Medical Instagram Marketing – 11 Tips to Get 1,000 Followers

Instagram is king in 2017 when it comes to social media platforms. It has skyrocketed to prominence over the past few years and now it is the place to be when it comes to social media engagement. With an estimated 600 million user accounts and over 400 million of those users active on the platform daily you can see why there is such a big opportunity for medical practices to reach a whole new set of potential patients.

Whether you are reading this post because you are trying to figure out if jumping into the Instagram game is right for you as a doctor or practice or you have had a profile for a while but are struggling with the growth aspect we will cover the 101s and some great strategies to get you those first 1,000 followers.

To get things started off I am going to go over some of the 101s when setting up your medical Instagram and creating a killer brand page/profile for your practice right out of the gate.

Setting Up Your Medical Instagram Business Profile

Sounds simple enough but I still see doctors and practices a like making a similar mistake when setting up their Instagram and that is not using an Instagram Business account and signing up for a personal account. If you are not sure if you are using a business Instagram account it’s pretty easy to find out. Go to your account and next to “Edit Profile” if you see the “Promote” button then you is utilizing Instagram business. If you are realizing now that you may have made this mistake, don’t fret switching over is really simple. Take a look at the screenshots below on how to make the switch.

medical instagram marketing intrepy

Once you have made the switch or set up an account make sure to fill out all of your practice information, including: website, bio, category (will help you from an SEO standpoint on the platform), and ALL of the contact options so it is as easy as possible for people to contact the practice.

Why Do You Need to Make the Switch to an Instagram Business Account?

Making the switch gives you a set of really awesome tools to help you grow your medical Instagram account. You will be able to see rolling 7-day insights on impressions, post reach, profile views, website/direction/call clicks and more. You will also be able to view a breakdown of your followers by gender, age range and location, which is really important when targeting local patients. It will help the practice stay up to date on who is following you to make sure you are reaching the right target marketing in the right area.

11 Tips to Gaining Your First 1,000 Instagram Followers

Now that you have made the switch or got the Instagram profile all set up for the business it is time to look at growing those followers, likes and engagements to get more patients. Instagram is an obviously visual social media platform so you want to go in realizing you need to create some visual branding guidelines to keep your wall consistent from a look and feel perspective. Most successful accounts have a specific theme and overall color that they go for on their wall.

1. Create Posting Templates

In order to accomplish the branding consistency I was just referring to the easiest way is to look at your current brand and develop some high quality posting templates for different situations. This will help to streamline the efforts when you are putting something onto the medical practice page that fits a certain template style that you have designed. Many people forgo this when starting out and it creates inconsistent branding. If you want to build patient engagement loyalty over time then create a theme and stick with it for the most part.

Click to read about 14 Mistakes to avoid on social media for medical practice.

instagram hashtag use intrepy

2. Using the Right Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the lifeblood of the Instagram platform. They are how people find new content, engage with the things they love and connect with new people. For medical practices it is no different. You need to find the hashtag that are inline with what your potential patients are looking for content wise. Make sure to find a good blend of very popular hashtags, branded hashtags, local hashtags and industry specific hashtags. Using #love #fun #happy in all of your posts may get you some likes because of their overall popularity but it won’t get you where you need to be in terms of customer loyalty and sustained local engagement. You will be drowned out by all of the other noise on those hashtag feeds.

3. Use a Killer Photo Editor

To be truly success and grow your medical practice Instagram following you need to think of everything you post as art. Whether it’s a graphic of a new special the practice is running or a photo of the surgeon in the OR make sure you take the time to edit and add graphics. This again goes back to the importance of developing some posting templates because if it takes you forever to post every time you may eventually be very discouraged to do so so make it easy on yourself.

4. Post High Quality Content Consistently

Point #4 and on is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to having a successful Medical Instagram profile. It starts with consistent, high-quality content. Now that you have a good photo editor and a few posting templates the high quality should not be a tough. It is the consistency that gets most people. Most Instagram experts agree that it is the more the merrier when it comes to posting. The minimum goal should be everyday with a sweet spot of 3X per day. There are tons of studies that show posting 7+ times per week triples likes, engagement and follower growth.

When clients come to us to grow their practice Instagram account or ask me to audit their profile this is consistently the #1 reason for growth problems for medical practice: lack of posting frequency. To keep your audiences engaging you need to provide content, lots of content. You have targeted potential patients now it’s time to show them what makes you the best in the industry. The more consistency you gain in likes the more your Instagram posts will appear on their feed. If your are posting 3 or more times a day you are increasing the possibility to gain more likes and engage with your audience. Posting on Insatgram with high quality posts multiple times a day requires time and monitoring. This is the challenge that most doctors quickly learn when trying to grow their Instagram. Instargam requires a lot of time and attention. Posting multiple times a day is only successful when your Instagram has fresh and captivating visuals. Simply reposting or recycling content just to hit the daily quota of posting will not grow followers and likes.

5. Following People That Fit Your Target Patient

In order to get to that 1,000 follower mark quickly for your medical practice you need to be actively following people on Instagram. However, it is easy to grow fast by following 1,000s of people at random (or buying followers which I strongly discourage) but what does it matter if the people following you have not interest in what you do or are located 5 states away? More than likely someone in Texas is not going to make the trek to Florida to visit your OB/GYN practice. You need to focus on targeting people in specific geographical locations that fit your target market of potential patient.

6. Engage with Your Followers

If you are consistently following people you need to utilize your main news feed and like, comment and engage with the people you are following. Especially the people that show you love on your posts. It can be time intensive but you will be happily surprise at the growth and reciprocated engagement you receive when you show a little love on Instagram. Social media is inherently selfish because your feed is mainly filled with people talking about themselves or taking selfies. Like their photos and many will return the favor. This works to help get your posts out to more people because on of Instagram’s algorithm factors is number of likes so the more you receive the more you will increase your overall impressions and brand exposure.

instagram medical surgery intrepy

7. Bring Your Followers Into The Operating Room

Many doctors and medical practices that have developed a large following on Instagram have a common theme. A large portion of their wall features their physicians doing what they do best: surgery. People want to see awesome and unique on Instagram and placing tons of stock photos of pretty models will bore your followers to death. However, show your doctor in action performing a rhinoplasty or liposuction, while grotesque to a point, will draw in a large amount of interest and eyeballs. It also allows people to build a little bit of a relationship with the physician who will handle their patient care if they decide to come into the practice.

8. Run Contests and Promotions

Contests and promotions when done correctly are a great way to grow your following and engage with new people in your community. Plan a promotion for the practice that will be of substantial value to potential clients and get them into the office to see what you do. I have seen some doctors do giveaways and a person on the other side of the country wins their skin care line. How does that help grow the practice? Be creative with you promotion but also ensure that claiming the prize involves being involved in some level with the physical practice.

9. Cross Promote to Your Target Audience

Especially when the practice Instagram is early on it can be difficult trying to get people to follow you back. When you have 100 follows people are more reluctant to see the value in following you verse if you have 10,000 followers. There is psychological and social validation factor that says hey 10,000 other people found something interesting here I am sure I will too. Therefore, it can be of great benefit while the practice is racing toward 1,000 followers to team up with a brand, product or influential person in your market to cross promote to their followers. Make sure this person’s follower base is in line with the practice brand and specialty. If you come up with a creative way to leverage their following that is mutually beneficial for you both it can be a great way to boost engagement and followers quickly.

10. Promote Your Instagram Account Everywhere

Utilize all the other places on and offline that you can to make current and potential patients aware that the medical practice has an Instagram. Make sure the icon is prominent on the practice website at the top and bottom of the site and on your blog. Create graphics for the other practice social media accounts to remind people to follow on Instagram too. Finally your current patient base can be a conduit to reach new patients so put a stand at check out and in the patient rooms letting them know Instagram is where it is at!

11. Show Patient Success Stories or Before & Afters

People want to see other people who have had an awesome experience at the practice. They do not care about a stock photo or a before and after provide by the manufacture of your laser machine. Patients are inundated daily with before and afters and they are smart enough to read between the lines and know what’s real and what is suspect. Reach out and ask patients that are happy with their experience if they are willing to participate in a social media campaign. Tell their story because it is a great way to create an emotional connection with your audience when they can relate to another person.

On the before and after side, if you are a cosmetic or aesthetics practice, be diligent collecting and distributing these. Keep them consistent and focus on a wide range of ages, both sexes and different skin types. People want to relate to someone as close to their type as possible when it comes to procedural results.


Instagram for medical practices can be a powerful tool to connect with your current and potential local patient base. If you follow these steps and focus on posting and brand consistently you will be surprised at how fast a practice can grow a substantial following. Be different, be creative and get that whole practice involved. Medical practices are a dime a dozen on social media do something to separate you from the crowd and engage with patients.

If this all seems a little overwhelming to you or you want to perform an audit or some additional training give us a call. Intrepy Healthcare Marketing offers social media management and expert medical Instagram profile growth and strategy. We can manage your profile monthly or simple help point you down the path of success. We are here to help! Give us a call 678-250-4757 or fill out our contact form.

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Justin Knott

Justin Knott is a Florida native, UCF Grad (Go Knights!) and President of Intrepy Healthcare Marketing in Atlanta, GA. His focus is in digital marketing, SEO, social media marketing and website design.

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