Your Acupuncture Practice on Instagram

Your Acupuncture Practice on Instagram

            Instagram is fast becoming one of the biggest social media platforms to share your expertise, with over 500 million active users. Instagram is marketing for your brand that consumers look for when searching for anything in today’s digital age, and it if you don’t have a social media presence, you will more than likely skipped over compared to a provider who is active on social media. The bottom line: acupuncture practices that are on social media are seen and heard, for free. Let’s explore how you can use Instagram today to grow brand recognition, patient loyalty, and expand your network.

Connecting with Your Audience

            Acupuncturists who are currently on Instagram and are active users will tell you the first amazing benefit to having an Instagram account are the connections. These are connections that you may not otherwise make with other acupuncturists as well as patients and potential patients.

Instagram for Your Acupuncture Practice – What Are the Benefits:

  • Trust and Connection – having over 500 million active users daily, multiple times a day, is an extremely fast way to share your acupuncture and TCM expertise, allow others to learn about you as a person & acupuncturist, and what you want people to know about your practice. You get to be the expert that shows up and connects with those that may not have even ever thought of doing acupuncture before.

  • Hear real patient voices – “social listening” helps you understand what is and isn’t important to your audience. Since this helps to find out what your target audience is following and interested in or struggling with, you can create content on your Instagram that people can connect with.

  • Increases personalization – Instagram makes it easy to enter a potential patient’s daily life without being intrusive, helping you stay top-of-mind. People like the idea of acupuncture practices that understand when it is and isn’t okay to promote. Additionally, Instagram allows you as the acupuncturist to not only personalize your practice, but humanize it. Instagram allows the acupuncture provider to show followers who they are as a person, which opens up an opportunity for patients to develop a liking towards you, and garner interest in your services. People on social media today want real people, and are fairly uninterested in anything that is to “salesy” or “stock.”

  • Loyalty – The proof is in the pudding – when you provide a superior service and results to your patients,  they develop trust and a sense of loyalty to you. This trust and loyalty can also make patients more likely to seek you out on social media, and give you a follow!  Instagram and other social media platforms allow you to interact with your followers daily in a fun and engaging way.  For example, if a patient posts a post-cupping treatment selfie and tags you in it, and then you repost it, this shows customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can help increase your following.  Your treatment appreciation from that one patient is contagious, and will, without much effort, gain you potential future patients. 

All of that being said, these connections are not made overnight. The key to benefiting from social media is consistency.  Building a following and seeing patients may take quite some time, but if you have a strategy, pay attention, and use Instagram correctly, it can truly build long standing relationships with other outstanding acupuncturists, as well as patients.  You can think of Instagram as a replacement for your business card simply by popping up on your audience feed.

Another aspect of connection is interacting with fellow acupuncturists. One of the quickest ways to get new followers on Instagram is to get a shout out from another acupuncturist especially if they already have a large following. Instagram is unique in that many popular accounts are owned by average people with their own practices who have worked hard to build
the audience they have. 

Now, acupuncturists can use platforms like Instagram to collaborate with other acupuncture providers, without tension and expand their audience by simply sharing a post or giving a shout out.

Peak Acupuncture Patient Interest

            Creating connection is a huge perk with Instagram, but how do we get that following to our acupuncture practice to even begin having a connection with our patients and others? We have all heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and with Instagram that is exactly what you’re doing in addition to the other added features that help gain attention like stories, Instagram TV, and Reels.

Acupuncture Practice Instagram Following – How Do I Do It?:

  • Organize & implement your identity –  this is the impression that a follower would get upon first glance of your profile, and it’ll tell people without really even reading any content that they are on your page. This identifies your practice and what you have to offer. Your Instagram identity/feeling includes:
    • Colors – pick a few colors that your overall posts give off when someone looks at your profile

    • Captions – figure out how you are going to communicate and convey through the text on your posts. Will it be funny, witty, serious, simple and short, fun, etc.

    • Focal point – what are the main things you post about? Pick a few things that represent your practice well which could be certain conditions you regularly give information about, points, or, in this time we’re living in, maybe products/services that you’re offering virtually!

    • Feeling – this is how patients and anyone else feels when they get to your page. What feeling to you want to create around your practice?

  • Consistently post – this is an important one. As with many other things in the acupuncture business, and any business for that matter, consistency is key. This allows your followers and those interested in acupuncture to be able to see you daily, stay at the top of their mind, and look for future postings. If you feel like you don’t have the time, there are apps that allow you to schedule posts such as Later which has a free option and is a great starter.

  • Valuable content – this involves beautiful or raw images or videos, and text descriptions that are engaging with a call to action. What makes your practice different/special? Convey those qualities in every post. Adding value, while creating stunning images/videos will always create a following.

  • Hashtags – while it may seem like an afterthought, hashtags are how people find and see your posts. It is important to use the right ones for your niche (acupuncture and TCM), healthcare, and the content of the post. Use the hashtag funnel to help with what to put at the top and bottom.

    • Industry – healthcare, natural healthcare, etc.

    • Niche – acupuncture & TCM, herbal medicine

    • Brand – your acupuncture practice or ones that distinguish your practice

    • Community – acupuncture online community common hashtags (#acupuncture, #TCM, #acupunctureworks, etc.)

    • Location – commonly used terms in your community or the actual location of your acupuncture practice

    • Holiday – if the post is related to any special holiday or event such as Christmas, Memorial Day, etc, add this hashtag too

    • Trending – these change often, sometimes daily. However, these are important to look at day to day as it can help you reach a large number of people in the Instagram platform quickly.

All in all, find a style that works for you and build a community on top of that. Paying attention to those who are successful on Instagram is also helpful. Why are they successful? What is working for them that didn’t work for you in the past, and how can you incorporate that to be unique to your acupuncture practice?

Should My Acupuncture Practice Have an Instagram?

We would say that the answer to this question is entirely up to you. If you don’t find it fun, and are not going to show up regularly with a plan, or create posts that are mindful and helpful, then it may not be a good fit for you and your acupuncture practice right now.

However, platforms like Instagram are only going to gain further ground going forward to which we say, it may be beneficial for you to move with the times. Instagram and other social media platforms allow you to add value daily without even asking for anything from the patient. In business, there is the “rule of seven” which says that people need to see your message or business at least 7 times before they will buy or try your brand out, and in 2020-2021, that number is probably even higher. Instagram allows patients to see what you’re about over and over creating faster, easier awareness of you and your acupuncture practice. Instagram could
be the tool to take you into the 21st century, and stay relevant for patients and potential patients in your area, while adding something that old methods didn’t add: showing patients the true value of getting acupuncture.