If you have not yet heard of Instagram, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. The popularity of this new social network site has skyrocketed almost overnight reaching 100 million users. Instagram is a great source for anyone who is tired of sappy statuses, dull tweets, and social media rants. Instagram is an online photo and video-sharing social network platform that allows its users to share their content publicly or privately with their friends. Instagram provides filters for users to apply to their pictures as well as sharing through other social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and Flickr. Instagram is a great source for ‘picture people’ like myself and wanna-be photographers to express themselves in a visual way. How can a healthcare system use a site that is strictly photos, you may ask? Simple. Here are a few creative ways for healthcare systems to use Instagram, or pictures at all, for their benefit…
The first rule of using Instagram for a healthcare system is to engage with your followers. Show them you are there and can provide an ear to listen. One idea of engagement could be to create a picture contest to promote your office or business. It could be a personal story of how a doctor or nurse touched or helped a patient. The picture could be of them and the doctor/nurse together. Pick the best picture or story and post in on your Instagram. That way, you b
oth recognize your followers and promote your business at the same time. Check out Boston Children’s Instagram for inspiring stories and patient engagement.
- Sneak peak
Who doesn’t like sneak peaks? A cool way promote healthcare on Instagram is to post pictures of a short sneak peak. This could be to show a new building being built, a Starbucks coming soon to the hospital, an upcoming event, or a new product. People feel special if they feel like they are “in the know”. This also makes your Instagram valuable if it is a place where people can get breaking information first-hand.
- Backstage pass
Another way to make people feel special and excited about your business is to give them a behind the scenes view of something they do not normally get to see. Show them the inside of an empty OR, a doctor scrubbing in before a surgery, or even a doctor’s lounge. People are interested in things they can’t see. Their curiosity will bring them right to your page and keep them coming back. Check out Shriners Hospitals for some great behind the scenes pictures.
- Display a product or service
Displaying a product or service not only increases the viewers’ knowledge of the organization but it also benefits the healthcare organization by showcasing the pros of what they have to offer. Take a picture of a service dog making his or her hospital rounds. Show a patient doing physical therapy with all the bright obstacles and machines in the therapy room. You could even show the cafeteria or fast-food restaurant located inside the hospital. Every piece of information shown is increasing viewers’ knowledge about the organization. Bon Secours Hampton Roads does a great job of this. They show their involvement in the community, the services the provide and how they use them in their area.
Instagram has and continues to rapidly become more and more popular. I encourage everyone to put both themselves and their organizations up on this social media platform. In order to be successful you have to go with the times. Instagram is an easy and fun way to stay up-to-date. Have fun with it!