Likeable captions

Always include a caption with your image, to identify what it is and what is unique or interesting about it. Captions should be short and sweet, and clever or entertaining.

Instagram captioning involves a few key steps; as you are uploading the photo, write a caption similar to what you would post on Twitter — about two lines of content and no more than three hashtags — and share it through all of your other social networks. After the image is posted, write a comment on the same post and add more hashtags. The hashtags help you reach a wider audience.

Avoid posting comments that are solely made up of hashtags, deeming them unreadable and annoying to users. Adding hashtags in the secondary comment field will also keep them on Instagram and Twitter, rather than Facebook, where hashtags are not used
as yet.

There are many new apps to help users create and edit images that were specifically designed for Instagram. For example, apps can help users create beautiful typography on photos, as well as feature an easy ‘send to Instagram’ button. You can also make beauty, health, and wellness-related quotation images with these tools, which any social media guru knows get a lot of likes. The more visually appealing and creative your posts are, the more attention in terms of likes and followers they will get.

The value of hashtags

A hashtag is simply a way for people to search for posts that have a common topic and to begin a conversation. The way to get traction on Instagram is by using hashtags on all of your images. There is no doubt that hashtagging with your images pays off in terms of likes, shares, and followers. This strategy allows you to show off all of your products or services. Instagram becomes a mobile shopping resource for your clients. You can take a snapshot of all your products, and write about them in the description field under each image. Customers even have the opportunity to comment under the image, which may encourage them to provide valuable testimonials that can then be shared.

For example, if you wish to promote a new face cream, take a photo of a lady looking in a mirror and pulling back her face in a funny way so it is smooth, and add a caption like; ‘Got lines & wrinkles? Go a little crazy with #ClinicXYZ new #AntiAgeing Facial Serum with Vitamin A and C’. Instagram is a platform you can have some fun with.

Instagram users search by hashtags to find interesting new content or to follow subjects they are interested in. As a result, it is important that you use both brand-specific and generic hashtags on all the images you upload to the site. Brand-specific hashtags are those that you create based on your clinic’s name, products, and services with name recognition, the doctors’ names, and any other unique features of your business. For example, if your clinic is participating in an event, using hashtags like #ClinicXYZ and #AntiAgeingConf2013 can encourage Instagram users to engage with your content.

Consider using the tagging feature to add hashtagged topics to your images to reach an audience beyond your geographic location and immediate followers. For example, the #Wimbledon2013 hashtag may generate a response from all over the UK, as well as from tennis buffs around Europe.

At the same time, generic hashtags, such as #medicalaesthetics, #skintightening, #laserhariremoval, #fatreduction can help establish your clinic’s Instagram account with industry colleagues, as well as people who may not be familiar with your clinic yet, but are interested in these topics.

Marketing your clinic on Instagram

Instagram’s enthusiastic fan base and built-in social aspects make it an ideal place to connect with potential customers and build brand recognition. As with many social media platforms, your presence on Instagram will not necessarily make the till ring overnight; but it can add to your other visibility boosting activities and enhance your overall social media marketing strategy.

Plan a content strategy for the types of images you want to share and how these graphics communicate your clinic’s key marketing messages. Identify potential followers by viewing who is following your competitors on the site. Watch the kinds of images they are liking and sharing, and think about their preferences to ensure that you are choosing content that your followers and target audiences relate to. Consider what types of content your clinic’s potential followers seem to like most and look at what big beauty brands are doing, such as Sephora, Clinique, and Bobbi Brown. Determine which types of content will most likely encourage your target Instagrammers to engage with your clinic’s brand, and come up with a strategy to get them to share your content and get them talking about your clinic.

To get noticed on Instagram, it is important to create content that is interactive and entertaining. For instance, Instagram’s geolocation feature allows you to tie your images to specific places and provide potential followers with another point of engagement. This feature is called Photo Map and alerts users in your area to your presence, which can be used as a jumping off point for connecting with new followers. You can also use Instagram as a way to build a buzz about an upcoming event, new product, or promotion. Whenever you add a new service or treatment, share a sneak peak about it and reward those who follow you by giving them an early discount or promotion to try it out first. If you are having an upcoming open house seminar, take a picture of the invitation or promotional materials, and share the details about it on Instagram.

Run competitions and giveaways that involve followers submitting their own pictures under your clinic’s hashtags, create caption contests, or upload photos that encourage users to participate in a fun way while learning more about your clinic and what you have to offer. For example, promote a body shaping treatment competition by posting photos of the most coveted celebrity bodies. The possibilities are endless.


Although Instagram is still a free service, the business model of most social networking platforms relies solely on taking advantage of user data, including the ‘content’ users produce. Facebook makes money by letting advertisers direct marketing messages at prospective customers, based on what they reveal about themselves and who their friends are. The personal data they accumulate is their most valuable asset. Advertising is its principal moneymaker. Instagram will surely get into the ad business at some point as well.

Clearly, Instagram is not the right fit for every company or brand. That is why it is important to confirm that your target audience is actually using the site before engaging in the techniques described above. If you do find that your client base is active on Instagram, it may be worth taking advantage of the potential benefits of this new marketing channel. Although it is still new on the social scene, for aesthetic practitioners Instagramming could just be the next big thing.