Instagram has become so popular that Facebook considers the photo-sharing site to be one of its key competitors. With over 100 million monthly active users uploading 40 million photos per day, the almost overnight growth has taken many social media enthusiasts by storm.

Whether or not you are on board yet with sharing, tweeting, and posting photographs of importance to you, Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing site that Facebook paid $1 billion (£650000) for is worth a look for aesthetic clinics. It is essentially a community in which users take and share photos with one another. It allows users to change, personalise and share photos taken with their mobile phones or tablets. Users can enhance colours, tweak the background or add a frame, and then share photos with other Instagram users, as well as on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

So far, Instagram is aligned towards a younger user; therefore, it is not ideally suited for targeting patients for invasive cosmetic procedures or marketing your facelift clinic. It may be more effective as a platform for talking about beauty products, cosmetics, and skincare, as well as places, events, and travel content. If you are not active on all of the most important social media platforms, you might be losing revenue, as well as new clients, to your competition.

Although Instagram is the most important real-time photo-sharing platform, there are many other programmes out there to investigate if you care to expand your horizons.

Becoming an Instagrammer

To dive into Instagram, you simply use your mobile device, open an account in your clinic or brand’s name, and choose a password. You can login at, but this is a mobile platform that requires a smart phone. The beauty of Instagram is the programme’s ability to convert mundane snapshots into stunning, visually interesting, creative imagery via unique tools and filters. ‘Instagrammers’, as users are called, can then share these artistic variations of their photos through major social media platforms, which is its primary goal.

Your Instagram feed can go directly to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, or Tumblr to provide your marketing channels with interesting images that are uniquely yours due to Instagram’s toolbox.

[pull_quote align=”right” ]The beauty of Instagram is the ability to convert mundane snapshots into stunning, visually interesting, creative imagery via unique tools and filters.[/pull_quote]

Thus, Instagram provides another opportunity for connecting with influencers and clients and to create loyalty. To become active on Instagram you have to follow other users, like their photos, and share their content. The ratio of getting people to follow you back on Instagram is pretty high. But Instagram requires a fair amount of time to get into the groove and there is a slight learning curve if you are not a photographer by nature or do not have a creative bone, so to speak.

Posting about three to five times per week is a reasonable benchmark to start with. If you get into the Instagram habit, posting daily or a few times daily is a good goal.

Images that get noticed

Any photos you choose can be shared through Instagram, but the key is to make sure they are attractive and relatable to your target audience. You may want to brush up on your photography skills. Users can be extremely particular about the images they like, and if your photos don’t look good, you won’t get followers easily.

If your photos tend to have red eyes, images that are not centred, or you are prone to chopping heads off, you are missing the point of Instagram by a mile. Assign someone on staff who has some background or experience in photocomposition and a good artistic eye. Instagram users are accustomed to seeing images that have been enhanced using either the site’s built-in photo filters or other manually produced effects. That is a key feature of the Instagram platform.

Instagram users tend to like to feel that they are part of your world; like they belong to a special club and are treated like an insider. Personal information that you are willing to share is popular, but be careful not to make it too personal to maintain appropriate boundaries. Photos of staff are very appealing, and gives users a glimpse of smiling, friendly people before they even enter your clinic. Photographs should also seem natural, not over posed or edited, so as to feel real and credible. You want to give them a taste of the personality and image of the clinic so they will want to come and be treated and pampered by you. Aesthetic clinics can also promote the local community and regional festivals, historical sites, and milestones. Let people take a sneak peek into what it would be like for them to use your services. For example, you might post a photo of the doctor blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, and add a caption like, ‘Mr/Dr Jones has a big birthday — time to bring out the Botox!’

Think of Instagram as an extension of Facebook, but where your content takes the form of visuals and is the capital you use to attract and engage new followers.