Did you know that Instagram just celebrated its 10th birthday? The app was launched on October 6, 2010. For most of us, it’s hard to even remember life B.I. (Before Instagram) because it has morphed into such a standard staple in our lives. With 112 million active Instagram users in the US (around 40% of all American adults), it’s no surprise that Instagram is such an amazingly powerful platform for branding and marketing. Today we are going to discuss the top 5 tips for leveraging the full potential of Instagram for growing your beauty or medspa practice.
#1 Switch to a Professional Instagram Account
This is absolutely critical. In the words of Monopoly, if you have not switched to a Professional Account, “do not pass Go, do not collect $200.” It takes less than 1 minute to do, it’s free, and you can revert back at any time. With a professional account (as opposed to a personal account) you will have access to invaluable insights about your followers, enhanced reporting, new contact options, and more.
Here’s how to make the switch right from your mobile device:⠀
- Tap your circular profile picture in the bottom right corner⠀
- Tap the 3 lines (menu icon) in the upper right corner⠀
- Tap “Settings”⠀
- Tap the blue “Switch to Professional Account” link and press “Continue”
- Select a Category (Presumably “Health/Beauty” or “Beauty, Cosmetic & Personal Care”)
- Follow the on-screen prompts
#2 Familiarize Yourself with Instagram Insights
Once you’ve established a Professional Account, you’re really cooking with fire and as soon as you have 100 followers or more, Instagram will begin providing you with ultra-valuable audience “Insights”.
You can only access Insights from your mobile app and your insights only report on the last 7 days. For this reason, we recommend creating a spreadsheet where you can keep track of your post performance and audience trends year-round.
Tap your circular profile picture in the bottom right corner and select “Insights” located below your bio. Here, you will see a basic overview of your followers and content—but we want the nitty-gritty so don’t stop there; tap the “Accounts Reached and “Content Interactions” tabs for feedback on the performance of your recent posts.
The “Total Followers” tab is arguably one of the most important sections of your Insights. Here, you’ll see a breakdown that includes the location of your followers, their age range, their gender, and when they are most active. Understanding what days and times your audience is most active and engaged on Instagram is hugely important to your content strategy. Why? Because that’s prime time when brands can count on having a captive audience! It’s the same reason why brands covet commercial ad space during the Superbowl—except this is FREE.
#3 Use Strategic Hashtags
We talk about hashtags frequently and that’s likely because they are so often misunderstood. We are commonly asked, “How many hashtags should I use?” Well, if you absolutely must have a numerical answer, we will tell you 8-30. However, we strongly suggest thinking in terms of quality over quantity. This means doing your hashtag research and using well-thought-out hashtags for every post.
It is both pointless and spammy to use hashtags that won’t bring valuable traffic. Instead, we recommend that you use a mixture of “heavy-hitters” (hashtags related to your industry with millions of posts associated with them), moderately specific or location-based hashtags with only hundreds or thousands of posts associated with them, and also a “branded” hashtag that is completely unique to you and your office.
#4 Post a Variety of Content
Flooding your audience’s feed with promotions—or even holiday wishes for that matter— is a surefire way to scare off those hard-earned fans. Instead, make it your goal to bring unique value to your followers with every post. Your content strategy might include the following types of posts to keep people engaged:
- Behind the Scenes Photos
- Giveaways & Contests
- Occasional Flash Sales/Discounts
- Tips & Fun Facts
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- Before & After Images
- Treatment Videos
- Team Introductions/Meet the Doctor
- Product Comparisons
- Industry News
- Influencer Takeovers/Brand Ambassador Spotlights
- Inspirational/Feel-Good/Motivational Quotes
#5 Keep Consistent
Not only is it important to maintain a consistent look and feel across your content, but it’s also critical that you post consistently. Brands often ask how many times a week they should post on social media. The more frequently you can generate quality content the better, but what’s equally or even more important that you stick to a consistent rhythm. Social media expert, Neil Patel laid it out for Forbes:
“If you want to maximize engagement and generate followers, you can start posting on Instagram 10, 15, even 20 times a day. This will not negatively affect your Instagram account. That is, until you change the frequency. If you make a habit of posting several times a day and then transition to only a few times a week, you will start to lose followers and generate less engagement per post. This means that the best posting frequency for Instagram is the posting frequency that you can consistently maintain for the rest of your natural life.”
If you can only feasibly post a few times per week, that’s okay; just make the commitment and stick to the plan. The best way to keep yourself honest is to pre-schedule your posts at the beginning of every month. Sit down, plan out your social media calendar, and use a posting software like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts for peak engagement times.
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM