You’ve probably heard of celebrity doctors such as Dr Ranj (@drranj – 250,000 followers) and Dr Philippa Kaye (@drphilippakaye – 12.6k followers) using their Instagram accounts to build their profiles. They’re also raising awareness around various health and wellbeing issues, but the number of medical professionals across private practice and the NHS is rising significantly. No doubt this will have been in part due to medical professionals sharing heart-warming content during the height of the pandemic. The shareability of medical-related content had never been higher and many doctors found their voice online.
The creative content platform has over 1 billion monthly active users according to Statista. Finding content that’s relevant to you can be easier than on any other social platform through features like hashtags, the ability to follow hashtag specific streams, as well as smart content that is shown to you via the explore section.
Doctors and medical professionals on Instagram have given access to the healthcare industry like never before, patients can get the know the person behind the scrubs and they are liking what they see.
What should a private practitioner be sharing on Instagram and how much is too much?
How you build your brand on Instagram should sit comfortably with the rest of your marketing materials. You should consider your Instagram feed an extension of your website. So if you use specific brand colours and fonts within your marketing, reflect these within the content that you share on your feed.
Some of the most popular features on Instagram at the moment are reels and stories. This content doesn’t have to be so perfect and is also where you can have a bit of fun with your audience. You can film it yourself on your phone, use a range of editing tools and techniques from within the platform to communicate what you’re doing or how you’re feeling.
Stories are a quick and easy way to show those ‘less than perfect’ moments, but as Instagram quickly discovered, these are the moments that people want to see. You can post images or video content with creative polls, q&a’s, countdowns, GIFS and much more. There is also a “close friends” capability for you to select which friends you want to view particular content.
While these only last on someone’s newsfeed for 24 hours, you can create story highlights which show up on your profile page. It keeps past stories archived into categories so others can easily access them later.
Reels allows you to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos, adding music and other features to make an enjoyable finished video. Perhaps you want to show the process of a treatment or procedure, promote an offer or showcase your practice, Reels is an interesting and easy tool to use.
Question and answers are a popular feature on Instagram. It keeps questions organised rather than having direct messages or post replies flooded with questions.
People also love seeing before-and-afters. It gives a comparison of the situation people might be in, and the desired state that they could get to. These are common with things like home projects or fitness journeys.
Believe it or not, your practice can use these, too. Healthcare is expensive, so people want to know they’re going to receive quality care before treatment. Before-and-afters are a visual way for consumers to know that a healthcare practice has positive outcomes.
One of the most important things to keep in mind for this is to get a patient’s consent before posting any of their health transformations.
There are more ways than before-and-afters to show off the success of your practice. With Instagram Stories and IGTV, it’s easy to feature patient testimonials. You could facilitate a live discussion or feature a pre-recording of the patient talking about the experience. It could also be as simple as a video or image of the progress.
It is important to remember that the world of medicine can be a scary place for those that aren’t living in it every day. Many health complaints are not talked about and patients are embarrassed to even talk to their doctors about them…sometimes until it’s too late. Instagram is a friendly, approachable platform, where you can reach your patients at a time that is convenient for them, when they are in a relaxed state of mind and when they are ready to hear what you have to say.
Health awareness days
We recently posted an article on health awareness days and how they can be used in private practice marketing, these are incredibly useful for Instagram. If you want to encourage women to come back to the clinic for their smear tests for example, why not create a funny video showing 10 things that are more embarrassing than having a smear test or if that’s not your style how about filming yourself, sitting in your office and telling a story from your past experiences about this subject area that may resonate with your patients. (keeping patient confidentiality of course)
Doctors that use Instagram can chat privately, post health tips or other patient success stories, and share interviews with other experts. The content possibilities that a doctor on Instagram can use are endless.
Traditionally practitioners have been cautious about sharing too much, even from their personal lives, but as social media becomes more and more ingrained in our lives, patients not only hope to see their doctors on social media, they expect it.
It can be difficult at first to judge whether what you’re sharing is professional enough, funny enough or even sensitive enough. That’s why if you’re posting yourself, it’s always good to get a few opinions from people you work with.
Here at Designated, we manage the marketing and branding for dozens of private practitioners and healthcare companies, we take the responsibility of creating content that’s on-brand, suitably toned and helping to promote our clients to new audiences.
If you would like help managing Instagram or any of your other social media channels, please feel free to reach out to our Marketing Director Michelle firstname.lastname@example.org