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Instagram’s Face in Healthcare

ID-10037855Instagram is a great way to “share life with [followers] through a series of pictures” and although healthcare is slow to adopt social media, it can provide some cool marketing for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. This mobile based social media platform creates a great opportunity to use social media marketing to develop a positive image of healthcare environments which are often feared by many. (Did you know Nosocomephobia– the fear of hospitals – is a real thing?)

For starters, it’s all about the internal stakeholders – the employees. Capitalize on your staff that are the front line employees that are lucky enough to witness the miracles and happiness that can be found in healthcare. Find photos of staff enjoying time with each other or their patients. This associates real people and real faces to your organization which will engage followers and patients.

Next, maybe there’s a new development, staff member, product, or event happening at your organization. Let your followers know with a sneak peek preview on Instagram. This will help entice current and new followers while keeping your organization on the forefront of your follower’s minds.

Most people don’t see the inside of a hospital or other care organization unless you’re a patient or visiting a patient. Open the rest of your organization up to the masses by sharing “behind the scene photos” from around the facility or from organization sponsored events.

Humor is very important when dealing with healthcare. Although a level of professionalism and awareness is certainly required in healthcare marketing, humor still can lighten the mood of serious topics in a positive way. Even more so – keep it simple. Followers want to see lighthearted yet emotional content that will help entice followers to get involved.

These strategies all create a warmer and friendlier environment for your healthcare organization which can increase the engagement and recognition with patients. Personally, I know I would want to know that the organization ensure my wellbeing and safety in a time of need is up-to-date and “hip” with trends. If the organization is engaging on social media, I would assume that they are also in tune with healthcare trends and delivery of care best practices.

All these tips are fine and well-intended, but when it comes down to it, the only true way of knowing what works and what doesn’t is to conduct trial and error while measuring the effectiveness. The amount of followers would be a quick judgment but not always the best metric. Frequency of your posts and engagement in the forms of likes and comments are strong measurements of success. These data points can be taken even further to begin analyzing the best strategy for future post. Measuring the traction of personalized hashtags and taking note of which photos had the most engagement with what photo filters are great tools for future planning. All in all, social media can be scary for an industry like healthcare, but it holds so much potential for success. Just look at Mayo Clinic!


This post was inspired by Ragan’s Health Care Communications post here and Brian Honigman’s post here.
Image Courtesy of jannoon028 on