Grow Your Practice by Avoiding These 5 Common Instagram Mistakes
Ever wonder why Instagram is sooooo darn popular?
It makes sense if you think about it. We as humans loooove visuals, and on IG, images and videos take center stage. You can add filters, create mini-videos, and share them all with your followers. It’s no wonder why Instagram is the second most-used social media platform for individuals and businesses (second only to Facebook…).
But how can you grow your practice by using Instagram?
For many healthcare practitioners, it’s not just about knowing the best marketing strategies to grow your practice on social media – it’s about avoiding mistakes that you don’t even know you’re making. But how can you avoid what you don’t even know about?
Well, my friend, the first step is learning what the pitfalls are so you can avoid them STAT. Here are five common Instagram mistakes and what you can do to steer clear of them.
1. Using the Wrong Hashtags
Hashtags are a powerful way to categorize your posts and make them easily searchable by others. The key to choosing the best hashtags is to do so from the perspective of your patient – not the perspective of a practitioner.
So, instead of focusing only on just #chiropractor or #acupuncture type of hashtags, you should also include:
- Demographic hashtags. Instead of #womenschiropractor, try #prenatalchiropractor or #pregnancybackpain. The goal is to speak more directly to your ideal patient. Plus, when you use a niche hashtag, you have less competition with that tag. This makes it soooo much easier to stand out in the crowd and get noticed.
- Geographic tags. If you have a physical location, don’t skip out on this one! Include those #detroitmichigan or #detroitmi hashtags so you can be included in location-based searches. Also, when you post, don’t forget to tag the location in your posts. This will boost your visibility even more with the right audience in your neighborhood.
- Local tagging. This one is super important! When you’re out and about, be sure to tag different businesses or locations in your area. This gets you in front of their audiences and helps you build a more localized presence online. Plus, when you share the love with other local businesses, they’re more likely to reciprocate.
Whether your practice has a physical location or is fully virtual, be sure to still use a wide range of tags that reflect what your post is all about. When it comes to tagging, remember that variety is the spice of life!
2. Only Using Canva Graphics or Stock Photos
Now, don’t get me wrong. I loooove a good stock photo or Canva graphic – they help create a cohesive, consistent look on social media. And let’s be real. It’s WAY faster to grab a photo off Unsplash.com than it is to get dolled up and snap a few photos of yourself.
But don’t let those stock photos become a crutch. You are the face of your practice, and patients want to see YOU.
So, post crisp, clear photos and videos of you and your practice on Instagram. This builds trust and authenticity with your followers. It shows you’re genuine and relatable. And it’s hard to build that type of relationship when all they see are cute graphics or images of other people. After a while, they’ll tune out your non-distinct content.
3. Not Using Video or Reels
You may have already heard, but Instagram is shifting its users towards more videos. This means that, when it comes to posting, videos will be prioritized over photos.
So, my friend, the days of avoiding video are over! I know it’s scary, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. I promise.
To get you over the fear, I’ve pulled together some of my best resources to quickly build your on-camera confidence so you can ride this new Instagram trend in style.
- How to Feel Confident While On Camera Podcast
- Simple Ways to Create a Facebook Live Routine You’ll Adore Blog (Even though this is geared towards Facebook, you’ll get a ton of gold nuggets to apply to your IG routine!)
- Using Social Media to Boost Your Visibility Online Blog
Alright, now let’s touch on another crazy Instagram trend that’s going wild right now – Reels. These are short 15-second video clips designed to entertain and inspire. Instagram kicked them off back in August 2020, and since then, they’ve taken Instagram feeds by storm.
Reels are a suuuper fun way to show your personality as a practitioner. The ideas for reels are endless. If you’re looking for new ideas for your next reel (or video!), here are a few thought-starters:
- Short clips on how to avoid “text neck”
- Common questions you get regarding hydration
- Misconceptions about perimenopause
- How essential oils can enhance the benefits of acupuncture
- 3 surprising anti-aging benefits of Gotu Kola
I could keep going – and you can, too! I bet you’ll be surprised at how many ideas you can think of right off the top of your head.
4. Not Engaging with Your Patients
Social media was originally created by the human desire to connect. It’s always been about creating and nurturing relationships. Because of that, social media is best used when it’s a two-way street – not a dead-end road to your IG grid.
Consistently creating content on your grid or stories is excellent. But don’t forget to spend a little time on your ideal patients’ pages, too. Engage with their stories and comment on their posts. This shows that you’re interested in more than just gaining followers or picking up a new patient. It reinforces to them that you have a genuine interest in what’s going on in their lives. That speaks volumes!
5. Ignoring Your Audience
When people respond or engage with your content, they’re taking time out of their day to do so. Nothing’s worse than making a comment or trying to engage and then feeling like you’re being ignored. So, be sure to show your gratitude by replying to comments on your posts or stories.
This also applies if you receive a less-than-positive comment. Your readers will be paying attention to how you handle it. You want them to know that you’re a compassionate, friendly professional who knows how to handle tough conversations. So, even when you get some less-than-stellar feedback, make sure to thoughtfully respond to that as well.
Grow Your Practice Through Instagram by Avoiding These Instagram Mistakes
The rules of social media can feel like they change allllll the time. It’s a lot to keep track of, and I know how frustrating that can feel. But it shouldn’t always feel like you’re shooting in the dark or getting your hand slapped every day.
Even though it may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, just take a few simple steps and before long, you’ll be a pro! By avoiding the pitfalls mentioned above, you’ll end up attracting those perfect patients that will naturally want to work with you.
So let’s make it simple: pick one of the tips above that feels like your biggest opportunity, and start making improvements today. You may be surprised how quickly you can turn your Instagram presence around!