With over 1 billion active users who spend an average of 53 minutes per day on the app, Instagram is an essential tool in your marketing plan.
It’s a highly visual platform so you can show off your transformations, videos and treatments and the results are usually interesting enough to catch people’s attention.
Along with Facebook it’s where you should be concentrating your social media marketing efforts.
But as the average person on Instagram follows 822 other profiles, you’re competing for attention.
So here’s 20 quick wins to boost your business.
Take Better Pictures
You don’t need a special camera or photography degree you just need a smartphone and learn a little bit about lighting.
Maybe invest in a ring light to film your videos or when taking before and after pictures.
People seem to prefer real images of real people as they are more believable so I would avoid using too many filters.
Videos get great social media engagement and live videos are even better so both Instagram and Facebook Live are the best ways to get engagement.
People get to feel like they know and trust you and can interact with you and ask questions directly. This is especially good for treatments when it’s all about building trust.
Also, if you save your ‘Live’ to ‘Your Story’ you will be one of the first posts to show up on anyone’s home screen.
Instagram favour videos and live videos over regular posts so they will always show up higher in the feeds.
Make sure you don’t make the videos too long. There is currently a time limit of one hour with Instagram Live so prepare what you want to say in advance and do a trial run to keep your timing in check.
If you want to upload a video onto your Instagram account's feed and have it show up like a normal photo on your Instagram profile, you should choose a video that is up to 60 seconds long.
You can post quick videos of treatments in progress (time lapse) or a patient’s reaction when they look in the mirror and see their transformation.
Instagram prioritises ‘Stories’ in User feeds so by using Instagram stories you will get more recognition from your existing Followers.
Instagram also favours people who are active and use all of its features, increasing your chances of your posts being favoured above others in news feeds.
You can also use Instagram Stories for posting videos and they are a great way to share smaller parts of your day with your followers without having them posted on your actual feed.
Stories expire after 24 hours, making this feature great for videos that are less important than the ones you want to be displayed permanently.
But you will need to be concise as videos on Instagram Stories can only be 15 seconds long. Any videos longer than 15 seconds will be split into separate segments that can be uploaded in one go.
Engage with people
In the algorithm-driven world of social media, posts that have greater engagement are more likely to be shown to more people.
Interact with people, comment on other people’s posts and images. Not just a word or an emoji but a well thought out and positive comment.
And when you post something, they are more likely to engage with your post in return.
Link in with local influencers
The highly visual nature of Instagram is great for influencer marketing and free exposure.
Users on Instagram more often sign on actively looking for product recommendations, as opposed to Facebook where they actively ignore them.
So try using Instagram influencers or even people in your local area with a large number of followers to spread the word about your treatments or business by offering them a free service.
Unlike Facebook you can use up to 30 hashtags. And the more you use the better so use them all.
Using 11 or more relevant hashtags means 442% more engagement that using none.
Aim for 1-3 posts max per day for Instagram. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time to post everyday - try at least every other day.
Switch to a Business Account
A Business Account allows you to do much more like:
Access to Instagram Insights
When you switch to a business account you can access more data about the performance of your account such as the best time to post, when your audience is most engaged etc.
Ability to Add a Contact Button to Your Profile
You can edit the button to be contacted directly by email or phone or provide them with a map showing your location.
Ability to Add Links to Instagram Stories
The only clickable link you are allowed with personal accounts is restricted to your profile. This restriction is lifted for Business Accounts.
Add a URL to an image you post and someone can click directly on that picture to be taken to wherever you want them to go.
Able to Advertise on Instagram and Make Promoted Posts
If you want to advertise on the platform you will need to operate a Business Profile.
You can boost posts and run ads on Facebook and it will give you an option to also run the ad on Instagram.
Set up your shop
Instagram Shop allows brands or business accounts to turn their Instagram posts into ‘shoppable posts’, allowing them to buy the products in real-time directly from these posts.
This feature is for physical products, so if you are talking about products you use on your skin or on clients you can tag them.
Run Ads on Instagram
When you run ads, you are putting your business in front of thousands of people who wouldn’t usually see your posts.
Instagram was bought out by Mark Zuckerberg in 2012 giving it immediate access to Facebook’s capabilities.
Facebook’s highly advanced social media advertising platform lets you target people by age, interests, behaviour, and location. All this is now available on Instagram.
Follow people most likely to be interested in your treatments
One of the best ways to attract a new following is by seeking out your closest competitors' Instagram accounts and engaging with their audience.
By following your competitors account you know they are interested in what you do. But how can you get them to follow you as well?
The three types of engagement on Instagram are:
- ‘Follow’ a User
- ‘Like’ a photo
- Comment on a photo
Shopify ran a test on this to see what worked:
- Follow: 14% follow back
- Follow + Like: 22% follow back
- Follow + Like + Comment: 34% follow back
It’s kind of like the law of reciprocity!
Think about your profile picture
Your profile picture in Instagram is so tiny – you want it to represent you and your business well. Images of you or if you have a nice logo work well.
Optimise your Bio
Here you want to quickly let people know who you are, what you do and why you’re different.
Promote on other channels
Give your Facebook, Twitter and Linked In Followers a reason to head over to Instagram e.g. you’re doing an Instagram Live.
If you can, do something like this once a month. You might not get a ton of Followers straight away but you’ll pick up a few here and there.
Put your social media links on your website
Have your social links everywhere: your website, email footer, on appointment cards.
You can also stream your Instagram or Facebook to your website. As well as expanding your reach, it will also help with your SEO, pushing you higher up the pages of Google when people search for your services.
Tag people or companies in your images
Next time you do a post, think about who you can tag and this will open your posts up to a wider audience.
Let's say you’re doing a post for a Biorepeel before and after, you would use the tag #Biorepeel
Mention Trending topics
For example Women’s day, St Patrick's day, National Skincare Day etc.
Besides hashtags, you can also make your Instagram posts and Stories discoverable by tagging your location, either the city you’re in or the venue where the photo or video was taken.
Local businesses get the most value out of location tags by posting regularly to these feeds and also engaging with posts from prospective customers who are physically in the vicinity.
Don’t ‘Buy’ Followers
Building a good following or reputation online takes time. Yet some might be tempted to just buy Followers - mainly for vanity.
You can get a large number of Followers very quickly for a relatively small cost.
But there are some genuine downsides that will, in the long run, cause more problems for your business.
The main issue is these paid-for Followers are most likely fake accounts. They will not be interacting with you and most importantly not become patients or be interested in your services.
Furthermore, Instagram or Facebook will recognise that your large following aren’t engaging and subsequently shrink the audience that views your posts, meaning your genuine Followers aren’t seeing your messages, making it harder to acquire potential new followers.