Instagram is one of the most highly used social media platforms today. With 1 billion users logging into the platform every month, it’s clear your practice needs to have a presence on Instagram.
Instagram can be a powerful tool to showcase your practice and provide a first impression to your potential patients before they book an appointment. Now more than ever, your patients are not simply on social media, they are using platforms such as Instagram to inform every decision they make, from where to go for dinner to which optometrist is the best fit for their family.
We recommend all of our clients have a presence on social media; however, if not done right or consistently, your Instagram presence may end up hindering your ability to reach and make an excellent first impression with potential patients.
That’s where we come in! Let us show you how to create a cohesive and effective Instagram strategy for your practice that will set you up with the foundation you need to build a significant brand presence. It comes down to four main steps, so let’s get started!
Step #1: Who Are You?
Your brand is so much more than simply your practice name. Every time you talk, write, design, post, or respond to comments on behalf of your practice, you represent your brand voice. It is essential to develop and define who your brand is at the foundational level, so you and your team can begin to build your social media strategy from this persona.
When it comes to figuring out who you are, one of the things we like to think about is, “if your brand was a person, who would they be”? We often use a dinner party analogy to help you think about how you might introduce your business to a stranger. Some questions to ask yourself and your team members to help define your practice persona include:
- What are your brand’s likes
- What are your brand’s dislikes
- What are your brand’s values
- What are your brand’s goals
- What are your brand’s attitudes
- What are some buzz words you would like associated with your brand?
- What are some words or phrases that are off-limits?
Once you have answered all of these questions, you and your team are well on your way to understanding who you are.
Creating a persona and having everyone on your team involved will ensure your practice maintains a consistent brand voice, regardless of the content you are posting and who is publishing it. Your brand voice will also ensure your brand is easily recognizable and stands out from the crowd.
Once you have a good handle on who your practice is, you need to figure out who you are talking to.
Step #2: Who Are You Talking To?
Equally as important as defining your brand is figuring out who your target market is. Similar to creating a brand voice, it’s crucial to think about their likes, dislikes, goals, attitudes, values, and pain points. When you consider who you are talking to, think about how your audience speaks or wants to be spoken to, as well as the things they care about.
Creating a persona of your target demographic is a great way to figure out who you are talking to. When you create this persona, think about your ideal target patient. This persona may not represent your whole audience, but it will represent most of your target patients. Let’s look at an example of a persona.
When your team members create Instagram content, always ensure you keep your audience persona top of mind. This will ensure your content always has a consistent voice and always keep in mind what your patients want to see.
There are several other ways you can help you keep your content on track, so let’s talk about content pillars!
Step #3: What is Important to Communicate to Your Audience?
Once you have determined your brand voice and your target audience, you’ll need to choose the content you would like to display on Instagram. This is where the content pillars come in. To ensure you and your team are posing consistently and representing your brand persona every time, it is helpful to create two or three pillars that you will use to focus your content. Here are a few examples of content pillars:
- Pillar #1: Education Focused
- Pillar #2: Practice Focused
- Pillar #3: Team Focused
Creating content pillars will ensure you always have variety with your posts, and you or your team never lose sight of your goals. When we look at the education-focused pillar, this may incorporate posting eye-health tips and free advice. The practice-focused pillar may contain information specific to your company, and the team-focused pillar may include staff highlights and teamwork content.
Work with your team to create three main content pillars, and ensure you stick to them. Not only will this make your life easier by creating a framework you can always reference when looking for ideas, but it also ensures you are accurately representing your practice and content your patients want to see every time.
Step #4: Pulling it All Together
The final step involves taking your brand voice, target audience, and content pillars and bringing these to life through a visual grid. Instagram is an image and video-based platform. Therefore your visual brand is just as important as the three steps we mentioned previously.
When bringing everything together, a few essential questions to keep in mind include:
- Are you accurately representing your practice?
- Is this the type of content your target market will find valuable?
- Does this post align with one of your content pillars?
To illustrate how we bring everything together, let’s take a look at the Marketing4ECPs Instagram grid.
When looking at this grid, you will notice that all of our brand colours are represented and easily recognizable. If you were scrolling through your Instagram feed, you wouldn’t need to look at our username to know the content is ours. You will also notice that all of our content pillars are represented and spread out evenly throughout the posts. For example, we have our company-focused content expressed through our team highlights and client features. We represent our education-focused content through our marketing tips and tricks. Lastly, we have a variety of inspirational content evenly distributed throughout the grid as well.
You don’t need a graphic designer to bring your practice’s visual brand to life. Creating a cohesive and beautifully designed Instagram grid can be as simple as ensuring any images you post represent your brand colours and persona. You can also utilize free tools such as Canva to bring your brand to life.
Going through these four steps will ensure you set up the foundation for your practice to be successful on Instagram. Make sure you work with your team and everyone is on the same page regarding your brand voice, target audience, and content pillars. That way, your content will be consistent and on-brand regardless of who is posting.
We can help you create an Instagram strategy for your practice, so if you need support, reach out to us! We’re happy to help.