We recently touched on five reasons pharma should reconsider Instagram. Since then, Intouch Solutions launched an unbranded Instagram account for a major pharma/medical device company. The goal of the page is two-fold:

  • To build and sustain relationships with patients and caregivers between visits from reps and/or treatment centers
  • To put a face on “big pharma” by giving users an inside look at those committed to improving the lives of others impacted by the disease state

Since the launch on March 31, 2015, the results have been impressive. During the first 60 days, the page maintained an engagement rate of over 20%. The page is outperforming its most direct competitor within the space and is currently being followed by four key advocacy groups.

Instagram for Doctors
Even HCPs are appreciating the value of visual platforms such as Instagram. According to this article by MedCity News, “Doctors are stepping up their game in the photo-sharing industry with an app called Figure 1, recognized as the ‘Instagram for doctors.’ Physicians worldwide can upload anonymous photos that show important and confounding medical cases in an effort to reach the rest of the medical community for advice and information.”

Figure 1 has an Instagram account dedicated to the app as well, with an impressive following of over 30,000.

Here to Stay
With the continued rise of visual media, Instagram now has more than 300 million monthly active users and 75 million daily users. The platform has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day. Rebecca Streeter, social media director at Intouch Solutions, explains the value her team sees in this an Instagram community for the pharma space.

“The mobile-first and visual nature of this platform provides the opportunity to engage a mobile, on-the-go audience in a streamlined fashion,” said Streeter. “Instagram also offers a robust engagement model with the ability to monitor and delete comments, which is important to the pharmaceutical industry in general and to our client specifically. Instagram is owned and supported by Facebook, allowing for seamless integration between the two channels.”

Instagram is clearly here to stay. In May, their average follower growth was 1.48%, while Facebook growth was only 0.2% for the same period. The benefits of Instagram include increasing engagement, creating a brand personality, identifying your target audience and leveraging the ever-growing popularity of visual media. Pharma marketers should continue to review their business goals to consider if Instagram might be a fit for their brand and audiences.