By Zoey Duncan,
With one billion users checking their Instagram accounts at least monthly, it’s a safe bet your future patients are hanging out there.
And that means you should be, too.
An engaging Instagram account showcasing your particular approach to eye care can make a powerful first impression on potential patients. By nailing a few instagram fundamentals, you can attract new patients and stay top-of-mind with current ones.
Create Awesome Content
Great posts are, of course, the core of an Instagram feed that attracts followers and therefore patients. Building a structured and realistic content calendar will make creating those quality posts a lot more straightforward.
To start, post three times a week. Plan your posts a month ahead of time around three solid topics that reflect the interests of the type of patient you most want to attract. These themes simplify the process of coming up with ideas of what to post, making life a little easier.
Three great themes for ECPs could be:
- Patient Education: One week, this might be a screen time guide for kids;
- Product Showcase: Perhaps a flattering shot of your eyewear selection;
- Practice Feature: Like a “meet our team” profile of one of your staff.
Need help starting your account from scratch? Check out the Ultimate Instagram Guide for Eye Care from Marketing4ECPs.
Find Your Voice
Instagram is more of a conversation with friends than a brochure. Your caption text should aim for friendly and upbeat (including an emoji from time to time), but without undermining your professionalism.
Know Your Audience
If you’ve created a detailed persona for your target demographic as part of your broader marketing, you’ll know their interests, their buying habits and the ages of their children. Use this knowledge to guide your content creation.
A millennial mom with young children may follow you for posts about myopia control and playground-proof glasses. On the other hand, a practice catering to older downtown office workers might post about high-end frames and digital eye strain.
Think Beyond the Mobile Experience
Why not bring Instagram into your optical boutique? Set up a selfie wall in your optical boutique and invite patients to snap and share photos of themselves in their favourite frames.
Keep it simple with natural lighting and an uncluttered background, or lean into it and provide a flattering ring light and branded decals on the wall. Either way, ensure your Instagram handle is clearly displayed so the patient can tag you in their post—and let their followers know where they got their new frames.
Build Your Community
Have your reception staff invite current patients to follow the practice and display a sign at the front desk with your username on it. Include your feed on your website and invite your email list to follow you, too.
Within Instagram, be sure to respond to comments from your followers. And when they tag you in posts or stories, thank them for supporting a local business.
Earning New Followers
Beyond inviting your current patients to follow you, you can reach new potential patients in a few ways:
- Find other local businesses with similar clientele and see who is following them—and follow those same people;
- Include your town or city in the designated field when you post and use the geographic hashtag relevant to your locale, like #YVR (for Vancouver) or #Toronto;
- Use other relevant hashtags in your captions, like #EyeCare, #NewGlasses, or #VisionTherapy.
Stay Focused for the Long Haul
Finding success on Instagram takes time and energy, so be prepared to commit to regular posting for at least a few quarters before you see results. Be sure to ask new patients how they learned about you so you can trace their journey to your exam room. And get familiar with your Instagram stats, which are available with an Instagram Business account, to see how each post stacks up
Posting quality content every week that reflects the quality of care you provide will go a long way to connecting meaningfully with new patients in the months and years to come.
Zoey Duncan is a content strategist at Marketing4ECPs where she crafts custom content imbued with each client’s particular voice. Zoey has been writing and editing for more than a decade as a journalist, author, and ghostwriter. More information about Marketing4ECPs is available at marketing4ecps.com.