How to Use Snapchat and Instagram for Practice Marketing

By RAMP's Content Marketing experts 10 October

Snapchat and Instagram are among the most popular social networking apps, both bringing in over 150 million active users per day. If you’re looking for new ways to interest current and potential patients, learn how you can integrate Snapchat and Instagram into your practice’s marketing strategy.

What Are Snapchat and Instagram?

Instagram is an app (application downloaded to a mobile device) that allows users to upload photos, videos and video loops to engage with one another in the form of likes and comments—while Snapchat is more of a messaging app, used to send photos and videos (snaps) to friends that disappear after a few seconds. Both Snapchat and Instagram are visually-engaging forms of social media, allowing you to let your creativity run free. And the best part? You don’t need an advertising budget to make an impact on these platforms.

Want further information on how Snapchat and Instagram work? Read more here.

Reaching Patients with Snapchat

Engaging with current and potential patients on Snapchat can be well worth the time it takes to manage. Make sure your account is public, and get started adding friends by sharing your Snapcode and username in-office and across other social media platforms!

As mentioned, snaps are set to disappear after a few seconds—one to 10, whichever you choose—or when the video you recorded ends. (Snapchat did roll out the opportunity for users to replay one snap per day, but this won’t be of much interest for your medical practice). While there won’t be too many reasons for your practice to snap users directly, Snapchat Stories are where the real benefits exist.

Medical Practice Snapchat Stories

Snapchat Stories are a series of snaps that everyone on your friend list can see, as many times as they want, for up to 24 hours. Users can post anything they want on their story from day to day—but for a medical practice, friends would be interested in seeing what’s going on in your office and important updates, such as special offers, new services and staff on board! Think of your Snapchat Story as a practice play-by-play.

There are practices out there who have done what many wouldn’t think to do—take snaps of a treatment session in action. Adding this content to your Snapchat Story is easier for cosmetic treatments that expose less of the patient, such as facials, injectables and laser sessions to treat skin imperfections. But as long as you are following Snapchat’s Terms of Service and have consent from your patient, you can share whichever treatments you’d like (and trust us, even plastic surgery has been done)! The nature of your Snapchat content is completely up to you and what your audience would like to see.

Snapchat Marketing | RAMP

Another great way to utilize your Snapchat Story is to run exclusive contests. Only patients who are your Snapchat friends will be eligible, which is a great incentive for patients to add you as a friend in the first place. Try adding a snap to your story with a special offer that requires action from users. For example, a fun and visually interesting image captioned, The first ten people to snap us back will get 50% off Botox! And of course, when you’re running a contest like this, you’ll need to keep track of the direct snaps you’re receiving and keep users up-to-date. You can do this by screenshotting a snap you receive from a user and adding it to your story, or even creating a snap of your own to share the winners and announce that the contest has ended.

There are several things you can do to engage with current and potential patients on Snapchat. Contests are just one of them, so start thinking creatively!

Patient Interaction on Instagram

Instagram requires less management than Snapchat, but it is still a time-sensitive platform that should be updated frequently. Here, users can also share any kind of content they’d like, with the option to add filters and tag their location and other users. Integrating Instagram into medical practice marketing would work similarly to Snapchat—sharing what goes on in-office, promotions and even exclusive contests. However, more restrictions will apply, so be sure to check out Instagram’s Terms of Use before posting.

When you create a brand-new account, the first goal is to build followers. You can start by following complimentary brands in your area, community influencers and even patients (who will hopefully follow back) and posting content that utilizes popular hashtags. Hashtags (#) serve as keywords that Instagram users have access to when searching through the app, creating an opportunity for you to be seen by new people. To ensure that you show up for specific hashtags, make sure your Instagram account is public. You’ll want it to be seen by anyone and everyone!

While advertising on Instagram isn’t necessary, it may be a good investment when you’re getting started. It’s possible to gain popularity with organic (unpaid) efforts, but if you notice you are struggling, you may want to run a brand awareness ad.

If you’re interested in Instagram Advertising, we can help. Ask us!

Long or Short-Term Instagram Content

Once you share content on Instagram, it stays there (unless you delete it). Your photo, video or loop will show up in the Instagram Feed of your followers depending on its relevance to the user—which can’t be predicted. But the good news is, when someone visits your Instagram, they have access to all your posts.

In addition to sharing updates and special offers, this platform is also helpful in promoting your own blog content. You can upload a blog image and small teaser, urging users to click on the link in your bio and visit your practice blog. If your practice doesn’t publish content, you can always promote a specials page, service page or any other piece of your website. (No blog? Why not? We’ve got your back!)

While Instagram is more popularly known for photos and video, you can utilize Instagram Stories, too! With creative features similar to Snapchat, your masterpiece is also available to users for 24 hours once its shared. As with all social media, please make sure your content complies with the Terms of Use.

When it comes to contests on Instagram, they will work on your story, too. Users can send a direct message in response to content you add to your Instagram Story. But outside of this feature, you can also run contests with a simple post. Upload a photo or video of a product or service, along with a caption such as: Like and comment on this post for a chance to win a FREE laser hair removal session! Just don’t forget about a follow-up post, such as a photo of the contest winner. Users will enjoy seeing who the lucky winner was, along with confirmation that the promotion has ended.

Instagram Marketing | RAMP

Whether you choose to focus on Snapchat, Instagram, or both, make sure you have a solid plan and content calendar. Both platforms can largely benefit your practice, but they also require a great amount of time and effort.

Snapchat, Instagram and Your Medical Practice

If you have more questions about integrating Snapchat or Instagram into your practice’s marketing plan, our team at RAMP is here to guide you. We can also get you started with social media advertising, blogs and more! Contact our digital marketing specialists, or call us at 1.855.937.7267 to learn how we can help.

Snapchat and Instagram are among the most popular social networking apps, both bringing in over 150 million active users per day.