Now that Instagram has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018 (that is more than Twitter), many businesses, including the healthcare sector, are finding ways to interact with Instagram users and attract potential customers who keep coming back for more. However, it is not just the numbers you should care about. It is the people using Instagram. The frequency and popularity of creative posts, as well as the high levels of user engagement, are what makes Instagram one of the best social media platforms to promote your medical practice.
According to a survey, 75 percent of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website or a business, after looking at its posts. This is a huge opportunity for medical practices to make the most of a free and effective marketing tool. If you post the right images, potential patients will soak up your marketing message without any sales efforts from your side. Instagram could be the magic spell for attracting potential patients without sounding pushy. Instagram can play an integral role in converting passive prospects into paying patients.
Why Market Your Practice on Instagram?
When it comes to patient engagement, Instagram is better than all other social networks. No wonder a big chunk of the world’s most famous brands has an active presence on Instagram. Instagram is an efficient way to promote your practice in front of thousands of potential patients – even if you are running a small setup. Because your potential patients are on Instagram, you should be there as well.
Instagram is a free social media platform unless you choose to opt for paid advertising. Paid ads, when used correctly, can help to build your target audience, generate potential leads and attract more patients.
Instagram is a popular social media platform. According to a survey by Recode, almost 25 percent of Internet users use Instagram, and each user uses the app an average of 32 minutes per day.
If you are looking to target audiences who are willing to engage with your posts, Instagram is your place. Per AdWeek, the average engagement rate on Instagram is 3.31 percent, which is among the highest of all social networks.
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Instagram is backed by Facebook, and that can give healthcare marketers access to benefits that come with paid advertising, including the ability to reach a highly targeted audience. Instagram has also introduced business profiles that can be used to promote your practice.
How Can You Attract More Patients on Instagram?
Instagram is a great way to get your practice in front of thousands of potential and existing patients. The world of healthcare marketing changes at the speed of light. Almost every day, we hear of new techniques that require less time, yet produce stunning results. One of the best ways to make your practice stand out is by promoting the services that make you unique.
So, how can healthcare marketers make the most out of the 1 billion active users of this platform every month to drive patients to their practice? Here are some tips to attract more patients from Instagram:
- Make use of Instagram tools: There are many tools designed to make your healthcare marketing efforts more efficient. In addition, there are apps to help you edit images, provide analytical data, help you find influencers, schedule your content and manage your followers. For starters, you can pick one or two apps that work best for your practice and goals.
- Use Instagram Stories to engage followers: According to the survey, Instagram users spend three times longer watching live video than prerecorded ones. Considering this, social videos are an effective way to connect with your target audience. Instagram Stories is a recent feature and practices can “go live” through video. While there are many ways to include a live video in your Instagram strategy, hosting live Q&A sessions where you answer your followers in real time may prove to be highly effective.
- Hashtags are critical: Hashtags are essential for your Instagram posts as they allow potential patients to find you even if they have never heard of your practice before. In addition, hashtags let you reach a wider target audience by increasing your content exposure. One of the most effective ways to include hashtags is to see what your competitors are using. You will know what is working by observing the level of patient engagement your competitors are generating.
- Host Instagram contests: Contests are a proven way to get your followers involved in your posts while making it interactive. Hosting relevant contests will create buzz around your practice and this will have a significant impact on increasing your practice’s followership. You can host simple contests such as ‘Like this post to win…’ or ‘Share this post to win…’ The information you gather will allow you to analyze customer engagement levels to find the best time to post in order to grow your audience. According to experts, the best time to post your content on Instagram is on weekdays between 12 pm and 1 pm. However, to understand the best times for your audience, you will need to collect and analyze data.
- Include visuals in your blog posts: Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform to drive new eyeballs to your blog posts. Even though Instagram only allows you to post clickable links in your profile, you can still promote your blog post by sharing visuals in your Newsfeed. You can consider using text-based images that highlight key points in your content. Alternatively, you can consider complementing your content with an illustration. This is an excellent way to drive traffic and improve your SEO ranking.
- Share user-generated content (UGC): Reviews and testimonials are the most effective forms of UGC and an excellent way to gain patient loyalty. UGC is getting more popular, and even small practices are able to make good use of UGC. You must never ask your followers to post a picture or video. Your strategy should be to convince them toward creating content citing either your product or their experience at your practice. Studies indicate that potential patients trust UGC more than all other forms of media.
Regardless of the size and location of your practice, Instagram is an effective channel for online marketing. Healthcare brands all across the world are utilizing pictures and videos to increase their online visibility and connecting with existing and potential patients. By following the tips discussed above, you can develop a strategy for including Instagram in your healthcare marketing toolbox.
Instagram is an easy and effective way to increase your practice’s presence on social media. If you haven’t yet, take the time to create an Instagram profile and explore the platform. You should research what your competition is doing and how you can do it better. With persistence and an innovative marketing strategy, Instagram can be an essential tool to add to your healthcare marketing plan.
The social media experts at myPracticeReputation can help you get started on Instagram marketing. Contact us to learn about our social media marketing services and what we can do for your practice.