A Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Instagram and Pinterest

Candice Claassen

Candice Claassen

Posted on May 05, 2015

social media marketing for healthcare
Move over, Facebook. Instagram and Pinterest are taking over. The image-centric platforms are the two fastest growing social media networks, edging out highly popular sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Considering that health, fitness and inspiration are three of the most popular topics on these platforms, hospitals and practices should take notice and use social media marketing for healthcare and other medical marketing services to reach a broader audience.
Once you know the basics, everything on social media is an experiment. Your brand is the sum ethos created by your posts, so you have room to make mistakes. Use these Instagram and Pinterest tips to get started, and then practice, practice, practice. But most importantly, have fun getting to know your audience on a more personal level than ever before.


Many of Instagram’s 300 million monthly active users construct their social media personas by sharing inspirational or informative quotes and showing support for causes and brands they care about. Instagram is thus a powerful tool for sharing patient stories that incite empathy, connect those with similar conditions, and inspire anyone going through a hard time.
Spread brand awareness and maximize your social connections by trying the following:

  • Post photos of fundraisers to boost philanthropy efforts.
  • Use location tags and hashtags.
  • “Like” patients’ and other providers’ posts.
  • Tag others in your descriptions.
  • Write encouraging or informative comments on photos.

Users love to learn educational facts through Instagram. Posting artistic images of x-rays, interesting tools and cutting-edge procedures with an informative caption will immediately capture your audience. You can also provide a behind-the-scenes look into what it feels like to be a patient as well as a physician at your practice. Try to visually communicate the experience you provide, the causes you and your staff are passionate about, and your company culture.
Instagram allows you to easily share your photos through other social media networks, so it is a highly appealing supplement to your Facebook page. Over is an app that allows you to add text and artwork to your photos, a popular way to share empowering quotes and illuminating statistics; for instance, Doctors on Demand is a great example of how to use overlaid text to share health tips and misconceptions.


[related_content]Boasting about 40 million active users, Pinterest is a digital pinboard that allows you to showcase photos, collages, text, videos and infographics with a link to anything else you want your audience to see. This is one of the best things about Pinterest; by driving users to click your post, the site includes a built-in call-to-action. Users can then re-pin your post to their own pinboard, which can snowball into widespread distribution.
Healthcare organizations can create unlimited pin boards, from “Cancer Support and Prevention” and “Heart Health” to “Fitness Fridays” and “Healthy Recipes.” Schedule five to ten pins each day with some space in between so as not to overwhelm your audience. Vertical images with overlaid text are popular, and descriptions that are 100 characters or less, keyword-rich and include a link are most effective.

Consumer Engagement

Social media networks like Instagram and Pinterest show you where your consumers are talking about you, what they’re saying, and what topics they’re interested in. Your job is to listen, and then join the conversation by providing useful and engaging content. In the words of Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones, authors of Understanding Digital Marketing:

Effective social media marketing is about leaving the sledgehammer approach to product promotion at home. Stop beating your prospects over the head with the cudgel of marketing hyperbole and instead work to develop your skills in the subtler art of consumer engagement.

Instagram and Pinterest make your brand’s success quantifiable and allow you to keep growing according to user feedback. Take advantage of these invaluable social networks to visually blend the passion behind your mission, the educational services you provide, and the empathetic connection between all people into a positive and personable brand.

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