Since joining the social media scene in 2010, Instagram has grown to become a global community of over 800 million monthly active users. Instagram helps to drive sales and share information with an engaged audience, whilst enabling businesses to develop a unique “voice” for their brand.
Take a look at our top 5 tips on how to use Instagram to promote your business as a healthcare professional:
1. Set up a business account
Setting up a business account on Instagram is as simple as the click of a button. There is some debate about whether businesses should opt for a personal account or switch to the designated business account, but the benefits of the business account are evident and we recommend it to our healthcare clients. The business account lets you go further than just counting how many “likes” and comments your content generates. Through using an Instagram business account, you are able to see what type of content performs well with your audience, where your audience is based including their gender and age, which posts resulted in website clicks and follows, which days and times your audience is most active on Instagram, as well as a detailed breakdown of the impressions gained from each post.
2. Use relevant hashtags
Selecting the optimal hashtags for your healthcare business is an essential step to growing your account on Instagram, it ensures that your content is being seen by as many eyeballs as possible. Hashtags are used to group alike content together on Instagram, therefore by using relevant hashtags you will instantly make your content more discoverable.
Instagram allows each post to have a maximum of 30 hashtags. However, you should never use just any random selection of hashtags; make sure you check the level of activity under each hashtag you select for your post. Try to choose hashtags that have high engagement, have several posts per hour, and do not have too many posts either (for example, 10,000-100,000 posts under a hashtag is a good amount).
3. Update your Instagram Stories
Aside from the main profile page of an account, Instagram also has a feature which enables users to post a sequence of photos and videos as “Instagram Stories” that last for 24 hours, similar to its competitor Snapchat. This is an excellent feature for healthcare businesses to use because statistics show that it is a great way to engage with your audience. It was reported in 2018 that one in five Instagram Stories posted by a business receives a direct message as a response. In addition to this, Instagram users with over 10,000 followers can place a link within Instagram Stories, which makes it even easier for viewers to be redirected to external links outside of Instagram. As well as placing links, all Instagram users have access to features in Instagram Stories such as conducting polls where you can ask your viewers questions and also invite your viewers to ask you questions which you can publicly share the answers to within your story. This is especially helpful within the healthcare industry because it can boost transparency and increase the trust between patients and healthcare professionals.
Instagram Stories can be used as creatively as you want. As healthcare professionals, you can share patient testimonials, answer your audience’s frequently asked questions about conditions that you treat, seek feedback and make improvements to your services.
4. Share content on your IGTV
In June 2018 Instagram launched IGTV, a new app within Instagram which is used for watching long-form vertical videos. This is another excellent tool that healthcare businesses can use to market themselves on Instagram because it enables you to share longer, more detailed videos with your audience. If your business is still not using video to market itself in 2018, then you are hugely missing out! Video is useful for client-education, video is important to drive website conversions, and often video content is more engaging than text.
What sort of content would work well for healthcare professionals on IGTV? Behind the scenes footage such as celebrating staff members and company updates, “Meet The Team” videos, surgery preparation tips and participation in national and worldwide health awareness days are all good examples of suitable content.
5. Engage with other accounts in your niche
Last but certainly not the least, healthcare professionals can use Instagram as a marketing tool for their business through prioritising engagement just as much as content creation. One way that we recommend to help your content be seen by the right people is through using hashtags to find your community (e.g. entering #healtheducation, #techie or #fitfamUK into the Instagram search bar for example), then liking and commenting on posts by accounts within this niche. This exposes your business to these accounts and their followers, hence, increasing your brand awareness and potentially attracting new potential patients if they are able to gain value when they click on your profile out of curiosity.
When navigating Instagram, we encourage genuine engagement i.e. if you like what you see, leave a thoughtful comment sharing your feedback!