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The best social media strategy is diverse, utilizing a few of the top networks. Facebook is probably the first one that comes to mind, but it might not be the top performer. For many dermatologists, that distinction goes to Instagram.

Instagram basics

Although its global userbase is about half the size of Facebook’s, Instagram has an active and loyal audience. Furthermore, it is particularly well suited to skincare experts and medical practices. The average engagement rate per post is 1.22 percent on Instagram, and just 0.032 percent on Facebook, according to Convince and Convert’s 2020 report on healthcare social media marketing.

With limited profile customization and content type options, you might not expect Instagram to require much strategizing. The opposite is true. Competition for attention on the network is fierce, and professional Instagram influencers set the bar for quality high. Ahead we discuss winning strategies to help your dermatology practice stand out from the crowd.

Become an Instagram guru

From to Brides magazine, everyone is talking about a hot new skincare trend, and it’s not a product or technique. It is a social media platform: Instagram. More specifically, people are using Instagram as an information resource, following dermatologists and other trusted experts. Instead of advertising your practice, use Instagram to showcase your expertise—and build a reputation as a trusted voice in skincare. How?

  • Don’t be too wordy. Instagram currently allows captions up to 2,200 characters. You could include almost a full page of text with every post, but that doesn’t mean you should. The best performing posts have shorter captions, with an ideal character count of approximately 138-150. Most importantly, remember that the focus of Instagram is images. Use text within the image or choose a picture that illustrates your point. Captions can contain supplemental information, but people won’t read it unless the image catches their attention.
  • Keep it simple. Consider the mind frame of the average Instagram user. The person is casually scrolling through a social feed, possibly multi-tasking or otherwise distracted. Don’t try to address complex topics or in-depth information. Instead, stick with tidbits and ideas simple enough to comprehend at a glance.
  • Give actionable advice. Memes, inspirational quotes, and interesting facts are great. However, people seeking out Instagram gurus want some usable ideas. Popular types of posts include beauty hacks, tips and tricks, product recommendations, skincare or cosmetic use techniques, and trend alerts. These are the posts that make people say, “I’ve got to try that!”
  • Find your niche. Skincare is a broad topic. One of the best ways to build an audience as a guru is to focus on one (or a select few) subtopic(s). Become “the account to follow” for antiaging tips, acne advice, all-natural product recommendations…the possibilities are endless.
  • Of course, you’ll want to include other types of posts, as well, but consistent and frequent focus on your niche establishes your voice as unique.


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Create your Instagram aesthetic

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “Instagram aesthetic” refers to the overall look of your feed (not specific to any one post). When choosing a design for your website, décor for your office, or clothing for yourself, you are surely mindful of the power of a good first impression. The aesthetic is the first impression a viewer gets when visiting your feed, and it can make that person decide to (or not to) follow you. Here are some tips to create a consistent, and appealing, aesthetic:

  • Color theme. Identify your brand colors (those used throughout your website, marketing materials, and logo). Try to incorporate at least one of them in most (if not all) images that you post. For memes, advertisements, and other created graphics, customizing colors is easy. For photographs it can be a bit more difficult, but certainly not impossible. Look for areas of your office with walls, furniture, signage, or artwork that reflect brand colors. Make note of those spots as good photo backdrops. You can also introduce familiar colors with small accent objects, such as an item of clothing worn by the subject or a vase of flowers on the counter alongside your product.
  • Image style and filters. To give your feed a cohesive feel, you need consistency beyond just colors. Maybe your photos are stark and minimalistic or bold and fun. You might prefer high contrast or muted tones. Preset image adjustments and filters can help achieve cohesiveness throughout the feed, as can consistent photography styles.
  • Stylized text. Do you post some memes, quotes, advertisements, or other images that contain text? If so, be sure to create your own style, using select fonts, colors, layouts, and text placements.
  • The big picture. When you look at someone’s Instagram feed, the photos display in three columns. Currently, there is no way to change the layout. Therefore, you know what photos will be adjacent each other, giving you a great deal of control over your Instagram aesthetic. It is even possible to create a puzzle theme with shared elements, causing the entire grid to appear as a single image.


Instagram is a great place to boost your professional reputation, build your brand, and acquire new leads. Marketing on this network is also more complex and nuanced than it may seem. If your results are lackluster, you might not need a different marketing channel, just a different strategy.

Looking to boost your Insta-game or need ways to bolster your marketing results? Contact Naren at 855-598-3320 or

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