We’ve talked before about how and why to use social media to help market and improve your clinic’s revenue. Today, we’re going to focus specifically on how to use Instagram to tell your clinic’s story, connect with new patients, and increase revenues.
Instagram is a perfect partner network to your Facebook presence. Instagram boasts over 800 million monthly users. Of those, 25% (200 M) visit business Instagram profiles every day. Even more interesting, Instagram found that 2/3’s of those visits came from people who weren’t already following that business.
Instagram provides a vastly different storytelling and discovery experience that outshines (in this humble blog’s opinion) what Facebook can offer on these same points. It’s uniquely visual medium (with no article support) combined with it’s integrated use of hashtags allow a physical therapy clinic the opportunity to show (not tell) how they positively impact the lives of their patient and their overall community.
PT Clinic Instagram Best Practices
Be Sure to Optimize Your Business Account
This might seem like a no-brainer, but before you start to post, be sure you’re set up for success by optimizing your Instagram business profile. This section is your opportunity to share y our clinic’s name, address, mission, and website link. Use it wisely.
Be sure you include:
Name: The actual name of your PT Clinic.
Username: Your Instagram ID.
Profile Image: A smaller image that will accompany every post. A good rule of thumb is to use a small version of your logo in this section if able.
Website: A link to your website. Consider using a shortened link in this section that includes UTM parameters to help identify site traffic that was generated from your Instagram bio.
Bio: This is your opportunity to talk about your clinic and your unique selling points.
Category: Be sure to set the proper category for your clinic.
Post When Your Audience is Online
As a best practice, you want to limit your posting to the days and times your target audience are most likely to be on the platform. If you’re on the West Coast, you’re not going to want to publish at 8 am EST. Likewise, you’re not going to want to publish a major piece of content Saturday night at 10 pm while everyone is out enjoying the weekend.
The raw truth is that everyone’s audience is different, meaning that the post publishing schedule that works well for one clinic isn’t necessarily going to produce gold for all clinics. You’ll need to test posting at different times to find the schedule that works best for you. That said, most clinics find success publishing in the late morning (before lunch), in the afternoon between 2 and 4, and in the evening after 8. Sunday evenings tend to work best on the weekends.
Regardless of when you decide to post, the most important best practice you can implement is to post consistently. Your followers are engaging with your brand on Instagram because they expect you to contribute your posts to their news feeds. If your clinic goes week’s without posting, you’re going to find yourself losing more followers than you gain.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Hashtags
Hashtags are pure Instagram magic. Instagram users are trained to utilize hashtags to discover and engage with new content. Hashtags are how you grow your audience and build awareness for your clinic. Be liberal with your use of hashtags, aim for between 10 and 15 (if not more) hashtags per post.
The only rule of thumb when it comes to hashtag use is to ensure that the hashtags you are using are relevant to either the content being posted or the brand. Don’t attempt to interject your post into another hashtag’s conversation.
Engage With Your Commenters
Instagram is an engagement platform. Users regularly leave comments on posts they enjoy. Your clinic should be monitoring and engaging with these commenters as they pop up. Even if it’s a simple like or “cheers” emoji, new users that see that a brand is actively engaging with the community they are building tend to build their audience quicker than brands that are simply monologuing to the world.
Tell Compelling Stories
As a last best practice, be sure you only post great content. The content doesn’t have to be award-winning, but it should compel some sort of emotion. You want the post to be interesting enough that someone stops their scrolling to like, follow, or comment on it.
On Instagram a compelling story is told in three different ways:
- A Strong Visual – This could be an image or a video, just be sure that the composition of the visual is eye-catching. Avoid blurry images, washed out images, shaky cam videos, and low-light situations.
- A Solid Post – The post that accompanies the visual should include the backstory around the visual. Use this opportunity to share more of your world with your followers.
- Instagram Stories – An alternate method for telling your clinic stories is to use the Instagram Stories feature. These short-lived snippets allow your clinic to share their stories in a different format. It’s also what allows your clinic, as a best practice, to share multiple images/videos at one time.
As with all social media platforms, the more you publish, the more chances you have to grow your audience.
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