- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On March 14, 2016
- Social media
Quick, what’s the fastest growing social network? If you said Instagram, have a gold star. It’s most popular with young, affluent adults, and it’s gaining ground with older adults as well.
When it comes to engaging users on social media, Instagram can’t be beat. In fact, it blows every single other social network out of the water, boasting engagement rates many times that of Facebook and Twitter. Forrester called it the “King of Social Engagement” in 2014, and it didn’t have any trouble holding onto its crown in 2015.
That means you can make a big impact with a small following, and growing your follower base can have huge results. Whether you’re just starting out on Instagram or your Instagram marketing needs a checkup, keep these six tips in mind.
Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are just as important on Instagram as they are on Twitter. According to Simply Measured, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than those with none.
With no character limit, there’s no limit to how many hashtags you can use. Posts with two or three hashtags receive the most engagement. Average engagement goes down when you exceed three, but it goes down slowly, so that doesn’t mean you can’t use more when it makes sense.
Tag your location—and encourage visitors to do the same
Hashtags give a nice engagement boost, but it’s nothing compared to the boost you get by tagging a location. Posts with tagged locations receive 79 percent more engagement than those that don’t.
In addition to tagging your hospital locations, include some popular locations in the area in your marketing. It’ll show that you’re involved in your community and increase your visibility when people look at local restaurants, parks, sports arenas and more.
When you’re creating hashtags for your own marketing campaigns, favor action. Brands like Nike have found enormous success with hashtags like #chooseyourwinter and #runfree that encourage people to get moving and share their progress.
For hospitals, this is a perfect way to inspire members of your community to live better, healthier lives, whether it’s by exercising more, eating right or getting screened.
Focus on people
Instagram has a reputation for food pictures, but pictures with faces get the most engagement—36 percent more likes than the average post. Adding the handles of people in your pictures increases engagement by 56 percent.
Healthcare marketing is all about people—patients and the staff that makes your hospital stand out. Those people have stories. Tell them.
Use Instagram’s add-on tools
When a photo simply isn’t enough, Instagram offers three handy tools to help you create the perfect post.
Hyperlapse lets you create time-lapse videos without tripods or camera equipment. It’s perfect for capturing the action at events in a fun, engaging way.
Boomerang ups your video game with videos that play backward and forward in an endless loop. Next time a local celebrity or mascot visits patients, let them watch the action over and over again.
There are plenty of apps that will help you create photo collages, but Layout is as simple as it gets. Just choose the photos you want then drag and drop to rearrange them in any order, pinch to zoom in or out and move the borders around to resize them.
Use other tools to create simple designs
These days there are plenty of easy-to-use tools to help marketers create cool graphics in just a few minutes. Here are two of the easiest:
Canva got big practically overnight because it’s quite simply one of the simplest ways to make graphics without design skills or expensive software. It has presets for Instagram (and all of your other social networks) and hundreds of ready-to-use layouts for holidays or everyday posts.
Just upload a photo and pick a design you like and Canva will make all the tough choices like typography and spacing for you.
Don’t frown at PowerPoint—it’s surprisingly good at creating simple graphics and almost everyone has a copy and knows how to use it. Just add a full size background and pick a slide layout to add text. It even has basic layer functionality built in so you can add overlay patterns or other images.