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Webinar: Your Instagram Symptoms and the Path to Wellness

September 05, 202229 min read

“How do you cure your Instagram woes? The time component and all the other issues really start to fall away when you really focus on those targeted and engaged followers — and it doesn't have to be that large a number of followers!” - Joanne Hernon


Root Cause Marketing launches our new webinar education series with Joanne Hernon, social media maven and educator, and head of the marketing arm of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.

In this session, learn how Instagram provides healthcare providers and healers direct access to their ideal audience where you can bring value to their lives and build a loyal following. Growth on Instagram will enable you to grow your awareness, influence, and opportunities to grow your practice.


Diagnosing Your Instagram Symptoms and the Path to Wellness - Joanne Hernon, Growth Ledge Agency

Jennifer Wenzel  00:05 

Thank you for joining us for the inaugural webinar from Root Cause Marketing. We are a digital marketing agency working exclusively for Functional Medicine doctors and Integrative Medicine specialists. We are so glad to be here with you today to launch the series of educational webinars focused on marketing your health practice without stress and overwhelm. I'm Jennifer Wenzel.

Landy Miyake  00:31

I'm Landy Miyake. Today we are excited to welcome our guest, Joanne Hernan. Joanne is a social media maven and an accomplished marketing and sales leader with over 17 years of experience. With her expertise in her growth hacking techniques, Joanne has helped Integrative Health practitioners and organizations hit their goals through strategic campaigns. Her agency, Growth Ledge Agency, is the marketing arm for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, helping them through many marketing strategies, including social media. Hi, Joanne.

Joanne Hernon  1:13

Hi, everybody. I'm glad to be here and I’m excited to talk about Instagram. I wanted to talk to all of you today about how to diagnose your Instagram symptoms and what the path to wellness is. We realized as marketers how frustrating Instagram can be, but it's such a great tool to use. Just a little bit more. I know we did a little intro about us but I just wanted a little bit more information about who we are as an agency. We provide social media services to healthcare providers, Functional Medicine, Integrative doctors and healers, so we are really zeroed in on what techniques work the best for them. Wiith our programs, we're able to help our clients build flawless reputations online, which is so important and also to build that trust with their ideal audiences. So now we are not just providing social media or marketing services but now you're looking at building out material and classes where we are going to start to give away all of our agency secrets. 

Joanne Hernon  2:31

So here are some of our clients we talked about. I mentioned we're really focused on working with doctors and within the wellness industry. But I wanted to talk to you a little bit about some of the really important statistics you may not be aware of about social media for health. So over 75% of Americans use social media to research their health symptoms. It may seem a little scary, but it's true. So they are looking for information about their health on their social media outlets and Instagram. More than 80% of patients will look at a provider's or practice reviews on social media so if they get referred by another person they will look you up on your social media. 

Joanne Hernon  3:34

90% of individuals aged 18 to 24 say they trust medical information that they see on their feeds. So it's important to be very accurate and authentic and we're going to talk a lot about authenticity. So the conclusion is that social media is really an effective tool to grow your practice. We're going to focus on Instagram today, and the reason why I want to focus on Instagram is because it's such a great network that really, you can grow really quickly. Facebook is a lot slower. Twitter's really focused on news. LinkedIn is really more of a b2b tool, and Tick tock is really all about videos and is for a much younger audience. But Instagram is just a really great sweet spot. And with the Instagram algorithm, you really are able to grow your audience and build a loyal following. So let's talk a little bit about what are the three factors that make a great Instagram. So the first thing is influence. Now I'm sure you've heard of influencers and those are people who may have really large Instagram followings or social media followings.

Jennifer Wenzel  5:00

I know I can name a few. So I'm thinking I'm thinking the Kardashians. That's the first thing that jumps into my head. Yes.

Joanne Hernon  5:08

But having an enormous following, isn't what I mean by this influence. What I mean is that you have a loyal audience who you are influencing through your content, and we'll get into more details about that. Engagement is also very important. So you can have a very small but engaged audience who are interacting with your content, who are signing up for your programs, who are making comments. So engagement is very important. And then authenticity. I talk about this a lot and I talk about this a lot with people in the healthcare industry because a lot of times I think there's a hesitation about what I should or shouldn't say on Instagram because I have to be so careful. Being in the healthcare industry, so being authentic, being truthful, not making any diagnoses online, but still sharing information will all be important components to build that authenticity. 

Joanne Hernon  6:22

So here are the things that we hear from our clients all the time. I post all the time, but my followers aren't growing. I'm running a busy clinic, how am I supposed to find time to post? I can't come up with any more ideas and when will I start to see growth in my business based upon Instagram? And I'm not sure if anybody else out there has any other problems that are symptoms for their Instagram, if anyone wants to add any other problems that they have with their Instagram.

Jennifer Wenzel  6:57

Yeah, I know we hear that second one all the time. We work with a lot of very busy practitioners. And as doctors they are keeping up so much with all of the amazing things that are happening in the field and just making sure that they're treating their patients with as much care and concern as possible that does not leave time to do social media posting. So that is definitely the thing that we're hearing the most. I would love to hear other people's thoughts, too.

Landy Miyake  17:27

Yeah, I would agree with you on that. It's definitely a time issue. And it does take some time. So I mean, it's perfect that she's giving us these tips so that they can hopefully you know, take that to their practice and feel that they can at least dive in there a little.

Jennifer Wenzel  17:46

Yeah, and do what they do best. While you know, while letting Instagram kind of take care of itself with these tips. 

Joanne Hernon  7:58

So how to cure your Instagram woes then. So, it's the time component, and all the other issues really start to fall away when you really focus on that targeted and engaged followers. We talked about how it doesn't have to be that large followers. So demonstrating who you are and that you really care about your audience will convert that audience into customers. I want to go through now some very concrete ways to getting your followers engage, as well as really, you know, streamlining what you're doing. So the first thing is to know your voice. When you know your voice, it's going to be a lot easier to come up with compelling content. So understand who your client is, what are their problems and how you are going to solve their problems.

Jennifer Wenzel  19:05

And Joanne I assume you mean like as far as voice I know some people are more business- like as a doctor, some people are very warm. Some people are very educational. Some people are, you know, more collaborative. You're talking about that kind of a voice right? The sort of impression that you give people in your work.

Joanne Hernon  9:28

I am. It’s not only yes, you're right. It's to express who you are. So if you'd like to be funny and humorous or if you want to be serious or academic, but it's also understanding what your who your customer is and how you're going to help them. What is your specific niche that you want to focus on? And then how do you relay that information to your audience? I'm going to kind of jump to fine tune your bio and come back to this. One of the ways that we talked to our clients about how to understand not only the target audience but how they want to use their content or use their value proposition in their content is to look at other possible maybe competitor Instagram accounts or web sites and look at how they are communicating to their audience and taking a look and seeing if that's something that resonates with you as well. 

Joanne Hernon  10:38

And then spending that time, that initial time to really outline I'm gonna work with my clients on let's say, Women's Health in hormones. So what are the symptoms that I want to solve? You know, how do I want to work with them? Do I want to do one on one sessions? Do I want to build a training program? All of those things are going to come into knowing your voice. The fine tuning of your bio is also a piece where you can again take a look at some competitors that may or may not have a similar type of look and feel as yours and look at how they're presenting themselves in their bio. Your bio should have your face, your headshot, and it should be again focused on the problems you're solving. I help women you know feel vitality through hormone therapy, you know, kind of making things up. So you want to focus that bio on the problems you're solving. You also want to post consistently. I know that this may go against the time problem, but I promise I'll have some ways to make the time work in your favor, but posting consistently and figuring out what that cadence is going to be. So if it's time, read the six step site and then collaborate. Now collaborating is what we're doing here today. Collaborating could be finding an adjacent practitioner, maybe if you're a naturopathic doctor, you could find a chiropractor or dietitian and you work together to create webinar content or do an Instagram Live, which is a great way to get more eyes on your your Instagram but also the person you're collaborating with, their audience will also see your live and your feed as well. So that's a great way to get a lot of new followers. So there are also some the Instagram has an algorithm and you might hear this a lot out there the Instagram algorithm and the Instagram algorithm is what is used to get you the engagement. And so there are in this order are the top three types of posts that get the most engagement so yes, of course,

Landy Miyake  13:26

Just for people who may not be familiar yet because they're brand new to this, can you define exactly what engagement is for the audience?

Joanne Hernon  13:41

Good point. So engagement is with the likes and the comments that you get on your posts. So the more likes and comments you get on your post, the more Instagram will show your posts to other people. Instagram, it takes that if a lot of people like your posts and comment on their posts, that it says to them, oh, this is this is a good post. We should show other people. 

Jennifer Wenzel  14:17

Isn't that interesting? Because that kind of rewards the sort of clickbait kind of things that a lot of us will engage with too, just because we have to see what's going on. But I can see why people take that strategy. Because if engagement really does move your post up in the rankings, you want people to pay attention to your posts, right?

Joanne Hernon  14:37

Well, yes, that's a good point. There are a lot of people that are posting things that are just to get engagement that may be a gimmick or a gag. But people also want authentic material. They want something that speaks to them. And I've used this I've been kind of talking about this a hormone, women's health and hormone right as an idea as a you know, maybe a type of symptom that you may be solving, as an example. So if I'm a woman, and I'm looking at content that happens to be on like, I'm entering menopause and I'm thinking about hormones. And I'm looking at content about hormones. Instagram knows that and so it's going to start showing me more content like that. So it isn’t just about the clickbait and the cute dogs or someone doing something funny that you're going to watch. It's also going to learn what I want to look at and show me more of that content.

Jennifer Wenzel  15:54

I definitely see that in my feed. The more I look at, for instance, healthy recipes, the more healthy recipes it starts to show me. That's a really good point. Thanks. 

Landy Miyake  16:07

I've got the dogs. I mean yeah, dog pretty much on my Instagram feed.

Joanne Hernon  16:16

With that, the videos really get the most engagement and those are the reels. So if you post twice a week and do an Instagram Live once a week you are going to grow your Instagram very quickly.

Jennifer Wenzel  16:32

Well that doesn't sound too hard to post. 

Joanne Hernon  16:33

It’s not. Reels should be 30 seconds.

Jennifer Wenzel  16:38

Oh my gosh. An Instagram real for 30 seconds? So anyone can record for 30 seconds, right? 

Joanne Hernon  16:46

You take your phone and you record yourself and that's it. And you could just be the latest tip today or the latest whatever you want to talk about. The Instagram Live might be a little bit more work to coordinate and having someone to do an Instagram Live with might be a little bit more of a coordination. But at least do the reels twice a week, if not more, and those are getting the most engagement on Instagram.

Landy Miyake  17:16

So do those have to be all business related or could they have you know some of those personal things like their dogs and they're kind of like a mixture of the two?

Joanne Hernon  17:26

100% a mixture! So I did a reel that got 17,000 views, and it's of my desk. 

Jennifer Wenzel  17:40

Is it a fascinating desk or is it just kind of a normal desk?

Joanne Hernon  17:42

It’s a how do you set up your office to present like we are so it’s how the ring lights are set up in the background. So it's true and it's got music, and it's eight seconds.

Jennifer Wenzel  17:56

Oh my goodness. Yeah. I've watched something that's eight seconds. 

Joanne Hernon  28:00

That could be fun. It could be serious. It could be an announcement. It could be you know how you're feeling that day. It could be Hey, have you tried this? It could be any number, you know if you want it to be varied.

Jennifer Wenzel  18:18

That's fantastic. I can imagine several times a day Functional Medicine or Integrative Health provider probably has a thought cross her his mind that they'd love to share with their audience just a health tip even or just a if you find yourself feeling like this, one of the things I look at is you know this nutrient or run this test, you know, just a heads up for everybody kind of thing maybe.

Joanne Hernon  18:42

Yep, absolutely! So the next type of posts that gets the most engagement are the carousels and you've probably seen these where you can swipe. 

Jennifer Wenzel  18:53

Yeah, swipe through the pictures. Yeah.

Joanne Hernon  18:57

Yeah. And so you can build out you know, like three tips to you know, a healthy diet, whatever that is three tips to feeling more vitality, and it could be any and you just filled the three posts and when you load them in that something that somebody would swipe to read.

Jennifer Wenzel  19:16

Three tips or three ways that Vitamin C helps you do XYZ or three tips to sleep better tonight.

Joanne Hernon  19:25

Correct. And then the final are the regular blog or the regular posts that we've all been seeing on Instagram that people do all the time. Whether it's a picture or graphic. But what's really popular right now are microblogs. Microblogs are maybe 150 words in the post. So it's a post with the graphic or a picture. And then again, more tips about or whatever you're writing about. If it's about health, if it's about wellness, if it's about how you're feeling that day. And it doesn't have to be, you know, 150 words, but it should be longer than one or two sentences. Now, that doesn't mean you have to do that with every post. But these are if you have a mix of these types of posts on your feed and a cadence and a rhythm. You will start to see your engagement grow.

Joanne Hernon  20:37

Now here is the prescription for content. People want to know how am I going to come up with topics. So what we do is help our clients break the topics down into different categories. So evergreen content is content that has no expiration. It can just be a simple quote, or it could be just one little tip that you may want to put out there. What's nice about evergreen is if you need to move it in your calendar you can. So if you have it, let's say scheduled for next Monday but you changed your mind and you want to post something else on Monday you can move it to somewhere else. You want to educate so you want to provide data tips, advice of course that doesn't diagnose but you want to be sure that you're providing value to your audience. So they want to read what you're talking about. You want to also relate. You want to talk about, it could be about yourself, it could be something about that's a little bit more personable doesn't have to be personal, but it just shows that you have empathy that it shows that you understand how they're feeling. You want to do an inspiration so encourage or quotes will also create a great loyalty to your brand. You want to ask questions of your audience. So what did you do today that is working for you with your diet with your health with your sleep. And then you want to sprinkle in content that converts. That converting doesn't mean you're just selling. A conversion might be you're going to want them to go to a webinar or you want them to show up at a live event. You could do a testimonial.

Jennifer Wenzel  22:44

So something that you're hoping that, an action that your audience is taking basically of some sort or another. Okay, got it.

Joanne Hernon  22:50

Yes, and you want them to take an action and you want this to be all sprinkled throughout your feed, but this is 6 points. 

Joanne Hernon  23:12

That's a week of content. Yeah, when you break it down. That's all that's a whole week of content that you just thought of different ways of putting that together. 

Jennifer Wenzel  23:24

Oh, you make it sound so easy. I love this!  

Joanne Hernon  33:35

We're gonna talk about hashtags because people ask us all the time about hashtags. So this also has to do with how people are going to find you. Some people follow accounts, and some people follow hashtags. Somebody might follow a hashtag that just is called Wellness or tips for wellness. And they will see your feed. Because of that they will see your posts because of that hashtag. So finding the right mix of popular hashtags is going and also relevant to your post is a great way to get more of your posts out to more people. It's okay to use custom branded tags occasionally, but people aren't looking for those. So I wouldn't use those a lot. I would maybe use them sparingly. And I always get the question of how many to use. I mean use two, use five, use 11. Too many, it's a little annoying. It feels a little spammy. So the consensus is 11 is the number to use.

Jennifer Wenzel  24:54

Okay. Yeah, I've seen those posts on Instagram where it's one line of text and 18 lines of hashtags. And I think I just sort of visually skip past those.

Joanne Hernon  25:02

Correct. Now the other thing people do sometimes is they put the hashtags in the first comment. And that way people don't have to scroll. They can just see your content. They're not distracted by the hashtags, but Instagram will still find that post to show people. The other thing people like to do is use emojis and you can use emojis in your mini blogs. Instead of writing number one, if you’re doing bullet points instead of doing bullet points use little fun emojis. So if you're talking about botanicals, you can use a little plant emoji. You can use little arrow emojis. We like to use little down arrows if you want people to keep scrolling.It just breaks up all the content. And the other thing I like to use emojis for are to post on other people's accounts. So I will go into my Instagram and post and like other people's posts. And you could do this with adjacent healthcare practitioners and like their posts and make comments on their posts and add emojis on that post. And that will also help you get more followers and liking on your posts.

Landy Miyake  26:26

I have a quick question about researching the hashtags. Do you happen to have any particular resources or direction in terms of how people who are brand new could go about doing that research?

Joanne Hernon  26:43

That's a good question. So there are tools you can use online if you Google. I haven't found one that I love, but there are tools you can use online. You could just do a Google search and see. I actually just use Instagram, so if I'm going to do a post about, let's say I'm doing a post about hormone health again. If I'm doing a post about that. If I start to type hashtag and I start typing hormones. You will see it come up in your Instagram. So you want to have a mix. So if someone has 2 million, you know posts on one topic and you know 2000 on another, you might want to use the 2,000,000 one but you can still intermix it so it all doesn't have to be the big ones. It could be some little and some big so you want to have a mix. 

Landy Miyake  27:50

Well my question about the large one, so I'm guessing I mean, because it's a larger pool. Does that make it more competitive to get those eyeballs on that particular hashtag or does that mean it's like dispersed more?

Jennifer Wenzel  28:05

Sort of hidden in the big ocean? Sure.

Joanne Hernon  28:08

Yeah, I mean, it is, but Instagram will say it's you'll have a better chance of having your post being seen with the bigger hashtags that the more posts.  But it's a combo of everything, right? It's an algorithm so it's looking at a lot of different factors. So it is looking at your engagement. It's looking at your mini blog posts, right? So it's looking at all that content unless like, you know, evaluating what the words are in there and it's looking at the hashtags.

Jennifer Wenzel  28:44

That makes sense as to why you say mix it up then. That's great.

Joanne Hernon  28:51

So now these are our agency's top tools that we use to schedule. The reason you want this, is that scheduling your posts is a huge time saver. So if you have all of your posts scheduled at least a few days in advance, if not two weeks in advance, you're not rushing, so you take the time like every Monday at 3pm, I'm going to do my posts for the next week. And there are some really great tools out there now. This is new for Facebook. Meta now has a scheduling tool. It's newer. It's free. To be frank, we don't use it, but it's a great way for you to schedule your posts and not have to be worried about it the day of and come up with an idea on the fly.

Jennifer Wenzel  29:52

Yeah, that doesn't lead to very good posts I've found personally.

Joanne Hernon  29:59

Another great tool is Canva. We really recommend Canva. You can design your posts and they've also added a scheduling tool within Canva. So I would recommend checking that out because everything that you need is in one tool. The one that we love the most is Sprout Social. It's a little bit higher cost, but it really has an amazing way to build out your calendar and it has some amazing analytics. So as I was talking about those hashtags, you're really going to be able to see what hashtags are performing best, what types of posts are performing best, so that you really can start to understand what you need to do to make your Instagram better because really, as with all marketing Landy and Jennifer, you know this, it's all about testing. We don't really know what's gonna work and what isn't gonna work. So we want to be sure to be able to see that analytics. Now Meta will show you the analytics as well, but we just prefer the Sprout Social tools.

Jennifer Wenzel  31:11

Now I know Facebook, you mentioned is free. Canva is free, too or you can pay. I know it's $12.95 a month for the pro account, which is a bargain for the graphic design that you get to use for that. What does Sprout Social run about per month? 

Joanne Hernon  31:27

It’s probably more like $100 a month. It has a lot more functionality.

Joanne Hernon  31:36

Now, I know that you might be thinking this sounds like a lot. It still sounds like I have to do a lot of work. So what if there is another way? So that's what we're doing. As I mentioned before, we're starting to give away all of our secrets. So we've built a program, the Cure for Instagram Fatigue and the Prescription for Success. And this program is going to have training videos in depth on all of those things that we just talked about, including developing your value proposition, understanding your target audience, understanding your content, all of that about your messaging. We're gonna have worksheets and documents to help you with all of those intricacies on building out your plan. You're gonna get brand style sheets and all the Instagram graphics in Canva all built out for you that you can select from so that you have the templates that you need; the patterns that you need so that you can build out a beautiful feed. You do want your Instagram to look beautiful as when you look at it as a whole and this is what's going to give that to you. We also have a 365 days of content prompts, emojis and yes, sorry, I forgot for a second so that all content is built out for you and ideas so you don't even have to Fill in the blank. Amazing. So it's all built out for you. You don't even have to think about it. And we have a private Facebook group where there will be weekly webinars on all of the information and as well as q&a. So you will have access to me to help you each step along the way. It's a six week program, and you'll be a member of that private Facebook group forever. What's also nice about that private Facebook group is you will find people that you can partner with who are also on the same journey as you are so that you can do those meet people and do those Instagram lives with them. 

Joanne Hernon 34:08

So we have a special offer. It ends September 10 and it's ROOT20. So you get 20% off of the program if you use that coupon and it ends September 10 and the URL is GLA dash backslash Instagram, so if you go there type in that code, you're gonna get that 20% off but remember it is expiring September 10.

Jennifer Wenzel  34:44

That sounds like a wonderful offer. So you clearly are going to be very involved in this group. So it's not just something where people get the videos and they get all these worksheets and they get all these job aids and these design elements and everything. But then there's no help. If they have a question or if they have a, want some clarification. You are there in that group actively helping people out. That's wonderful.

Joanne Hernon  35:08

Well, and it's like hiring an agency at a fraction of the cost. You're gonna get everything you need for the year. So that you can just take your Instagram to the next level.

Jennifer Wenzel  35:23

I mean, as an agency owner, I'm kind of mad about this. But as a human being, I am happy about this because we all know people who you know, do not want to, at this point in their development, put out the investment that it takes to work with an agency and for the people who don't have the money to work with an agency and don't have the time to be doing all of their social media themselves because they're busy growing their business. This is the ideal solution. I really love this Joanne, what you're putting out here.

Joanne Hernon  35:53

Yes, and, also the you know, people are gonna, you're gonna, they're gonna grow from this. They're gonna grow their practices, and they're gonna get to a point where then they're going to come back and hire an agency. And that's why we're doing it. We know that it's gonna help health care providers grow their practice. And so that's why we're doing this. We're giving it away now for this discounted price, because we know that we're going to help people grow to the next level.

Jennifer Wenzel  36:28

We are all about helping people. That's why we all focus here in our agencies on functional medicine and Integrative Health providers because our heart is in helping people help people get better. So that's wonderful. I'm so glad to hear it.

Joanne Hernon  36:43

Now you can also contact us. We do have a Facebook group, which is a free group, which we'll also be providing weekly, webinars and mastermind courses in that free group. And that free group is GLA Marketing Secrets that anyone wants to join. They're welcome to join that free Facebook group.

Jennifer Wenzel  37:04

Wonderful! Joanne Hernan from Growth Ledge Agency. You've been a delight to talk to you today. Landy, any questions? Any thoughts that you wanted to throw out there before we wrap up?

Landy Miyake  37:15

Other than thank you for sharing all the great information and yeah, it pretty much seems like a turnkey program and jeez louise, just having 365 days of prompts and sending that in and of itself pays for the program. So it's, great to see that you're offering this and thank you so so much for being our guest today. It was an absolute pleasure to visit with you again. And I think we can close it out.

Joanne Hernon  37:50

Yes. Thank you. That was a lot of information. So I'm really, really thank you too, for letting me through this webinar today.

Jennifer Wenzel  38:03

Oh, thanks for all the great tips for our viewers. I think you actually have been working in marketing for a while and you actually gave me a tip on Instagram that I had never heard or known before. And I cannot wait to implement myself. So thank you, Joanne.

Cure your Instagram Symptoms checklist:

Here is a quick checklist to get you started with healing your Instagram symptoms. Remember imperfect action beats inaction! Get started and keep publishing.

  • Publish two Reels a week and one Instagram Live a week (you only need 30 seconds for a good video!)

  • Use Carousels to increase engagement, listing separate parts of a three-part tip across the images.

  • Use microblogging techniques to ramp up content - 150 words (a sentence or two) accompanying a graphic or photo with well-chosen hashtags.

Connect with Joanne Hernon:

Growth Ledge Agency website:

Growth Ledge Marketing on Instagram:

Growth Ledge Agency Facebook page:

Free marketing secrets Facebook group:

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