Jul
25
2016

Welcome to Instagram

Instagram is a cutting-edge social media platform with lots of possibilities for the veterinary world. As a mobile phone app, it allows users to post colorful images, videos, and text to their followers. This platform is most effective when used with vivid imagery and brief text to convey big ideas in a simple way. The possibilities for this medium opened up when Facebook purchased Instagram to extend their advertising reach. In 2015, Facebook integrated with Instagram, so you can now advertise via Facebook to both platforms even without an Instagram account. This means you have the potential to reach an additional audience with your Facebook ads, or reach each social media audience in different ways.

Creating effective ads

The opportunity to use Instagram advertising is in your Facebook Ads Manager. The beauty of this union is that it ties in the precision of Facebook ad targeting with Instagram’s visual components. With Facebook advertising, you can target users geographically, including a defined radius around the hospital, as well as by age, gender, interests, behaviors, and more. Now, you can also use this precision to target the Instagram platform.

Not every ad is suitable for both platforms, however. Facebook will give you the option to advertise on Instagram only if the ad is suitable for the platform, so be sure to use large, high-resolution images. Additional advertising guidelines for both platforms can be found online.

Another great tip is to use relevant hashtags in your Instagram post or Facebook ads that will run on Instagram. Hashtags are the # symbol followed by a phrase. It helps group ideas together. For instance, if you were to post a cute picture of a dog, you could use the hashtag #cutedogs and anyone who uses that hashtag or is subscribed to that hashtag could potentially see your post. Therefore, you gain more exposure with the same post. 

You can also link your Instagram account to your Facebook page. This allows your Instagram posts to be automatically shared on Facebook. To do this, simply select your Instagram account in your Facebook page settings.

Is Instagram right for your practice?

It is best to use Instagram if you are willing to put in the time to take photos and post them frequently. This is not a platform for only sharing content created by other sources. It is important to take or create your own images and post frequently. If you are a practice that likes to capture the moment and the day-to-day operations at your hospital, it will be a great platform for you.

The other important factor to evaluate for your practice is that Instagram tends to have younger users. This group of people may not be the ones paying the veterinary bills, so you will want to evaluate your current or target clientele and see if it is the right choice to incorporate a younger generation into your targeting. If you have a younger audience or want to build that market segment, Instagram is a great choice for your practice!

Managing social media has become a full time job, and merely handing it off to an employee with an existing workload will likely not get the desired results. If you feel your current social media strategy is lacking, contact us today for information about the social marketing services that Beyond Indigo offers. We’d love to help your practice expand its social reach!

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Red is your guide to everything AAHA. Whether you’re looking for association news, updates on our educational offerings, the latest books from AAHA Press, deals from our Preferred Providers, or fun reads from various AAHA staff and AAHA-member veterinary professionals, this is where you’ll find it.

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