Private Duty

Cultivate an Instagram presence to capitalize on growing marketing opportunities

Home care agencies should employ an Instagram business account to improve marketing opportunities. Doing this can increase online exposure and possible referrals.

Use of the social media platform is on the rise in the home care industry. About 23% of private duty home care providers had an Instagram business account in 2018, compared to just 6.6% of agencies in 2017, according to the fall edition of the 2019 Home Care Benchmarking Study by Home Care Pulse.

The study also showed that agencies are posting more frequently on this platform.

Agencies are potentially leaving referrals on the table if they are not on Instagram, says Jason Lewallen, vice president of marketing for Home Care in Nashville, Tenn.

“Getting started with Instagram is a really good idea. It’s never too soon to start,” says Valerie VanBooven, the Saint Charles, Mo.-based co-owner and founder of LTC Expert Publications, which provides online marketing strategies for providers in home care and assisted living.

With Instagram currently growing, agencies should learn about the platform itself, establish a basic audience, and develop a solid marketing plan, VanBooven says.

“It’s really important to get that business account started, to use it as a community outreach platform, VanBooven says. “As we move on, and more and more social platforms come to the forefront, Instagram’s demographic will grow older, and it will eventually be a great demographic for home care.”

For agencies who have not started an Instagram account, there is plenty of material available to help set up the business profile properly. One place to start is through Instagram itself. The platform provides instructions on how to set up a business account. Be sure to connect the Instagram business account to your agency’s Facebook business page.

Keep in mind that your branding matters, Lewallen says. It matters that your agency is showing up on feeds and users recognize who you are.

If your agency appears unprofessional on Instagram or lacks a logo and recognizable brand, it will not help drive business, Lewallen says. — Megan Pielmeier (mpiemeier@decisionhealth.com)