Written by Hannah Blum, author of The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love
You want to start a mental health Instagram account but do not know where to start? Don’t worry, you are not alone! When I published my blog and created an Instagram account for it, I was in the exact same boat. Instagram is an excellent platform for advocates and mental health influencers to spread their message creatively. Outside of building my own platforms, I work as a Creative Director, helping clients create inspirational content for social media. You have a voice, a story, and a unique message that deserves to be shared. So let’s get started!
Coming up with a a catchy name for your account profile is an important step. Look up other mental health influencers on Instagram to get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Always check to see if the account name you’ve come up with is taken. Here are a couple more tips:
- Consider using your name or the name of your website/blog if you already have one.
- Connect words related to mental health, social justice, self-love and positivity to your objective or your name. Words like mindfulness, mindset, mind, inspiration, hope, truth, empower, influencer, authentic, honest, advocacy, influencer etc.
- Consider using your condition within your account name
Check out my post featuring some of the most popular mental health advocates on Instagram 35 Mental Health Instagram Accounts to Follow
The Bio is a brief description box that gives users an idea of who you are and the purpose of your account.
- Who are you? A Mental Health Advocate, A Yogi, Artist, Therapist, Writer, Poet, A Wellness Blogger, A Body Postive Advocate etc.
- What is the point of this account? Spreading awareness about mental health, Sharing inspiration and coping skills, Sharing my life with ____(anxiety, depression, ocd, ptsd, bipolar) etc.
Utilize the Link in bio
If you have your own blog, YouTube channel, or any other online platform definitely utilize the part of your profile where you can place the link. Go to “Edit Profile” and add your link to “Website.” Also in the “Bio” section, let people know the link is there ie. “Click link below to check out my____.”
Switch from “Personal Profile” to “Instagram Business Profile”
In my opinion, I would switch to “Instagram Business Profile.” Go to your profile, and under “Settings” and make the switch from a personal to business.
What Type of Mental Health Content Do I Want to Post?
Figuring out what type of content to post is totally up to you, but have a general idea before starting an account.There are many different types of content to post–quotes, personal stories, imagery, tips, video clips (1:00 minute long) etc. You don’t have to stick to one specific type, in fact it is better if you mix it up a bit. My account is a mix of quotes, artwork, video clips, and imagery all relating to mental health.
Mental health is colorful, deep and personal. It is important that you create posts that capture users attention in an inspirational way. If you are sharing your personal experience and life with a mental illness, look at your page as a way of taking users into your mind. Create content that tells a story, makes you feel and gives users a glimpse of who you are.
Content In Captions
When it comes to mental health sharing parts of your own experience or journey to self love is really important. You can highlight your thoughts, advice, experience and words of encouragement in the caption. You do not have to do it every single post because sometimes quotes say it all.
Be Creative & Connect
Creativity is the foundation of mediated platforms, so do not hesitate to be spontaneous and share your lifestyle with your followers to build a personal connection. A great way to establish this connection is utilizing Instastory. Pose questions to followers, and utilize Instastory’s polling feature.
Authenticity is key to becoming a successful mental health influencer on Instagram. If you are sharing parts of your personal story, your life is your content. Instagram, like most social media platforms is a two way dialogue between influencers and their followers. Users can communicate directly back and forth with one another. Do your best to respond back to comments and messages. Your followers want to get to know you and you should want to get to know them. If you are disengenuine, and want to gain a bunch of follows and likes to impress people, it won’t lead to long term success. Instagram is serious about authenticity as users have noticed with the platforms recent algorithm change, which is something you want to read up on.
Build A Community
Start building a community as a mental health influencer on Instagram by tagging, using appropriate hashtags and communicating.
Tagging other accounts in your posts is a great way to build community, but do not overdo it! When I see a post that has a ridiculous amount of random and irrelevant tags it comes off as thirsty for likes.
#Hashtags are important for your content to be seen. Make sure you use relevant hashtags according to what you post. Search hashtags that correlate with what you are posting, and look at what hashtags other mental health influencers use. Remember it is better to be authentic than it is to trend so try to use unique hashtags. It will most likely get your content seen by more users.
Commenting, reposting, tagging and sharing other individuals content is a great sense of community. A major part of advocacy on social media platforms is building community and supporting other mental health influencers. It is a selfless attitude that leads to all of our success. If you are in it just to promote yourself, you won’t go very far in this area of media.
Apps to Use
Apps give influencers the opportunity to create content that is unique to their account or brand. All the apps I use are good quality and guess what? Free! Do your research and check for reviews before downloading any app especially if it costs.
PhotoShop and Visco are great for enhancing technical aspects of the photo such as lighting, clarity and filtering. It gives my photos a unique touch. I do not use or suggest apps that allow you to alter your physical appearance. It is not healthy or helpful.
I am obsessed with the graphic design app, Canva. It’s a great app for all social media and blogging purposes. It gives me access to different layouts, fonts and style to create quotes, logos, banners and content specific to my account.
Analytics & Management
A lot of people get analytics to track their followers and collect data that helps with marketing their account. Currently I use Instagram Insights which is free and inside the Instagram app. when you switch from Personal to Business on your account. Other quality and free apps are Buffer: Social Media Manager, Hootsuite and Social Stats for Instagram.
If you are looking for a more in depth explanation go to my Amazon shopping cart and check out, #GetSocialSmart: How To Hone Your Social Media Strategy by Katie Lance. This book is my social media go to and has helped me tremendously. Definitely recommend!
New Book Release! The Truth About Broken by Hannah Blum
In her first book, The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love, Hannah Blum redefines what it means to love yourself and takes readers on an unforgettable journey towards embracing what makes you different by sharing captivating stories that will never leave you after reading. A book that will give you a new perspective on mental illness as Hannah shares her unapologetic message rooted in her life as living with a mental illness in a society that has labeled her and others as broken.