Instagram isn’t just another platform to show off your cat’s hi-jinx. It’s great for that too, of course, but it can also be a fantastic way to build your Integrative health brand.
But, like everything else in life, there’s a right way and wrong way to do it.
Here are 6 best practices for getting more fans, more followers, and most importantly, more business directly from Instagram.
1. Make it Visual
Instagram works best for practices that tend to have more visual elements to your products and solutions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with things.
Shots of your yoga classes, or your facility, or action shots of your employees doing their job (and loving it!) are all compelling if presented in a creative, fun, moving way.
It’s all about communicating the awesomeness that is your culture. And doing it in a primarily visual medium.
2. Make Each Post RELEVANT to Your Target Client
Remember, you are looking to both delight your current followers, as well as attracting new ones.
So, for whatever you post, you first need to ask yourself this question: “Is this going to bring value to a current or future follower (that you’re working to turn into a patient or client)?”
If the answer is “no,” then get creative and figure out something else.
If the answer is “yes,” though, then post away!
Just keep in mind that every post is meant to inspire, educate, entertain, and—above all—build familiarity and trust with the person who’s going to view it. Look at everything from their perspective—including what hashtags you use.
Hashtags are so 2014, right? Not at all. They are a really important part of Instagram marketing and there are three ways you should be using them:
- Ride the wave: When you go out surfing you wade in the ocean, look out, and pick the wave you’re going to ride. You didn’t create the wave, you’re just riding it. Same thing with hashtags. Do a quick search to see what’s trending around your particular post and ride that wave. Be careful not to ride the #love wave and expect to get noticed from it. It’s too huge to make an difference. Something like #organicrecipe is a good sized wave and relevant to a recipe post.
- Create the wave: Ok, the analogy breaks a bit here, but pretend you’re a god for a moment. Instead of riding a wave, create one. This is particularly good for branding. Create a hashtag that’s seldom if ever used, and then use it on a ton of posts. If your brand’s name is “Health & Wellness Center” then create a hashtag “healthwellnesscenter” and use it whenever you post. This enables users to click that hashtag and see a curated list of all the content you’ve posted using that hashtag. One note about this: nobody owns hashtags. They are organic by nature. So, when you use this strategy you’ll have to monitor that nobody is co-opting this at a later date to post things you don’t want to be associated with.
- Give the wave color: This last one almost has no marketing value, but it does have personality, or culture value. Have you ever seen a friend (or maybe you’ve done it too) create a hashtag that’s totally ridiculous, but somehow works for that post? Go ahead and use hashtags like that too. It gives your brand color and culture and makes you approachable. #point3reallydeviatedfromthewaveanalogy
4. Use the Right Filter
Filters in Instagram aren’t just ways to make it look like you’re a supreme black and white starlet, or like you’re been doing prime asanas since (literally) ’Nam.
They also drive engagement. Using the right ones in the right situations can have a massive impact on the engagement your post gets.
The top five filters for driving engagement (according to TrackMaven) are:
- and Amaro
The ones that drive the least engagement, from worst to less worse are:
- and Sierra
So, be relevant, first and foremost, but keep these lists in mind as you plan your Instagram strategy.
5. Plan it Out
Speaking of which, you need a plan.
So, make one.
Make a list of possible posts, narrow own which hashtags you are going after, and then send out ONE PER DAY.
Experts say you can maybe do TWO per day occasionally , at max, but not every day.
Anything else appears as spam in your followers—both current and future—feeds.
6. Look at Your Competitors’ Audiences
Competition is always good. It makes us better at what we do.
And as far with instagram is concerned, your competitors are an amazing resource.
So, check out your competitors, look at their followers, and then start following them.
Leave comments, like their posts, and engage.
They already like what you’re all about since they’ve engaged with your competitor, so use that to your advantage.
So, there you go.
Take these 6 best practices, grab your phone, and get to work!
If you’re posting consistently—and strategically—you’ll be surprised at your success.