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How to Use Instagram as a Healthcare Marketing Tool

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Taking photo of vegetables for healthy instagramRecently, we've heard a lot more practice and hospital marketing leaders talking about Instagram marketing. Healthcare may have been slow to adopt social media marketing and advertising techniques in the past. But today's healthcare professionals are open to exploring new platforms...as long as it's the right fit for their audiences.

Not sure what Instagram has to offer for your healthcare business? You're not alone. Many people believe that "Gen Z" and teenagers are far more active than other groups on the photo-centric social media platform. But the statistics may surprise you:

  • Just as many 25-34 year olds use Instagram (32% of users) as 18-25 year olds (32% of users).
  • Teens only make up 7% of Instagrams users.
  • 15% of Instagram users are age 35-44 (that's 131 million people).
    (source: Hootsuite)

These are key healthcare decision makers for themselves and their families. And it is possible to reach these demographics through targeted Instagram marketing for healthcare...if you have a solid strategy in mind.

1. Build Credibility and Educate Patients

Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet—and this can be especially harmful when it comes to medicine. Instagram is a popular place to find a community and seek answers. But those "answers" are not always rooted in science.

Doctors and medical organizations have an opportunity to combat this problem while also working to build their brands. By creating high-quality, credible content and sharing it on platforms like Instagram, you can reach new potential patients while helping to educate the general public about important health issues.

However, when your content is only promoted organically (without the help of advertising) it does take quite a bit of work to begin building an audience. Healthcare professionals who hope to succeed organically will have to post frequent content and find a niche if they expect to gain followers. More importantly, followers rarely translate into actual patients. 

2. Recruit the Best and Brightest

Before we get into how you can use Instagram to convert new patients, let's talk a bit about what doctors who aren't Dr. Sandra Lee (@drpimplepopper) can achieve through regular or semi-regular organic (unpaid) posts on Instagram.

You can always use Instagram to market your organization for recruiting purposes. We’ve all heard about how employers often review the social media pages of their potential candidates. But potential employees do the same thing!

Instagram is the perfect visual platform to show off your organization, your culture, and daily life on the job (without showing any photos of patients that violate HIPAA, of course). You can attract motivated employees who care about social outreach and the broader implications of the work that they do. And if a patient happens to stop by your page, they'll be relieved to know that your team is committed to the values of your organization.

3. Attract New Patients with Instagram Ads

The fact is that patients won't see your posts organically unless you have built up quite a large following. And those followers won't necessarily be qualified patients ready to book an appointment.

Thankfully, the Instagram ads platform allows you to target your audience with quite a bit of precision. Because Facebook owns Instagram, you'll use the same platform to target specific audiences within both social media platforms based on age, location, interests, and much more.

Instagram ads are also very affordable compared to many other platforms, making it the ideal place to delve into the world of social media advertising. With the right strategy and a bit of persistence, you can attract new patients while also spreading a positive message of health education to your patients and your community.

Looking for Help with Your Online Marketing Strategy?

For more about Instagram and healthcare social media marketing, see our CEO Stewart Gandolf's new book Cash-Pay Healthcare, available now! And call our team of healthcare marketing specialists when you're ready for a highly targeted social media ad strategy.

Healthcare Success is a full-service healthcare marketing agency that partners with medical professionals and organizations to help them win patients and see results. Call our team at 800-656-0907 for your consultation.

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