It’s no secret that social media can attract attention—and new patients—to your practice, and Instagram’s image-friendly focus is a perfect platform with which to engage them. Different post types can help you meet a spectrum of objectives: to demonstrate the breadth of your services, to invite potential clients to book a consultation, to display your practice’s expertise, or to show your personality.
While keeping an active social media presence can seem daunting to busy practitioners, there are many time-saving shortcuts that can help you create memorable content to keep your Instagram feed active, and keep current and prospective patients engaged and informed. Here are some ways to use the resources you already have, and activities you already do, to maximize your Instagram output without feeling overwhelmed.
Get Your Team Involved
Creating compelling content for Instagram doesn’t have to be a one-person show. One way to keep your practice feed flowing is for the entire staff to participate. Because multiple people can simultaneously login to a single account, several staff members can be part of the Instagram team.
Behind-the-scenes photos and short videos (they must be less than one minute long) can come from all different areas of your practice, complementing your more “staged” content. Welcome new staff, share accolades, send out holiday wishes—anything that adds a little humanity or fun to the feed.
While some of your staff members may be social media savvy, it’s still a good idea to start slowly and establish guidelines, to make sure anyone with access to the account is adhering to the overall voice and image that your practice wants to project. One method: staffers can compose posts as drafts, and then you, or someone you assign, can periodically approve the posts. There are also social media management platforms, like Hootsuite and Buffer, that let multiple people stage posts, but also provide permission capabilities so that only certain people can ultimately publish posts to your feed.
Address Frequently Asked Questions
Finding ways to save time posting content to Instagram is the goal, but there’s one way posting to Instagram can return the favor and actually save your practice time. Prospective patients might surf your practice’s Instagram feed as part of their pre-decision making process. They’ll be interested in examples of the quality work you provide (like before-and-after photos), but consider using the platform to also address common questions you and your staff typically receive.
Using text-based images or short videos to answer frequent inquiries can be a thoughtful, proactive, and time-saving approach that will not only demonstrate your practice’s expertise, but also a sincere willingness to inform and assure your current and potential clientele. Questions you have already answered on RealSelf are a great place to start: you already have the script!
Bonus Tip: Consider using the “Instagram Stories” feature for these, where the content can be archived and saved as a collection of “highlights,” perhaps labeled as “FAQs.” Highlighted story collections appear right under the bio section of your profile and are often the first content new visitors to your profile will notice.
And Now a Word From Your Patients…(Leverage Them For Great Content)
Another way to save time crafting compelling content for your Instagram feed is to leverage your satisfied patients. These evangelists are the types to rave about your services to their friends and family, and in many cases, would be happy doing it for Instagram. Of course, you’ll need to get signed consent, but other than that, this can be an easy, quick way to add quality content, showcasing your practice in an honest, genuine way to current followers and others who might be deciding on a provider. According to Hootsuite, user-generated content (UGC) has a 4.5 percent higher conversion rate than non-UGC posts. Just remember to keep it under one minute.
Bonus Tip: Try a slideshow post. Viewers can watch the video testimonial, and then swipe for before-and-after photos.
Keep Followers Current With Current Events
If you’re already keeping up to date with news items from the aesthetics world, why not make that time more productive by sharing your thoughts via an Instagram video? This is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to current and potential clients, without having to find the time to write a blog post or a newsletter entry. A quick recap and commentary about a newsworthy item takes less than a minute to record and can create yet another piece of quality content that demonstrates how much you know your stuff. The RealSelf blog is one destination where you can find content that might be interesting to current and prospective patients.
Preview an Upcoming Speaking Opp
Given the high-stakes day-to-day work of performing treatments and managing the ins and outs of running a business, it may seem like there is little time to add a personal touch to your social media presence.
One way to help maximize time is to piggyback off of something you might already be doing, like preparing for a virtual event. Once your words are written and/or slides prepared, feel free to take a moment and jump on Instagram for a quick hello, and let people know what it is you’re getting ready to present while the information is fresh. This can also demonstrate both your expert knowledge and the fact that you’re in demand as an authority.
Drive Your Message Home With On-the-Go Content
Social media influencers in all fields are known for making compelling content out of everyday activities, and that includes sharing thoughts about their work and industry with their Instagram followers, either as an Instagram Story or as a full post.
Those tidbits of insight can strike you anywhere, including while you’re out and about. Consider taking advantage of those moments at the end of a drive, and record your thoughts right there in the car (once you’ve parked of course). Inexpensive cell phone mounts can hold your phone steady while you record a brief message and get those quick thoughts out to the world. Current and potential patients often enjoy these kinds of impromptu connections. They keep you fresh in their minds and remind them that your practice is personal.
Don’t Be Shy About Sharing Previous Content
Instagram, much like other social platforms, was built to be chronological. While slightly older posts sometimes rise to the top of the display algorithm, most will soon trail off, and that’s even more likely for more active accounts.
So don’t be afraid to recycle old content from time to time, bringing back some particularly effective posts from the past that still remain relevant. Before-and-after images and informational posts are the types of “evergreen” content that are great for resharing. Even posts that seem timely, like announcements and new service alerts, may be worth resharing for those that may have missed it (this is a great use case for the #ICYMI, “In Case You Missed It,” hashtag).
Lastly, simply scrolling back through your account history may help clear up cases of social media writer’s block and give you inspiration for future content ideas.
Reshare Others’ Great Content
Another way to quickly come up with share-worthy content is to share content from other Instagram accounts. Instagram doesn’t have a native reshare capability (in other words, there is no feature or button within Instagram that lets you reshare others’ posts), but there are several “repost” apps (including the helpfully named Repost App) that will allow you to grab an image or video and caption from other accounts, then quickly post them to your account.
Take some time to follow accounts that post content you think your followers would be interested in (for example, you might consider the RealSelf Instagram account). Any time you see something worth sharing to your audience, repost away.
Bonus Tip: Have a Heart-to-Heart With Followers
Even in the busiest practice, brief moments of downtime may occur. One quick way to keep Instagram engagement high is to use those moments to ‘like’ and respond to comments on images or videos you’ve already published. While this doesn’t qualify as content, this is great for engagement. A quick press on the heart button next to each comment will let followers know you’re paying attention, while a reply here and there shows everyone that your practice is friendly, engaged, responsive, and communicative.
You should also assign someone accountable to “direct message” duty. RealSelf data reveals that faster response times to consumer inquiries are highly correlated with their likelihood of booking a consultation. Aesthetics consumers are 76% more likely to book a consultation if they hear back from a practice within an hour versus the industry-standard two days. Some aesthetics consumers may use your Instagram direct messages as an inquiry channel. You should make sure that either yourself or a staff member is on top of direct messages so that you can quickly respond to requests for information or consultations.