Social media

Instagram 101

3 minutes
By CDMV
Published on November 19, 2020

Instagram is not just for selfies and food photos (although…!). In fact, it’s also an incredibly effective marketing channel that generates some of the highest engagement rates of any social platform.

Veterinary teams looking to improve their visibility and drive engagement with their clients should consider making Instagram part of their digital marketing strategy. In fact, it’s easier to attract likes and comments on your Instagram posts than on Facebook and Twitter?

 

Insta…what?
Selfie

Instagram is a social networking platform that emphasizes visual sharing: on this app, the image reigns supreme! Instagram allows users to upload mainly photos and videos and offers a Stories feature that lets them post one or more images or videos in a sequence. These images can be viewed for 24 hours, after which they disappear.

 

Who is the target audience?

As of July 2019, there were over 12 million Instagram users in Canada, representing 32.4% of the total population. By 2023, the number of Instagram users in the country is expected to surpass 14.3 million. People aged 25 to 34 years make up the largest user group.

Instagram users in Canada
July 2019

Source: NapoleonCat.com

 

How can Instagram be used in veterinary marketing?

Pets are one of the most popular subjects on social media.

Since a large number of pets (many of them quite cute!) come through your practice every day, Instagram is a great tool for boosting your visibility.

As of January 2019, more than 98 million posts were tagged with the hashtag #catsofinstagram, and 130 million with the hashtag #dogsofinstagram. These figures make it crystal clear: pet celebrities are in high demand!

By interacting with pet owners on Instagram, you can project an authentic and appealing image with the potential to generate confidence in both existing and potential clients.

 

Here are a few content ideas:
  • your patients (of course!) and their “humans” (a.k.a. your satisfied clients);
  • showcase members of your health care team;
  • educational content for your clients on topics such as well-being, pet behaviour or the importance of preventive care;
  • your practice’s processes and high quality standards;
  • your most popular products.

Tips for getting started on Instagram
  • Start by creating a business profile: It’s easy to set up an account for your practice, and business accounts are linked to your Facebook page, allowing for centralized management. Make sure you provide all the necessary information so people can easily find your clinic. Include the name of your practice and telephone number, your city, and a link to your website. You can enter all this information in the Instagram Bio section during the initial configuration of your account.
  • Use original images: Make the most of the fact that you’re surrounded by cats, dogs and furry little critters all the time (but always get the client’s consent!). Instagram is all about authenticity, so stock images are definitely out!
  • Be daring! Simple photos work well on Instagram, but you can enhance an image and make it more engaging by adding a caption or posting videos (perhaps from your TikTok platform).
  • Optimize your hashtags: When you write a hashtag for a post, Instagram offers options, including the total number of posts already using that hashtag. You should aim for 8 to 11 hashtags for each post. You can even create your own brand hashtag (ex.: #CatDogClinic).
  • Use your location: to target local clients, add your location to help them locate and discover your practice.
  • Repost content generated by your clients: Instagram users love exposure, so don’t forget to give them credit. Mention in your bio that pet owners can tag your account or use your brand hashtag to repost their photos.
  • Create Stories: These are an excellent tool for driving engagement and drawing the attention of potential clients to your account. Using Instagram’s Stories polls and poll stickers, you can even learn more about your followers and gather feedback from them!

Instagram and pets are a perfect match, making this social media app an ideal marketing tool for veterinary teams. All you have to do is let your creativity run wild!

 

Did you like this article?
Find out more about other platforms, such as Facebook and TikTok!

 

Rey – stock.adobe.com

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