Instagram and Your Business

At Advice Media, we’ve long told our clients businesses that they need to be on social media to show their customers a different, more casual side, of their business. Facebook for Business has been a must. It allows a business to let its hair down and share details of staff members, new equipment or treatments, even stuff such as recipes at Thanksgiving.

OK, I get Facebook for Business. There are bazillions of Facebook users and they spend half their waking lives scrolling through Facebook feeds.

But Instagram’s not for a business, right? That’s where my son or daughter shares photos and videos. It doesn’t make sense for a business, right?

Wrong.

Here are a few reasons your business should be on Instagram.

Lots of users. They expect to see you.

Instagram now has 1 billion users every month. You read that right. One billion. OK, so that’s a lot of potential clients.

One thing about trends — customers expect that the businesses/medical practices they patronize are current and up to date. What does it say about your business if a customer searches for you on Instagram only to find you don’t have an account? Hmm. If you’re not up to date in the social media realm, where else may your practice be behind the times? That’s not a thought you want in a patient’s/potential patient’s mind.

This doesn’t mean your business has to be like an average high school Instagram user — posting all day every day — but you need an account that has your business name, contact information, and a few posts to showcase your brand and your business/practice personality. A daily post is a good goal to work up to.

It shows trust

Your customers/patients and potential customers/patients like to see that you have a verified Instagram account. It shows you’re reputable, you’re current with the times, you’re real, and you’re transparent.

Plus, it shows you have a lighter side, and this is important whether you’re a dental practice or a vet, a lawyer or a plastic surgeon. Customers like to have their decision to patronize your business reinforced by your social media interactions, including the pics and videos you put up on Instagram.

You don’t want to miss out on a tag

If you’re a cosmetic dentist and a patient loves his new smile makeover and how it changed his confidence, he’s probably going to go to Instagram to show off a couple of pictures of his beautiful new smile. That review is about the best thing that can happen to your practice, and you want to be tagged in it so that it can show up on your Instagram account.

Problem is, if you don’t have an Instagram account for your dental practice, that customer won’t be able to tag you and that’s a big missed opportunity.

Stories make your business relatable, human

Because Instagram isn’t the social media destination where people get all of their news, whether it’s utterly fake or not (hi, Facebook), people go on the app to have fun. They want to see fun pictures and videos involving stuff they’re interested in. They’re not looking to disseminate a 2000-word article on some whacko conspiracy theory.

This gives your business the chance to be human. If you’re a medical practice, you can share pictures of your staff members running a 5K or hiking in the Andes. You can show video of a new treatment that’s the latest, coolest thing. Instagram’s live posts are a good way to do this.

Drive traffic to your website

Instagram is also a great way to point users back to your business/practice website. You can take blog posts, stories on a service or treatment that you just happen to offer, and other stuff and post it on Instagram. That’s a great way to drive traffic to your website once the reader/viewer is intrigued by your Instagram posts.

Engage with your customers and other businesses

Instagram allows you to interact with your customers on a daily basis. By liking and commenting on the pages of those who have liked or commented on your page, you’re now directly interacting with a customer or a potential customer. How often do you get an opportunity like that?

It’s also a great way to network with other businesses that could be a nice complement to your business. Let’s say you’re an orthopedic surgeon. By interacting with local day spas, acupuncturists, masseuses, and even nutritionists, you’re acknowledging that their services could be valuable to your patients when they’re not yet in a position to need orthopedic care. Maybe at this point, they only need acupuncture or a massage. Those businesses can then point back to you if they have a customer whose joint pain has now evolved beyond areas where they can help.

Instagram was made for mobile

In past blogs, we’ve addressed how the majority of search is now done on mobile devices. Instagram, unlike Facebook and Twitter, was created specifically to be an app from the beginning. Since 90 percent of time spent on mobile is spent on apps, your company or practice should take advantage of this and make your posts accessible to viewers wherever they are when they’re checking their Instagram feed. Plus, engagement on Instagram is 10 times higher than on Facebook because it’s simpler and is designed for mobile use.

Your competitors are on Instagram

The reality is, your competition is on Instagram already. If your business or practice isn’t, how are users going to find you? They’re not.

Also, Instagram’s a great way to keep tabs on those very competitors. You can see what they’re up to. Watch how often they post. Look at how they interact with their followers. Do you wonder what you should post as content? Check what your competitors are doing.

There’s no good reason for a business not to have an Instagram account. If setting it up seems confusing, or if you have questions about this social media mainstay, simply ask your Advice Media representative for help. And if you’re not a practice or business under the Advice Media umbrella, what are you waiting for? Call us or submit a contact form and let’s talk.

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