If you said you’ve been trying to stay off social media these last few months, we wouldn’t blame you. Today’s negative headlines combined with the “always-on” nature of our connected lives can take a toll on our mental wellbeing.
But some social media accounts can provide a respite from the negativity. There are a few hospital Instagram accounts, in particular, that we’ve kept a close eye on. These profiles offer positivity and light when we need it the most. And, perhaps what’s more important, they’ve kept us informed about critical health information amidst a pandemic.
Why we chose these Instagram accounts
Here are a few of the key features that make these Instagram profiles stand out:
- Crowdsourced content from patients and staff members
- Informative and engaging posts that keep patients in the loop about critical COVID-19 information
- Use of infographics that are customized to fit the 1:1 Instagram layout
- Compelling photographs that highlight the organizations’ core values
- Creative use of video and Instagram TV that includes animated shorts and clips with providers
- Content variety that keeps the feed engaging and interesting
- Provider features that give a deep-dive into the organizations’ caregivers
So, the next time you’re scrolling through your feed, check out these Instagram profiles from health systems across the country — and don’t forget to give them a follow.
1. Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (@osuwexmed)
If you follow any of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s social media accounts, you know they’re filled with some great photos. Instagram is the place to find them all. There are picturesque shots of their campus and helipad, as well as adorable baby photos (cue the “awwwws”).
But what’s special about all of these images is that most of them are crowdsourced. They’re not sending a social media manager all across campus and the maternity ward. Instead, they’re using shots from their staff and patients.
Incorporating user-generated content is an excellent tactic in a social media strategy. Not only does it help save resources, but it can also boost likes, shares and comments from the user’s social network — just make sure to tag the source in the post!
2. Boston Children’s Hospital (@bostonchildrens)
The Boston Children’s Hospital Instagram account features a lot of patients and Boston Children’s clinicians. It also does an excellent job updating patients and families about important information, such as videos with COVID-19 re-opening information. Boston Children’s takes advantage of the Instagram TV feature, which allows videos longer than one minute (the limit for a standard Instagram post).
One of our favorite aspects of this Instagram profile is how they’ve organized content at the top of the feed to make it easy for users to find information about the hospital. Topics include COVID-19, nursing or construction happening on campus.
3. Cleveland Clinic (@clevelandclinic)
We’ve always been big fans of Cleveland Clinic’s infographics, and Instagram is a great place to catch them all. The health system fills its feed with Instagram-sized versions of these visual messaging tools, like this one about COVID-19 risk:
Cleveland Clinic also does a great job lifting our spirits with heartwarming photos from around their campus.
4. University of Iowa Health Care (@uihealthcare)
University of Iowa Health Care has used its Instagram feed to promote mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. One series, which ladders up to the #MaskUpIA initiative, features their providers holding signs that say, “Will you wear a mask for me?”
One of our favorite aspects of the University of Iowa Health Care’s Instagram feed is the way they use the Instagram TV feature to showcase their #EpiExplains series. These videos feature the University of Iowa Health Care infectious disease physicians and epidemiologists who answer common questions about COVID-19. The videos are short, engaging and share critical information that can keep their community safe.
5. Orlando Health (@orlandohealth)
We’re including Orlando Health in this round-up because we like that they stray a bit from the norm. Their Instagram feed isn’t just patient photos and staff videos — it also features animated infographics, motivational quotes and recipes.
For the recipe posts, Orlando Health includes the ingredients and directions right in the post, so the user doesn’t have to go to a separate website. Sure, providing all the info in the post is less likely to get a website visit, but it’s more likely to keep users engaged with the social profile.
6. Baylor Scott & White (@bswhealth)
We enjoy Baylor Scott & White’s Instagram feed for its variety of content. They include patient photo galleries, physician profiles, easy-to-digest infographics and — this is a big one — puppies.
No one can deny the value of a good puppy photo, but we also love the amount of video featured on the Baylor Scott & White feed and within their Instagram Stories. Video can be one of the most powerful types of content on social media. It’s also a great way to give a glimpse at life inside your hospital’s four walls, which can help build stronger relationships with patients and potential patients.
7. Dartmouth-Hitchcock (@dartmouthhitchcock)
One of the best resources you have for social media content is your hospital’s staff and clinicians. Turning the lens on these individuals can showcase your organization’s expertise and values.
At Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H), the health system’s Instagram account does precisely that. Most of the posts focus on caregivers’ knowledge, compassion and dedication to patients. The high-quality photos are striking and do an excellent job motivating the user to click.
Are hospital Instagram accounts worthwhile?
If you’re on the fence about whether to jump into the world of Instagram, remember that it’s one of the most popular social media platforms out there today. Consider these stats:
- Instagram has the second-highest number of daily logins of any social media site (behind Facebook).
- Instagram is one of the most popular platforms among Millennials and Gen Z, with most users landing between ages 18 and 34. The number of Millennials have also surpassed Baby Boomers in the U.S., making them a significant group of healthcare decision-makers.
- Time spent on Instagram is on the rise — the average user spends 29 minutes each day on the platform. Time on Facebook, however, has been dropping each year.
- More than 90% of Instagram accounts follow some kind of business on the platform.
Ask these important questions first
Launching a new social media profile for your hospital or health system is no small feat. You need quality content and a lot of it. Not to mention someone who can manage and post to the channel.
If you’re considering launching an Instagram account, first consider these crucial questions:
- Does having an Instagram account ladder up to your larger marketing or business goals? Think about how it may/may not benefit your other social marketing efforts.
- Do you have someone who can manage content for the account? This includes posting photos and creating stories as well as responding to comments.
- Do you have a robust source for photos? Followers crave authenticity, so you can’t have a feed that’s only stock photos. If you don’t have a staff photographer, think about how you can crowdsource content from your colleagues and patients.
- Do you have a consent process in place for patient photos? To avoid HIPAA violations, you may want to talk with your legal department to make sure the current process you have can cover posting photos to social media or Instagram.
In the end, Instagram is all about showing a more personal side to your brand. As a hospital or health system, you can use the photo-sharing platform to show the faces of your organization and humanize your message. Ultimately, it can open doors to deeper connections with your community and potential patients.
Need a hand with your social media? WriterGirl’s team of strategists, writers and content experts can help you reach your audience on social media. Drop us a line to learn more. Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, too.