The past decade introduced a new age of digital marketing, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation in healthcare marketing has accelerated at a rapid pace. Many PTs or physical therapists have embraced trends and practices in online marketing to promote their clinics and eventually grow their practice.
Among these innovations are the social networks that have proven to be important digital advertising tools. In fact, Instagram (IG) has become a powerhouse online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking site where physical therapists showcase their various health and wellness services.
With over one billion active monthly users in 2021, IG has become one of the digital front doors and initial points of entry for patients. Today, it is the place to be to meet your PT social marketing goals such as:
1. Establish your physical therapy practice as a brand
2. Raise brand awareness
3. Connect with potential patients and build community
4. Generate more leads and build conversions
5. Increase website and foot traffic
6. Increase patient volume and generate more revenue
Here are some tips to make Instagram an effective means to connect with your patients, grow your physical therapy practice, and stretch your reach.
Set your goals
Clearly state your specific marketing objectives and expected outcomes before jumping on the IG marketing bandwagon. When setting your goals, remember to apply the S-M-A-R-T framework:
- Specific – Be explicit with what you are trying to achieve to help you track your progress and measure success. Dig into the nitty-gritty details as much as possible. Do you want to increase the number of your followers? Attract new patients? Improve conversion? Increase revenue?
- Measurable – Quantify your goals and measure your progress by setting a kind of metric, trackable benchmarks or concrete criteria. These may include number of followers gained for a specific period, likes or comments on your posts, new patients, conversions or website traffic.
- Attainable – Only set goals that are within reach and attainable within a certain timeframe. Give yourself an honest reality check and consider any setback or hurdle that may impede your goal.
- Relevant – Ensure that your IG advertising and marketing goals are relevant to your PT business goals
- Timely – Set a clearly defined timeline to accomplish a particular goal
Create an optimized profile
- Choose a username (also known as handle) that is simple, recognizable, descriptive, and searchable.
- Write an informative bio that can draw the attention of users. It could be something that presents your personality and mission, or what can you do, what do you offer, and how your services can benefit the user.
- Include a creative and strong Call-to-Action (CTA) to urge visitors to take further step such as visit your website or other social media profiles, pick up the phone and call, sign up for something or download a file. Take note that you may change the link regularly.
- Wherever possible, make your logo or branding your profile photo.
Create and post engaging content consistently
Remember that IG is an image-based social network, therefore you need to make your post stand out and make a lasting impression by creating a quality content with a strong aesthetic. Take creative snapshots of life in PT practice, post images or videos that showcase your clinic culture, or create infographics that are informative, engaging and visually appealing. These content types among others are a visual way for patients to know more about your healthcare services.
Use the right hashtags
Find relevant hashtags that are in line with what your potential patients are possibly looking for. To maximize your reach and allow people to find your content and ultimately connect with you, use the right blend of industry-specific, brand-specific, and popular or local hashtags.
Boost engagement by using IG Stories and Highlights
Since its introduction in 2016, IG Story, which allows users to post photos and videos that are visible to followers for 24 hours, has become an effective marketing strategy for all kinds of businesses. For physical therapists, IG Story is a great way to extend your reach and share behind-the-scenes content.
This can be a tour of your clinic and PT practice or a quick video to showcase services that you offer. This is also the perfect tool to explain certain procedures or treatments and even share patient testimonials (with their consent, of course.)
Meanwhile, Story Highlights allows you to pick certain IG Stories and save them so that they remain for much longer than 24 hours and can live permanently on your profile. Highlights appear right below your bio and above your IG feed. They are available to your followers to see at any time.
Therefore, a perfect place to direct followers and potential clients to your most important and valuable content such as about your PT business or clinic, your services, contact information, patient success stories (with consent), events and campaigns, and current PT trends among others. Remember to keep and organized them into categories for seamless access
Utilize Live Videos and IGTV
Creating live videos allow you to interact and engage more with your patients and other followers. This is a valuable IG feature for info dissemination as well as Q&A sessions. With IGTV, you may save longer videos on your account where followers can view past the live sessions.
Engage with your patients and followers
Increase engagement by proactively following back your patients and other followers who fit your target audience, leaving and replying to comments, and liking their photos. Strategically focus on users within your target market and specific geographical location.
To wrap up…
Indeed, Instagram for healthcare marketing can be a powerful and effective platform to connect with your current and potential local patient base. During this digital era, social media have become an asset to healthcare professionals such as yourself to enhance your services, provide accurate medical information, engage with patients, and widen your online reach.
Are you ready to take over Instagram?