3 tips for using Instagram in your health care practice

While your competitors and peers are battling one another for attention on Facebook, your patients are spending time on other social media.

Instagram has become tremendously popular with patients.

That’s in large part due to its focus on images and videos, rather than text and links to other content, as we see on Facebook and Twitter.

That focus makes it an ideal platform for health care providers who deal with aesthetics, cosmetics or orthopedics. (It’s also one of the fastest growing social media networks around.)

Here are three ways health care providers can get the most out of Instagram:

1. Show your face.

Next to videos, posts about the health care professionals themselves tend to be the most popular. Patients aren’t looking for care from a faceless entity; they expect to see you.

Consider including members of your staff. This has the added benefit of boosting morale in your office and getting your posts shared. Employees love to be recognized and show their peers what they do professionally.

Use all your social networks to build relationships.

2. Post video.

With Instagram, you have the perfect tool for showing patients exactly what they’ll go through during a procedure or visit.

You can simply use your iPhone to capture quick videos of you performing a procedure on a patient, a patient thanking you for your wonderful care or even a quick FAQ or “Did you know?” segment.

Instagram also has a live-streaming option that enables you to broadcast in real time.

Make sure you reuse these video clips on your other social media pages.

3. Include relevant hashtags.

Expand your reach by increasing the number of patients following you on Instagram.

The best way to do that organically is to use popular hashtags with every post. This will allow patients using Instagram’s search function to find your posts and follow you.

You can start by using Instagram’s search function and entering a phrase close to your specialty. This will help you to see the popularity of the hashtag, as well as related ones.

Instagram is a huge opportunity for health care providers. Consider creating an account if you don’t already have one.

Garrett Smith is the founder of InboundMD . You can follow him on Twitter @garrettsmith and @inboundmd.

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