If Instagram seems like a site dedicated to celebrity selfies and beach pictures, think again. Instagram may very well be Kim Kardashian’s favorite place to post bikini shots, but there is more to it. This social media kingpin is a visual marketplace that medical practices and healthcare networks can use to enhance their Internet presence. Consider how Instagram fits into the search marketing formula.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is one of about five or six mainstream social media sites, but it focuses on photo and video sharing. Visual content is how medical practices can step up their marketing strategies, according to Small Biz Trends.
Just providing information via a well written article isn’t really enough anymore. It is the graphics and videos that jump out and catch the leads. Instagram is an obvious asset when you look at how critical visual content marketing is to promoting community engagement.
Instagram is primarily a mobile asset, too. This means you are expanding your search marketing strategies to include mobile technology. As of 2013, Instagram had over 100 million active users
How Do You Leverage Instagram?
Now that you know the power of Instagram, how can you put it to work? Medical businesses like Advocate Healthcare and Health eNews use Instagram to visually entice their target groups and to enhance patient communication.
You can leverage Instagram as part of your search marketing campaigns in many different ways.
- Network with your business partners – Comment, like and share images from other companies. This creates a B2B comradery while giving their followers a link to your account.
- Connect your Instagram and Facebook accounts – You can even create an Instagram tab on your business or practice Facebook page. Your followers will have another way to stay in touch with you and share your photos. For every like and share, you communicate with a 100 or more potential leads.
- Develop a brand hashtag – this should extend to every social media site you use. For example, a lasik surgery practice might use the targeted hashtag #perfecteyes or #seeclearly. This branding means anytime someone sees that hashtag, they think of the lasik practice.
- Make use of geo-tags – Every time you post an image, add a geo-tag. This puts the image on a map. You can use free apps like Koredoko to automatically geo-tag each picture.
- Host photo contests – Make the graphics work for you by promoting photo contests on Instagram. For example, a healthcare network might ask people to post pictures as they exercise. Use a targeted hashtag to link all the images together.
- Showcase events – Post photos of events like screenings as they happen
Search marketing isn’t just about where you rank on Google; it is about expanding your lead generation options utilizing the Internet and social media channels. As your medical practice discovers new ways to utilize social media, don't forget Instagram's place at the table.