More and more businesses, including healthcare companies, are creating business Instagram accounts. It makes a lot of sense from a marketing perspective, but it has to be done right in order to be effective. Here are some of the top mistakes I see businesses make on Instagram:
1. Put too little thought into "feed fit." An Instagram gallery needs to have an over-arching visual theme. We usually recommend our healthcare clients choose a palette that is based on colors from their style guide. The gallery as a whole should be reflective of the brand. Instagram is a highly visual platform. People are much more likely to follow a page if it looks beautiful, and they are much more likely to recognize a post's source if the source is consistent in style.
2. Not engaging. It takes time, but it is very important to reply to each comment and proactively engage with your followers. The essence of these platforms is socializing. Engaging will not only grow your followers, but it will also build strong relationships with your follower base.
3. Neglecting to use the IG stories function. The IG Stories feature puts your brand in another location, adding another possible touch point. Stories are not expected to be as polished since they only last 24 hours, so this is a good way of letting your brand's personality shine. Also, be sure to curate the top-performing Stories into Highlights to give them a longer shelf life.
4. Being too sales-y. We get it, you're a business who wants to make sales. But no one wants to follow someone who sells to them all the time. We tell clients to split the informational and promotional posts about 80/20. Put the most emphasis on providing pictures and info that your followers want to see, not what *you* want them to see.
5. Thinking they are going to be able to track conversions and ROI directly. This is tough for businesses to hear, but there is not a great way of measuring how much people are influenced into a purchase decision by a single post. Think of Instagram mainly as a top of the funnel activity. You are building awareness and a reputation for your brand. This is not an e-commerce site where you will be moving lots of product.
6. Believing that paid promotion is "cheating." There seems to be a prevalent theory that if you don't grow organically, it's not as good. We never advocate like farms or buying followers, but we are proponents of using promoted posts for businesses on Instagram. You can make target audiences so that the posts that you spend time and money creating are shown to the people you want to see them. This also gives posts a longer life than an organic post. It just makes good business sense.