The short answer? If not now, then probably very soon.
Instagram skews to younger users, leading many hospitals to discount the social networking site. After all, 19-year-olds don’t tend to spend a lot of money on doctors and hospitals.
In addition, photography at hospitals can lead to privacy issues, and good photography can be expensive.
However, if you are targeting new mothers or young adults (for instance if you are a children’s hospital, have women’s services or offer sports medicine services) you can really benefit from using the site right now. Over half of Internet users ages 18 to 29 use Instagram, and those users tend to be women.
Social media acts similarly to word of mouth, the number one way that a person finds a new doctor. Even a simple tag can be an endorsement of your services to that person’s friends and followers, who may be looking for the same services. A flyer in mother/baby rooms, admissions packets or at sports medicine gyms with your Instagram information is a simple way to help you get tagged.
Of course, if you are tagged, always congratulate your new mom or young athlete and thank them for sharing with you.
As Instagram grows and its users get older, the network will allow you to reach more and more healthcare decision makers and all hospitals will have to start paying attention. Instagram offers a valuable way to show off your brand, display your technology, humanize your doctors and celebrate your patients.
Even if you don’t have time to add content to the site now, it’s a good idea start collecting those photos and get the HIPAA consents ready. Your time on Instagram is coming.
Want help managing your social media accounts? Let me know!