If you’re not on Instagram, you should be. Maybe posting daily selfies and pictures of your kids or pets isn’t your thing, but with over 150 million users and growing, Instagram is also a viable marketing tool. Yes, the average person uses the social media platform for sharing personal photos and videos, but so too do large companies and everyone in between. Bring your practice to the forefront by adopting this trending service that allows for easy editing of photos and the ability to share with millions of users.
Learn from the Big Kids
TrackMaven published findings on what practices Fortune 500 businesses employ when using Instagram. Out of 500, 123 have Instagram accounts. Twitter and Facebook seem to be more popular, with 387 and 348 accounts respectively, but Instagram is still fairly young (launched in October 2010) and expected to continue expanding rapidly. Nike held the lead of Fortune 500 companies with the most Instagram followers (2,313,519), Foot Locker for the most photos (1,018), and Target for videos (39) at the time the report was published. While you may be thinking, “But I’m not a Fortune 500 company,” the study offers more than just statistics about who is the most popular on Instagram. It offers insight into what viewers respond to.
- Pictures have proven to be more effective than videos based on the number of likes or comments they receive. Thus fewer companies have adopted implementation of videos.
- Likes are a far more popular form of interaction than comments, with 97% of post interactions being likes and 3% being comments.
- There is no decisive “best day of the week” to post something on Instagram, but most posts occur on Thursdays and the fewest appear over the weekend. Distribution among which day yields the most effective posts is fairly even, but Monday seems to show a slight advantage.
- Posts by Fortune 500 companies are, perhaps unsurprisingly, made during business hours, with the peak being between 3pm and 4pm EST. The time of picture posting does not seem to have any impact on effectiveness. However, a video is most likely to be viewed off hours, between 9am and 8 am EST.
- Among the 20 available filters, normal, often labeled as #nofilter, is the most popular by far. However, the most effective filter for engaging others seems to be Mayfair. Normal comes in second.
Don’t Forget to Hashtag
Using the number sign, pound sign, or hashtag as it is known when creating a metadata tag is more important than many people realize. TrackMaven’s data showed a strong correlation between the success of Instagram content and the use of a hashtag in both accounts with a large and small number of followers.
Hashtags allow content to be grouped together. For example, if you included #nofilter in your message, all photos that have a normal filter setting that you mark as #nofilter will be grouped together and be able to be found as such. Hashtags are also used for tweets, but a picture or message from Twitter cannot be found on Instagram and vice versa.
Hashtags can best be utilized by including ones that are currently trending in your messages. You will also want to include your own hashtags as well. Research shows that pictures with the little symbol are more likely to receive likes than those without.
Select Your Photos Carefully
Just as you only use visually appealing photos on your practice’s website or Pinterest account, Instagram is no place to be showing blurry, hard-to-see images. Images should look good and be relevant to your message. A short video may be suitable in some situations as well when you need more than just a static picture. For example, one might be useful to quickly discuss or demonstrate part of a procedure or to show a 360-degree view of a newly renovated office room vs. having multiple shots. Seeing the level of engagement you receive from patients and other viewers will help guide you as to what type of content you should primarily focus on, which may change as trends change. To initiate engagement, you might pose a question along with your photo, such as, “Has anyone used the new Juvederm Voluma? What did you think?”
The key to using any social platform is to familiarize yourself with the service and use it creatively to fuel your needs. With so many people turning to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and others, you gain a greater pool of potential patients to market to when you use these tools effectively.
For more information on tackling Instagram and other social media platforms, contact Surgeon’s Advisor today at (305) 763-8011. We are a leading provider of Internet marketing and patient acquisition strategies designed specifically for aesthetic physicians.