Instagram is a powerhouse social media platform, with more than 700 million users,as well as the top photo sharing community on Earth. Needless to say, it can be a very powerful marketing tool for your clinic if used correctly.
Studies show that over 65% of people are visual learners. Instagram allows you as a business owner to post content that speaks your target audience's language, whether it be educational,funny, or promoting your clinic's services.
This provides clinics with a priceless tool for interacting with current and potential patients, establishing relationships, and boosting revenue for your practice.
But how do you get started? Or if you're already started, how do you build your own community within this behemoth and separate yourself from the many other clinic's within your area? Here are a few ideas to get you going on your way to Instagram rockstardom:
1. Hit Up Your Current Network
The first and easiest place to start is with the people you already know and have an established relationship with.
- Your email list
- Your website
- In clinic
- A sign on your front desk
You'll be surprise what kind of boost you'll get from doing all of this. Putting up a sign in your clinic also allows for a passive flow of new followers that is super easy to implement.
2. Create Exceptional Content
Do you honestly believe that reposting content from your association or competitors is going to help you grow? Quality over quantity is the name of the game when it comes to Instagram.
This is your chance to stand out, post things that people actually want to see and that are relevant to what you do. Do you offer a therapy that many clinics do not? What makes you different? Let the world know!
And don't forget, image quality is extremely important.
3. Become a Like Machine
This is the easiest way to get started on growing your follower base without spending money on ads.
We grew our Instagram base from 0 to over 1000 in two weeks. How? It's very simple. Post relevant content and people will want to see more. Aka watch your followers grow.
4. Become Friends With Hashtags
Hashtags are critical if you want to be successful on Instagram, unless your a super famous celebrity already.
Hashtags allow people to find you, which is your goal. You want to connect with like-minded people.
Use relevant hashtags whenever you post a photo or video that pertain to what the content is actually about.
For example, if you do a post on shoulder injuries from weight lifting, you'll want to use hashtags such as #fitness, #gym, #mensfitness, #womensfitness, etc.
This is a very easy way to open yourself up to discovery and more followers.
5. Don't Keep Your Comments To Yourself
If "likes" are important, "comments" are everything. If somebody comments on your content, it's because they have had some sort of emotional reaction to it or your brand, or both.
Spread positive thoughts and encouragement, add your opinion to a conversation, or just leave an honest "great post!"and you will greatly increase your chance of connecting with a new follower.
6. Know Your Competition
There are already some clinic owners doing an amazing job on Instagram. The quality of educational videos and photos just keeps getting better. If you are brand new, there's no need to rack your brain, you don't need to reinvent the wheel.
Research what other successful clinics are doing. What hashtags are they using?What type of content are they posting that has the best engagement? Find this data and apply it to your clinic's social presence.
7. Location, Location, Location
More and more people are beginning to use Instagram in a similar fashion to Yelp - that is, to search for local businesses.
While there is currently no data to support the success of using geo-tagging, we have clinics tell us every day that they've been located via Instagram and booked them in, generating new revenue.
If you'd like to know how this works, go to search in Instagram and scroll over to "places".
8. Follow Your Heart
There's no denying that it looks great to have 50,000 followers and only 1 following, but social media isn't a one way street.
When you are first getting started, it is very important to follow relevant people to your industry. If people interact with you, do the same. Following others allows you to expand your network and influence.
If you're only following 5 people, your opportunity to engage is tiny, as you'll only be seeing content from 5 people. However, if you're following 1000 people, you've opened up many more doors and chances to interact with potential partners or new patients.
9. Post At The Correct Times
This is no longer easy by any means. Instagram has implemented algorithm that makes it so your followers may see your content 2-3 days later.
For our purposes, we have found that the best time to post is after dinner time.
For clinics that we work with, this peak time changes based on the market and area that they are in.
Sales and marketing is all about constantly experimenting to improve. Social media posting is no exception. Keep track of when you post and how the content performed. Keep improving.
If you'd like to make it to that first 1000 followers, follow these steps and you will have no issues. Be warned, you do have to dedicate the adequate amount of time. If you want to grow your Instagram and give your clinic a powerful new patient lead channel, you cannot take it lightly.
What steps have you used to grow your clinic's Instagram base? What has worked for your team?