Social Media Best Practices: Instagram
With over 1 billion monthly active users across the globe, Instagram is a powerhouse for sharing photos, marketing businesses, and growing your pharmacy both on and offline. In the United States, Instagram is used by 40% of adults — over 130 million people —
on a regular basis, making it the third most-used social media platform in the country, right after YouTube and Facebook. Instagram users look to the platform to get news, entertainment, information, and even find new pharmacies to do business with.
This is no surprise, considering that 81% of Instagram users visit the app to find new products and services. Even more importantly, though, 2 in 3 use Instagram to build connections with the businesses of their choosing. Given its ability to reach and connect with such a large audience, Instagram is an important platform that your pharmacy should be taking advantage of.
Before you get started, though, it is necessary to brush up on the basics of Instagram — including its audience, features, and best-received content — to make the most of it. To help you get started, consult our list of Instagram best practices and try them out in your own social media strategy. And, for guidance on the other top platforms (like YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn), consult our blog: then get ready to get posting.
Instagram is among the most versatile social media apps, used by people of all kinds to share content. However, Instagram’s user base can be broken down into a few core categories: gender, age, location, education, and income. According to the Pew Research Center, the following groups use Instagram the most:
Of these categories, Instagram’s most important demographic is age. Unlike other top platforms, which tend to target middle-aged and older adults, Instagram attracts those under the age of 30. A younger user base offers a unique opportunity for pharmacies to expand who they market to and how they do it.
Many pharmacies focus their attention on older adults — thinking that is where the demand for services lies — but younger patients have the potential to create long-term connections and sustainable growth. Younger patients can not only bring in revenue from filling prescriptions but also from clinical services, like routine tests and immunizations. With this in mind, it is important to target young adults in your pharmacy’s marketing approach; and Instagram is the best way to do it.
For a closer look at Instagram’s demographics, as well as who uses the other top platforms, read our blog on What Social Media Apps You Should Be Using.
While Instagram is seen primarily as a photo-sharing app, it can be used to post a wide range of content: from clips to videos to updates and more. No matter the content, though, Instagram is a visual-based platform. Thus, it is important to engage your audience with high-quality photos, videos, and graphics. When you brainstorm content and consider how to get your patients’ attention, keep these ideas in mind:
To find a complete list of ideas for posting on Instagram, read our full guide.
If you want your posts to generate traction, it is important to post at a time when your patients are online. According to Hootsuite, a popular social media management platform, the best times to post on Instagram are weekdays between 8 AM-12 PM or 4-5 PM. However, the single most popular time to post is on Wednesdays at 11 AM. When you create your next post, try sharing it at this time and monitor how your engagement rates are affected.
It is important to note, though, that while one posting time may work for one business, it may not work for yours. As you become more comfortable with Instagram, experiment with different posting times and find out when your patients are most active.
In addition to when you post, you should be mindful of how often you post. Hootsuite recommends posting between 2-3 times per week but never more than once a day. Posting every few days will keep your content relevant and reachable for your audience without overwhelming them with information.
Aside from using the standard posting feature, you can try out a number of other features to engage your patients. Instagram is one of the most innovative apps in terms of introducing new features, so look to try out as many as you can — then find the ones that fit your pharmacy best. Here are a few to be on the lookout for:
As the third most popular social media platform in the country, Instagram offers a number of ways for content creators (pharmacists included) to share their stories and build their brands. For you and your pharmacy, Instagram provides an opportunity to reach patients of all kinds and build connections that can take your pharmacy far.
When you make your next social media move, take Instagram for a test drive and see the benefits for yourself.
Looking for even more ways to grow your social media presence across multiple platforms? Discover RxLocal’s Social Media Assistant and find out how you can watch your numbers grow and your pharmacy succeed.