Social media channels can provide you with a powerful tool to connect to your patients, build loyalty, and grow your medical practice. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ are vital channels to increase patient engagement but there is one more social media powerhouse that you should consider for your practice, Instagram.
Instagram is arguably the most visual of all of the social media options you can utilize to reach out to both existing and potential patients. This channel is based on posting photographs and videos with captions and using hashtags to tag them, allowing visitors to more easily find your content. Because visual content works so well in social media, Instagram has grown exponentially. In fact, it hit 150 million active users faster than any other platform except Google+.
Step # 1 – Download the Instagram App
Instagram does offer a desktop version of their app, where you will be able to manage your account after set-up, but to get started you will have to download the Instagram app to your mobile device. You can get this download in the App Store on an iOS device, like an iPad or iPhone, or in Google Play for an Android device.
Step # 2 – Register and Choose Your Username
Once you have downloaded the app, a screen will come up with the option to either register or sign-in. Click “Register” and fill in your account details. Be sure to choose a username that reflects your practice and is consistent with your other social media channels.
Step # 3 – Find Your Facebook Friends
Next, you will be given the option to find your Facebook Friends. Here you can invite all of your patients who are following you on Facebook to connect with you on Instagram as well.
Step # 4 – Find Your Contacts
You will now be given the option to find more contacts from the device you are using. If you do not want to use this option, click “Skip”.
Step # 5 – Choose Who to Follow
Instagram will now give you a list of choices of people or organizations to follow. You can pick ones that you like, or skip this step.
Step # 6 – Edit Your Profile
Your Instagram account is now set up but there are still a few things you should do. Click on the icon on the bottom of your screen that looks like a newspaper on the far right to go to your profile settings then click “Edit Profile”. Here you can add your website address, information on your practice, and a profile picture. Again, try to maintain consistency across your social media channels in how you describe your practice and the profile picture you choose.
Step # 7 – Share to Your Other Social Media Channels
To get the most out of your Instagram account for your medical practice, click “Share To” and choose all of your other social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. This allows you to share your photos and videos simultaneously on your other social networks and allows your followers on Facebook and Twitter to see your content and choose to follow you on Instagram as well.
Once your Instagram account is complete, you are ready to start posting photos and videos to boost patient engagement with your practice. You might want to post pictures of you and your staff so that patients can get to know you better, videos of your office as you decorate for the holidays, or pictures of an event that your practice hosts or sponsors. Whatever you choose to post, just remember that the point of sharing on Instagram is to give both existing and potential patients a behind-the-scene, more personal look at your practice. You want them to feel connected to you, your staff, and your practice and giving them these little glimpses through your photos and videos can accomplish that.
For more tips on managing your online reputation, download this helpful guide.