At this point, it’s no question whether your practice should use social media.
If you’re a plastic surgeon, cosmetic surgeon, vein specialist, dermatologist, ortho surgeon or any other private practice doctor for that matter, social media is the quickest way to reach your audience.
But is Instagram one of those necessities?
Instagram is currently one of the largest and most established social media platforms.
Using it can connect you with your current patients, increase meaningful engagement with potential patients, and help expose your brand to new audiences.
So, we would say, emphatically: yeah, it is pretty damn important that you have and use Instagram.
But let’s explore a few critical concepts to understand why.
Is Your Target Audience On Instagram?
With the majority of Instagram users under 35, will you find who you’re looking for on Instagram?
Statistics show that the most active Instagram users are under the age of 35 years old. If your services regularly appeal to this age group, Instagram could be a great platform for helping you reach and interact with your younger audience.
If not, you may have less luck reaching your target age demographic.
But sometimes, data can be misleading. Just because the statistics tell us that a substantial majority of Instagram users are under a certain age, it doesn’t mean that you can’t reach a certain group on that platform.
We shouldn’t take it as a signal that Instagram is a no go. After all, look at the combined percentages of people above the age of 34.
That’s still a pretty big group of people to find with a user pool as large as Instagram.
How Do You Foresee Your Business Expanding?
Maybe you don’t currently focus on the younger demographics, but at some point, you might want to offer new services targeted toward that audience.
“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
If you’re even considering expanding at some point, or even if you aren’t ruling it out entirely (which you shouldn’t be), Instagram is a reliable place to find that age group.
For example, if you’re a plastic surgeon booked heavily with Mommy Makeovers and liposuctions but would love to see your books fill up with more Brazilian Butt Lifts or breast augmentations, Instagram can help you break through to those potential patients.
Or, if you are considering putting a heavy focus (or even dabbling) in nonsurgical or minimally invasive procedures, you would be doing yourself a huge disservice if you didn’t create content for Instagram, where these types of videos skyrocket in popularity.
Has Your Practice Staff Bought In?
Truth be told, any digital marketing agency can only take your social media platforms to a certain limit on their own. The level to which you and your office staff commit to providing good raw content for us to work with has a substantial impact on your general success.
That means asking your patients to take selfies of themselves after a Juvéderm treatment, for example, or taking before and after pictures of their liposuction results.
Showing your fans real patient results in “non-staged” photos will help you gain a significant following on Instagram.
One of the best ways to convert a fan into a “patient” on Instagram is by posting photos of people who have tried you out and are happy.
Maybe no one in your office uses Instagram, but will your office staff encourage your patients to send in selfies, pose for photos with you, or give you shout outs? Do you have a team member in the office that can take on the responsibility of helping to personalize your Instagram page?
Instagram is a visual medium, one that offers the opportunity for your medical practice to share your point of view. If no one in your practice is willing to help share your unique perspective, then you are destined for a harder time on the platform.
Are You Willing to Humanize Your Practice?
Meeting the team, day in the lifes, prepping for surgery, selfies with your nurses — take us behind-the-scenes and show us a glimpse into the life of your practice.
Visual platforms like Instagram are a very humanizing medium, and humanizing your medical practice will engender trust, build loyalty, and allow your current and prospective patients to empathize with your brand.
It will help you truly connect with your audience and build relationships with them.
If you aren’t interested in putting in the work, then it might be one of those rare occasions when Instagram probably isn’t for you. We would warn you that it’s a huge mistake, but odds are you probably already know that, so you don’t need us harping on about it.
Besides, for the most part, we can handle the details if you don’t mind grabbing the cell phone photos and videos once in a while.
Do You Still Need to Establish Authority and Trust?
Establishing trust with patients is essential for any medical practice. Instagram can be a powerful tool in this regard, allowing practices to showcase their expertise and build credibility with their audience. Here are a few ways that Instagram can be used to establish trust:
- Showcase Expertise: Instagram allows medical practices to share educational content, such as tips for maintaining good health or insights into the latest medical treatments. By sharing this type of content, practices can demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in their field, building trust with their audience.
- Highlight Patient Success Stories: Sharing patient journeys and success stories is another way to build trust with your audience. By showcasing real-life examples of the positive outcomes that your practice has achieved, you can demonstrate the effectiveness of your treatments and services.
- Provide Behind-the-Scenes Access: Instagram also provides an opportunity for medical practices to show the human side of their operations, as we previously mentioned. We wanted to emphasize this again because the bottom line is that sharing photos and videos of staff members or the practice environment can straight up convince more people to come to your practice for treatment.
Do Your Patients Still Need Information?
One of the primary benefits of social media is the ability to provide educational content to your audience, improving your rapport with them and drastically increasing the likelihood they reach out to you for a consultation.
Instagram offers a variety of ways to educate patients and share important information about health and wellness. Here are a few ways that medical practices can use Instagram to educate their patients:
- Share Health Tips: Medical practices can use Instagram to share health tips and information with their audience. This can include tips for maintaining good health during recovery, strategies for managing problematic conditions, or information about the latest medical treatments.
- Provide Information About Services: Instagram can also be used to provide information about the services offered by your medical practice. This can include details about specific treatments and general information about the types of services available.
- Offer Q&A Sessions: Another way to educate patients on Instagram is to host Q&A sessions. This allows patients to ask questions about their health and get answers from medical professionals in real time. They will feel more comfortable with you over time and eventually will feel comfortable and empowered enough to book a consultation.