The Top Instagram Marketing Strategies for Therapists
Instagram has become one of the biggest heavy-hitters in social media marketing today, surpassing 1 billion users in 2020. Believe us when we say your clients and potential clients are on Instagram, and they’re waiting for you to join or, if you’re already there, to step up your Insta-game.
The heart of marketing your therapy practice is showing your potential clients that you understand their challenges and needs. Instagram’s emphasis on visual content ma
kes it the perfect platform for fostering a personal connection and helping your audience trust you because you can connect with them in a meaningful way.
Meeting your clients where they are is the best way to build a trusting and meaningful relationship and to help more people — including those who may never become clients. So whether you’re an Instagram novice or have some experience under your belt, this article will help you master your Instagram marketing game throughout 2021 and beyond.
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Types of Content You Can Post on Instagram
Gone are the days when people only went to Instagram to post a square image to their feeds. Today, Instagram offers five different ways to talk about your therapy practice in a compelling, visual way. Although many people only post square images to their feed, there are other great ways to post videos or moving images.
Instagram Posts are those square images that show up in the feed, and they’re still a popular form of sharing static image-based content on Instagram. Avoid posting images with excessive amounts of text. Focus instead on posting beautiful, thoughtful, and curated imagery that relates to your business and your clients.
You can also post meaningful quotes, which people love sharing on Instagram, but don’t overdo it on the amount of text. People are on mobile devices most of the time, and excess text makes life hard for your followers! Learn more about the feed and posts in this FAQ.
There is no time limit to Instagram Live videos, and it’s a great way to engage with your followers because they can ask questions and comment while you’re live. You can also invite another Instagram user to join your live video, so if you want to interview an expert or pull in another therapist to talk about a hot topic, Instagram Live is a great medium for that. For more information on Instagram Live, check out this FAQ.
As Instagram’s take on TikTok, Reels can be 15- to 30-seconds in length and are a great place to feature mental health or wellness tips. You’ll realize quickly that trends pop up in the blink of an eye on Reels, so watch out for those in the mental health space and hop on the bandwagon to gain wider reach and engage with more of your followers. Learn more with Instagram’s FAQ and size requirements for Reels.
There are more than 500 million daily active Stories users worldwide. These 15-second clips come with a bucketload of filters, stickers, and other features so you can really make them your own. You can do a Q&A, poll, and so much more here, so spend some time experimenting to see what resonates with your audience. Check out Instagram’s FAQ and size requirements for Stories.
IGTV is like the YouTube of Instagram. IGTV has a 60-minute video limit and is great for posting videos such as an introduction to your private practice, what services you offer, or a video introducing people to a particular type of therapy. Everything you need to know about IGTV can be found in this IGTV FAQ.
The Best Content for Therapists on Instagram
With so many options for Instagram content, are you wondering which type will get you the most engagement — think comments, shares, likes, saves, and new clients? The short answer is a mix of all of them. The most important thing to remember about adding any social network to your therapist marketing strategy is that your potential clients have different preferences and they use social networks differently.
Some of your potential clients might prefer watching Stories, others may prefer image Posts, and others may head straight to IGTV. Ultimately, you have to post a variety of content and watch the data to see how people are engaging with each type of content you share.
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Be Thoughtful About Links on Instagram
Did you know that the only clickable link on Instagram is the one in your Instagram profile? If you’re posting links in captions or comments, they’re not clickable and can create a frustrating user experience for your followers. To avoid driving your followers away with links to helpful articles, your blog, or website, use a service like Linktree or Linkin.bio, which lets you link to multiple sites from a single link in your profile.
Don’t Forget: Captions Can Make or Break Engagement
Instagram’s algorithm puts posts with high levels of engagement higher up in the feed and having a well-written caption can make a huge difference in engagement. You can include captions on all types of content, so spend some time crafting meaningful captions. Here are some pro tips for mastering the art of Instagram captions:
- Tag relevant accounts. Another caption tactic is to tag related brands or other therapists, which can result in them commenting, reposting, or sharing your content to their Stories or feeds. For example, if you share one of Brene Brown’s Posts to your Stories or feed, tag her! Just don’t go overboard on tagging because Facebook — Instagram’s parent company — has its eye on engagement baiting.
- Don’t forget hashtags! Sprout Social recommends two to five hashtags as the sweet spot, but the number doesn’t matter so much as relevance. Yes, you can post anywhere from 30 to 60 hashtags in your caption — and even more in the comments — but Instagram will assume you’re spamming for greater reach. Use a good balance of localized and trending hashtags so when people search Instagram, your posts show up in the results.
- Add captions to videos, too. To make sure your video content is accessible and viewable by the 40% of people who view Instagram videos without the sound on, always caption your video content.
- Focus on getting saves. Whether you’re micro-blogging — think posting instructions for a mindfulness exercise or a recipe — or keeping it short and sweet, your caption should encourage followers to save your content for later. When people save your Posts or Reels, that gets Instagram’s attention and pushes your content higher in the feeds of your followers, clients, and their friends.
Despite Instagram’s 2,200-word limit on captions, Sprout Social found that 138-150 characters are the best length for captions. As with all things on social media, test out different lengths and styles of captions and keep an eye on the data to see what resonates most with your audience.
How Often to Post Therapy Content on Instagram
For anyone exploring social media marketing, these are the million-dollar questions:
- How often should I post on Instagram?
- What is the best day/time to post on Instagram?
If you search the web for the definitive answer to either of these questions, you’re sure to find different conclusions based on different data. Some experts suggest posting at least once per day but no more than three times per day and others say that major brands post an average of 1.5X per day.
As for when to post, HubSpot and Hootsuite found that the best day and time to post is Wednesday at 11 a.m. Another company, Later, settled on a range of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunchtime) and 7 to 9 p.m. (evening) as the ideal times for Instagram posts.
Ultimately, it’s about quality over quantity. Create a posting schedule, stick to it, and evaluate how your content is performing. Then, pivot or try out different times or days. You’ll find what works best for you, but don’t forget that algorithms are a moving target, and obsessing over the right day and time will exhaust you mentally.
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Get Started Growing Your Therapy Business on Instagram
Now stop reading and start posting! Your ideal client is waiting for you on Instagram (or Facebook or Twitter), and now that you’ve polished your Instagram skills, it’s time to put them to use! If you don’t already have an Instagram business account, it’s free and it’s easy to sign up.
Now that you have a better idea about the best way to market your therapy practice on Instagram, it’s time to get to work. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed about the time it might take to keep your Instagram account active? Instagram is coming soon to Social Genie, the best social media management and scheduling software available for therapists.
Want to be notified when we launch Instagram on Social Genie? Then you’re in the perfect place.
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