Instagram is an excellent marketing tool for your DPC practice if used correctly. It is also a great way to spread the word about DPC to students, residents, and other physicians. How is Instagram different from Facebook? I think of it as an “open” platform. This means that if you have a public/business profile, you can easily share your content with people who are NOT your followers. This is harder to do on Facebook, because the people who see your posts are mostly those whom you have already accepted as friends. It is hard for people who don’t know about you to find you on Facebook unless you are paying for Facebook ads. I apologize if any of the content I’m about to share is old news to you. My intention is only to help the DPC community take advantage of a free tool to spread the word about our businesses and the direct primary care model.How to get started:
- Open an Instagram account and make sure it is a BUSINESS account. This means anyone can see your content and choose to follow you. PRIVATE accounts don’t work as well because you have to give permission to people if they want to follow you.
- Follow other DPC physicians. This will let us build a community so we can easily comment on and share each others’ posts. If you have already shared your Instagram handle in the comments on one of my recent posts, PLEASE GO BACK, REPLY to your comment and ADD THE LINK to your Instagram account. This makes it easier for fellow DPC docs to follow you on Instagram.
- Think about who you are speaking to and why you are speaking to them. Are you speaking to your ideal patient and trying to get them to join your practice? Or are you speaking to students, residents, and other physicians to get them interested in DPC? Or is it both?
- Think of hashtags as billboards. You put your post on a billboard and your potential patients or future DPC doctors will see it when they are driving by (or in this case, scrolling through their feed).
- Look for hashtags that your target audience might be following and FOLLOW those hashtags. Examples might be: #smallbusinessowner #affordablehealthcare #medstudent It’s important to follow the hashtags for your town or even your suburb (eg. #chicago #hinsdale). Potential patients will probably be following those as well and that’s where they will see you. Use these hashtags at the end of your posts.
- Take part in campaigns. This is how the physician influencers on Instagram spread information. Recent campaigns were #flattenthecurve and #vaccinate. Once you use a hashtag in your post, your post will generally stay on the hashtag permanently (like a poster on a billboard that doesn’t change). Anyone following that hashtag might see your post, either right after you post or at a later date. An example of this is the campaign #dearmedstudent. I participated in this hashtag campaign last year. If you search the hashtag and scroll to the bottom, you’ll see my post and tons of others. You can use a hashtag over and over and you can repeat a campaign at a later date too.
- I am starting a campaign for DPC Docs on FB along with Krista C.called #DiscoverDPC. We’ll launch it this week on Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021. It will be a great chance to learn how to use Instagram to support each other. Don’t be intimidated. If it doesn’t do well, who cares, we’ll do another one.
We read this and started an instagram for DPC News called…..yourdpcnews
(Editor’s Note: The above was submitted by Dr. Gupta as a way to share her knowledge on marketing with the DPC community).