your latest foodie feast. And yet, thousands of businesses, including those in healthcare, are beginning to capitalize on the photo-focused platform for authentic growth and unparalleled exposure like never before.

So how exactly are you supposed to marry the serious nature of medicine with a social voice that will attract a following? Here are 4 simple ways to make the most of your Instagram account:

Engage Your Patients

Let’s face it, every business has a specific audience in mind, and with medicine being one of the largest businesses in the world, it should be no surprise that each individual practice or doctor knows exactly who should be their patient.

For plastic surgeons, the typical ideal patient might be women between the ages of 25 and 60; while those specializing in pediatric care would have an audience of men and women with young children. No matter your medical speciality, there are patients who will engage via social media.

Share Exciting Updates

Nothing says social media quite like exciting news to share with the world. From new locations opening to innovative treatments and equipment, if you have something to shout from the rooftops, then Instagram can help you get the job done. Think of social media as the new way to issue a press release.

Try utilizing Instagram Stories for LIVE behind-the-scenes happenings at your office or post photos of incredible before and after results (that could very well be the deciding factor to scheduling a consult!)

Introduce Your Medical Team

We know each doctor has their own individual personality- and a few fun facts to share with the world- but to your patients, they could easily be seen as just another stuffy doc in a white coat- and who wants that?

Let Instagram help you to introduce your team of compassionate and experienced doctors, nurse practitioners or physician assistants by spotlighting them throughout the year, allowing them to “take over” the practice’s feed for a day or week or holding a Q + A with them on one of the newest tools, IGTV.

And you staff - We all know each and every person that works at your medical office plays an important role in caring for your patients. Give them a shoutout, share pics of them working hard, and most importantly, show their passion for caring for your patients. (with patient consent, of course)

Promote Positive Messaging

At the end of the day, we know there’s a fine line to walk between entertaining the idea of being active on social media and still upholding the guidelines and protocols set forth by the FDA, HIPAA and others. While there are absolutely stricter rules to follow than a celebrity or fashion icon, that doesn’t mean each practice can’t use Instagram to promote themselves and positive messaging at the same time.

Ways to do this include:

  • Highlighting patient stories (with the patient’s permission, of course!)

  • Bringing attention the important causes in your field (Hello Breast Cancer Awareness!)

  • Sharing inspirational quotes to promote mental health and body image acceptance

  • Promoting fundraisers within your organization

We could keep writing with ideas and tips, but the blog post would go on and on. Simply put, use Instagram to tell the story of your medical practice. Why did you go into medicine? Why did you choose the the medical speciality that you did? Inform, educate and provide hope to patients that need your medical care.

Additionally, Instagram has made the radical decision to make it easier for those suspected of being at risk of harming others, themselves or attempting suicide to get help through new reporting and support tools. Unlike any other platform (and IG is owned by Facebook) this allows users to anonymously flag posts that seem dangerous. (WAY TO GO IG!) Instagram is embracing mental health and the need for people to find support or be helped within their platform.

By now it should be overtly obvious that when used right, Instagram can help to break down the daunting barriers that sometimes stand between patients and their doctors- and more importantly, patients and the care they truly need. By welcoming followers behind the curtain of intriguing treatments, demystifying illnesses and introducing revolutionary procedures, doctors can engage new patients, and ultimately, grow their practices right from the convenience of their smartphones.

Are you back picking up your phone to check Instagram? Great. 

If it's time to get your medical practice’s social strategy in order, look up, click on "Contact" above and let us know how we can help you.