Do people want to see Your Face on Instagram? The answer surprisingly is yes!

Remember when Ellen Degeneris posted a selfie of herself at the Oscars on Twitter?  There were so many viewers in such a short period of time that Twitter was literally shut down from too much activity.  The same actually holds true for Instagram.

According to researchers at both  Yahoo Labs and Georgia Institute of Technology, after studying more than 1.1 million Instagram images, those with a human face garnered more than 38% more likes and 32% more comments.  The conclusion is that faces induce engagement amid photo-sharing sites.

As  physician in a medical practice, you have an instant supply of human faces that you can insert onto your Instagram site.  In addition to you, there are the medical assistants, nurse practitioners, other physicians, any referring doctors, nurses, clerical staff and manager, to name a few. Writing a caption under each photo is a great opportunity to introduce the staff and the role that person plays in the office as well as the various staff responsibilities and how to reach the staff members.

**Caution– do not post any images of patients or babies delivered now as this is a violation of the HIPAA code.

Saeideh Bakhshi who led the study from Georgia Institute of Technology, tries to explain the results by saying:

“Even as babies, people love to look at faces. Faces are powerful channels of non-verbal communication. We constantly monitor them for a variety of contexts, including attractiveness, emotions and identity.”

Additional Observations

  • Both male and female faces got the same number of comments and likes
  • Children and adults got the same results
  • More followers = more engagement but only if posting was meaningful and not too often
  • Posting too frequently decreases the probability any single image has of getting likes or comments.

Saeideh Bakhshi notes:

  “Posting too much decreases likes two times faster than comments.”

The results of this study do have practical implications for a health site.  For example, instead of showing a medical device, show a video or photo of you, the doctor and staff using the device or displaying it with a description of the device and indications for it in the caption under the image.

Whenever you have the chance to insert people into your posts, do it!

Eric Gilbert,  an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing. points out:

“Designers could also use this knowledge to quickly filter, prioritize and highlight photos shared by followers.” Especially pictures that have just been submitted and haven’t had enough time to pick up very many likes or comments yet.”

Of course you want likes on your posts but don’t forget the importance of analyzing the reaction (or lack of it) that you got from your patients and prospective patients. Review which posts got the most reaction, comments and likes so that you know how to proceed with future posts that you create and upload.

Helpful Tips

  • Remember, faces get more likes
  • Weekends are the best viewing times
  • Blue is the most ideal color

Post images that work best for both you and your patients (based on their comments and likes)

Most importantly, post images that are in sync with your medical practice and ones that meet your business goals.

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