At Advice Media, we manage and populate the Facebook feeds for many of our practices, but we do not manage Instagram feeds. Still, we know many of you are active on Instagram. So, to keep you looking sharp out there, here are common mistakes businesses make on Instagram and how to avoid them.
Post to time with your audience
The point of using Instagram is to foster more engagement with your audience, which is made up mostly of patients and potential patients. So, while it may seem obvious here, it may not be when you’re creating your posts — you want to post at times when your audience is the most active on Instagram. Not only do you get more eyes on your posts, but higher engagement also means the Instagram algorithm may bump you higher up on your users’ feeds.
How do you know when that is? You can find out information about your audience using Instagram’s analytics tool. It will show where your audience is located and which days and times they respond to the most. You can try different posting times as a test. There are also various free tools that help you schedule your Instagram posts in advance. These apps, such as Later, won’t automatically make your post (that is in violation of Instagram’s terms of service), but they will send you a notification when it’s time to post, making sure you’re posting at the best times.
Post only good quality photos
Photos and Instagram go together like peanut butter and bananas, so don’t post garbage-quality photos that are blurry, feature bad composition, or are just bad photos. The goal is to engage your audience, so if you’re taking a photo of a new piece of equipment that enables you to offer a new procedure make it a good photo.
Don’t over-hashtag it
Fishing for likes by using every hashtag that comes to mind has a feel of desperation to it. Plus, it doesn’t help your SEO on your posts. Instagram caps the number of hashtags you can use at 30, but there’s no reason to use anywhere near that many.
You want to use hashtags that have an engaged audience. The best hashtags are specific to your audience.
Don’t post too often
Rather than posting a series of photos as a series of individual posts, combine them into an Instagram slideshow. Users consider a series of separate posts with photos from the same event/topic as spamming. It’s better to post a single good photo than posting every photo you could find on the topic in separate posts. But if you feel more than one photo is needed, simply use a slideshow as a single post.
Don’t post and forget it
Posting on Instagram takes some time and continued commitment. But don’t think that posting is all you need to think about. You also need to respond to comments that people leave. It doesn’t have to be every comment but respond to a few at least. Better yet, click on the accounts of some of your followers and return the favor.
Why respond to comments? You want to build your engagement. Your practice shouldn’t simply be a place to get a procedure; it should be the resource for answering questions and solving problems for your patients and potential patients. This kind of interaction presents a more personal side of your practice, and that’s a big advantage when potential patients are sizing up various practices.
Instagram, like Facebook, can be a great way to foster a different sort of engagement with your patients and potential patients. But both social media mainstays demand a committed effort, meaning you post regularly and you engage with those who engage with your posts. When done well, these interactions can be priceless and can build more than the number of likes, but the number of your procedures you perform.
If you have questions about using social media for your practice, contact your Advice Media rep and ask away.