7 Ways to Build a Thriving Instagram Community During Lockdown
Level-up Lockdown for Aesthetic Practitioners & Estheticians
Just because you’re in lockdown doesn’t mean it’s a time to take a break from social media, namely, Instagram.
Lockdown can be a time to get loaded—loaded with ideas to share with your clients and your overall audience who is looking for aesthetics advice and inspiration while they wait it out between clinic appointments.
Think of the lockdown as a time where you can level up and start building a thriving Instagram community for your aesthetics practice.
Why Building a Community is More Important than Ever
Creating an Instagram community for your clinic is one of the best ways to gain brand loyalty, boost engagement, and stay connected to your clients.
And, with lockdowns in effect, there’s never been a more important time to create meaningful connections with your audience through social media.
3 Reasons Why Building a Community Matters
1. Your audience feels connected to you and your other followers. It’s like being in an exclusive club with shared interests, unique connections, and brand understanding
2. You can experience a deeper sense of loyalty from your audience. Followers become your community who help support you in a number of ways—morale, marketing, monetarily, motivation, etc.
3. When you have a thriving community, your brand actually becomes an identity. You’re more than just a clinic that offers various treatments, but rather, you become ingrained in the minds of your community members that you contribute to their lifestyle and are an extension of their identity
While Glossier started off focused around products, they have become an identity, powered by their community.
How to Get Started Building Your Instagram Community Now
1. Get Personal
There’s no better time to get personal than now. While social distancing has kept us physically apart, social media is bringing meaningful messages up-close-and personal.
How do you interact with your clients in real life? Give advice, tips, recommendations, and small talk—these are all important aspects of your brand personality that you can share on Instagram via: captions, Instagram Stories and Reels.
Frequently asked questions and questions that are emailed to you, take the time to answer them on social media. Write a thoughtful email message to a client letting them know that you answered their question via Instagram because you thought others would benefit from the information too. Then send them a link to your post.
2. Invite Your Email List
Message your email contacts to let them know that you’re sharing lots of tips and treatment advice on Instagram. Encourage them to follow your account, like your posts, ask questions and leave comments so that you can chat with them in a more social way. Reward those followers who ask lots of questions, by tagging them in posts, this way, others followers will want to get in on the action of engaging with you and others in your community. You can even have fun competitions or challenges within your community.
3. Promote Your Brand Values
What does your brand stand for? Besides making people look and feel beautiful, do you have a particular theme or ideal that your brand stands for? Perhaps you regularly donate to a specific cause or charity. Share what is really behind your brand, as this is an effective way to strengthen your brand and build connections and community.
Your brand values can also be as distinct as upholding the lifestyle choices that your brand supports—such as using only organic ingredients, for instance.
The goal is to be authentic and to showcase your brand values that can help align people who share your same beliefs or who want to better understand how your brand can bring benefit to their life.
4. Listen to Your Audience
This is definitely a time to share your story, but as you’re building a community, you are also creating opportunities for your audience to share their voice.
Being social is a two-way street, all about engagement and sharing. By listening to your audience, you can gain insight into what treatment protocols are challenging them, what products are working for them, overall, what they care most about.
And, simply, ask them what types of content or information they would like for you to share.
Another simple way to ensure that you’re listening to your audience is to respond to every comment and DM possible—no matter how trivial they seem. By doing this, you show your followers that you “hear” their voice, you’re listening and that you appreciate them sharing their views.
5. Let Your Audience Take Over
Well, not literally, but it’s important that you share user-generated content on your Instagram account, as it is a huge opportunity to build love for your brand and strengthen ties with your online community.
User-generated content, known as UGC, is an amazing marketing tool, as it allows specific members to feel like VIP contributors, while your larger community benefits from actually seeing real people using your techniques or products.
For instance, ask your clients to share their aftercare routines and then post those on your feed, Reels or Stories.
When you share UGC that reflects your audience, it reinforces the connection with your brand and helps members of your community feel represented, which is a truly powerful way to show that you’re here for all of your followers.
And, create a unique hashtag that unifies UGC with your brand.
6. Go Live
Going live on Instagram is an exciting thing, almost like you’re a reporting breaking news. It’s an easy way to get your community’s attention and is one of the most direct ways to connect with them—great for showing the authentic side of your clinic.
When the first lockdown occurred, Instagram Live views doubled, as people sought ways to connect with one another, and this created a really ingenious opportunity for brands to give support and information to their community in a new and unique way.
Take inspiration from the fashion site, Revolve. During lockdown, they’ve been sharing daily workouts, recipes, meditations, and styling sessions to demonstrate to their community that they’re focused on providing helpful content that benefits them.
Why not share your workouts, foods you eat for beautiful skin and various skincare regimens?
7. Give Back to Your Followers
Show your gratitude for the engagement and support you receive from your community by giving back to them.
You can show you care by providing: discounts, loyalty programs, giveaways, and even donations to social causes that your community is interested in.
You also have the opportunity to use Instagram Checkout to reward your community with exclusive skincare product drops that are not available anywhere else.
By being consistent with all of these 7 tips or even just a few, you’ll be well on your way to building a loyal and engaged community on Instagram.