Instagram Do’s and Don’ts for Veterinarians
Since Instagram launched in 2010, it has gained momentous popularity, becoming one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. To date, Instagram has over 1.3 billion users and counting.
With so many users on this mega platform, it can be challenging to climb the Instagram trend ladder. Fortunately, as a veterinary practice, you have the edge over other users. Why? Pets are one of the most popular topics trending on the platform right now. In fact, some of the most popular influencers on Instagram are actually animals.
That’s why you should be posting all about your adorable furry patients and the care you provide them. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some Instagram Do’s and Don’t tips to take your Vet Instagram profile to the next level.
Do: Have Fun With Your Content
Instagram is a great platform to give the world a look into your practice in a fun, visual way. From cute animal photos to educational infographics, you should experiment with different types of content to add some personality to your Instagram account.
Cracking the Instagram game can be tricky, and there’s no surefire way to get new followers. However, Instagram is a very visual platform, and that’s why you should take into account the quality of the content you share.
When you post something on your stories or feed, you should ask yourself: will my followers possibly find this engaging? So how do you get started?
Here are some content ideas that might interest pet owners near you:
- Holiday posts such as National Pet day or National Rescue day
- Local community events like pet adoptions and pet meets
- Commonly asked questions to establish your expertise on your field
- Pet of the week features to showcase your cutest patients
- An office/clinic tour give a sneak peek into your practice and introduce your staff and services
- Inspirational stories of animal success stories
- Pet trivia can educate your followers on some interesting and lesser-known pet information
Pet owners and animal lovers in general love seeing educational content and being entertained. Fun pet-related social media holidays are always a hit because it gives them more reason to celebrate their love for animals.
Mix up your captions with fun trivia, educational facts, and inspirational stories. And don’t forget tons of cute animal pictures – there is no such thing as too many adorable dogs and cats!
Don’t: Underestimate the Benefits of Good Quality Photos
The quality of photos you post on your Instagram feed reflects you and the care you put into your veterinary clinic to viewers. You risk driving away potential leads by posting poor-quality images.
Instagram is the most visual social media platform around, even more than Facebook. Hence, it would be best to share photos of excellent quality. Nice photos can open doors for you to get new leads, so it’s always best to bring your a-game on Instagram! The opportunities nowadays are endless.
The images on your Instagram profile tell a story, and you can take this platform as an opportunity to educate, amuse or inspire. For example, if you’re a large animal veterinarian, posting a photo with trivia captions on farm animals like sheep, horses, and goats can be very interesting to the casual viewer.
Consider taking original pictures or even staging a photoshoot if you have the budget for it. There is value in enlisting professional services, especially with high standards. On the other hand, many smartphones have high-quality camera lenses, allowing you to take lovely photos.
Another option is getting free and paid stock photos. A few downloadable stock images are always handy to have to fall back on if your vet practice is too busy to continue taking original photos on a regular basis. Consider taking a stock image and adding your vet practice logo or even a quote.
You may also opt to get free and paid stock photos from various sources on the internet such as Pexels, Shutterstock, Pixabay, and many more! These sites assure instant high-quality photos without getting breaking the bank.
In a nutshell, having a cohesive look can reinforce the professionalism of your business and improve brand awareness.
Do: Create Videos to Entice Pet Owners
At first, Instagram accounts were only allowed to post photos on the platform, but in 2013, the website launched a video-sharing feature. To this day, videos remain popular content on Instagram. That’s why it’s worthwhile to take the time to post exciting videos on your veterinary Instagram.
While a picture can say a thousand words, you have the opportunity to explain yourself better and showcase your practice’s unique style through video format. There are different options to choose from. Instagram allows you to post videos as long as 60 seconds on your regular profile. You can now also post longer videos for your IGTV.
In recent years, Instagram introduced Reels, which are basically videos that you can edit with special effects and music. You have the option to post the Reels on your Instagram feed or have them disappear like an Instagram Story. However, unlike other Instagram video options, you can’t directly post-cross Reels on your Facebook or Twitter account.
You also have the option to post 10-second stories that expire after 24 hours. Unlike the other video mentioned above, this option will only be shown temporarily (unless you add them to your Story Highlights). Still, with 500 million people watching Instagram stories every day, it’s a fantastic way to drive engagement and catch the eye of other users.
As a start, you can post fun videos about your staff in their day-to-day activities. This type of content gives your followers a preview of what happens in your veterinary practice and your office culture. You can also post about the pets you cater to, with their owners’ permission, of course.
Another interesting idea would be to post a vet answering some commonly asked questions about pet care. With this, you can put all the awesome things you learned in veterinary school to good use by sharing some of your knowledge on various platforms. This is an excellent opportunity for some animal education. Remember videos allow you to connect with your audience in a more personal manner so personalize them and have fun.
Don’t: Overuse Hashtags
Sure the use of hashtags can get the attention of Instagram users. It might even lead to an increase in your Instagram page. However, while it can lead some users to your picture or video, you don’t need to go overboard with the number of hashtags you use per post.
Why? Adding a paragraph full of hashtags that aren’t relevant to your post can attract more bots than real people. Overdoing it with the hashtags won’t help improve the engagement rate of your posts. In fact, doing so may even hurt the post’s performance.
Before you add hashtags to your regular posts, consider creating a possible list of hashtags on a separate document or sheet that you can refer to in the future. Then, you can go back to this list when you’re looking for appropriate hashtags for your post. This can make the process of scheduling your posts so much easier.
#vet #veterinarian #dogsofinstagram #vetlife #petlovers #animalhospital #vetnurse #vetcare #petfacts #veterinarylife #veterinaryhospital #instavet #doglovers #pets #cat #veterinary #vettech #animals #puppies #pet #vetmed #puppiesofinstagram #catsofinstagram
You should also try changing up the hashtags you use from time to time instead of limiting yourself to the same old hashtags for every post. Changing things up might catch the attention of other people who aren’t in your current network.
Plus, it would help if you also tried using unique hashtags versus common hashtags. This is because you have a better chance of showing up first when people search for that specific tag. On the other hand, you risk getting buried in the plethora of content available if you use a more common hashtag.
For example, if you’re a large animal vet, you should capitalize on the uniqueness of your line of work by using hashtags related to the services you provide for large animals.
Do: Use a Content Calendar
While you can post directly on Instagram with a smartphone, social media scheduling tools can make managing your account so much easier. A social media calendar can save you a lot of time to focus on other veterinary practice matters. Plus, it helps make sure you don’t miss anything important.
Having a content calendar can help you organize your feed and plan your business page. Through the use of a content calendar, you can specify the headlines, post topics, photos, hashtags, and deadlines for posts weeks or even months in advance. This means you can schedule photo shoots in advance or download the stock images needed without having to cram.
While a content calendar can help you get organized, nothing is set in stone. You can choose to move around or delay posts as needed. Making a content calendar might require some time and effort. Still, it’s a good step in the right direction if you want your veterinary practice to have a more organized social media aesthetic, and in turn, high-quality photo and video content.
Some popular content calendar tools online include Hootsuite, Trello, and HubSpot. However, if you don’t think these platforms are the right fit for you, you can explore other providers that can help your social media content planning process so much easier.
Don’t: Forget to Include Your Practice’s Location In Posts
One of the benefits of Instagram is the option to share your practice’s location with your followers through geotagging.
By adding your office location to your posts, your also improving your brand awareness. Use these platform location features to further get your practice’s name out there.
Plus, tagging your clinic’s location can make the search for your clinic so much easier. While having cute animal videos on your feed may generate a lot of interactions, the goal of your business page is to get new patients through your door.
Aside from driving traffic to your practice’s location, geotagging can also help drive traffic if your clinic participates in a local event. Specifying where you and the event will be held can help market that event. This way, your followers have something to refer to if they’re interested in attending or visiting.
Taking Your Veterinary Instagram to the Next Level
There is more to Instagram than simply gaining followers. Taking the time to elevate your practice’s online presence on this social media platform can be challenging. However, navigating through the social media landscape can be easier with a professional managing your social media and save your practice vital time.
VetMatrix can design your veterinarian website and personalize your social media platforms for you. Tell your practice’s story the best way possible for pet lovers in your area. Contact us to get a website that is tailored to your practice. If you need help getting set up, call us at 800.792.8384 or click here.