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Why You Should Be Collecting Instagram Handle Names

It may have started back in the early 2000s with Facebook (when it was only for verified college students), but today, social media is a veritable giant in its own right. There were 2.46 billion people using social media in 2017, and a full 1 billion of those are regular Instagram users. While it may have begun as a way for friends and family to keep in touch, businesses can also benefit from social media. Here’s how you can leverage Instagram following feature to increase brand awareness, stay in touch with current clients, and connect with potential new ones.

Grow Your Instagram Followers

It’s common social media courtesy to follow someone back when they follow you, so contacting your patients on Instagram and asking to follow them is an easy way to increase your own audience. It will also put you on more Find People to Follow lists and increase your overall brand exposure, which can help you increase your Instagram followers organically and with relatively minimal effort on your part.

How to Get Instagram Handles

While it’s possible to look up Instagram accounts by a person’s name, people don’t always use their real names on social media (using a first and middle name or a nickname is common), and there are a surprising number of Elizabeth Smiths. The best way to get your patient’s Instagram handle is to ask them for it directly on the patient intake form. For current patients, sending out a secure email blast or making phone calls are both options. Don’t be discouraged if some patients opt out. Some people are very particular about who can view their social media accounts, may not want friends and family to know they’re using certain products or procedures, or may not use social media much at all.

What to Do Once You’re Following

Once you’re officially following a patient, it’s important to follow proper social media etiquette. Comments are great as long as they’re sincere and tailored to the person’s post — posting unsolicited links and such can actually have an opposite effect, causing people to unfollow you — and likes and shares (with proper attribution) are always great. Make sure you’re maintaining an active social media presence on your own Instagram account to give new and old followers alike the opportunity to interact with you as well.

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