An SLP’s Guide to Instagram

It’s official, Instagram is my favourite social media platform.  I love the visual aspect of it. I love social side. AND I secretly love the fact it all looks nice and organised into little squares (#typeASLP).

To me, Instagram has been a revelation; I’ve loved connecting with Speech Therapists and teachers all over the world! I love finding new ideas and resources that I can try in therapy sessions, and I love getting the different perspectives and advice from everyone.  I love it so much that I wanted to share with you my 5 best tips to help you get the most out of your time spent scrolling those squares!

Tip #1: Start a New Account
This is totally up to you, but if you are wanting to share photos from your daily SLP life, it helps to make your account public, so other people can easily find and like your photos and follow your account. If you already have an Instagram account where you’ve shared snaps from your holiday or a meal with your family, and you have lots of friends following you, you might want to keep your personal one separate from your speech therapy one, so your friends don’t get overwhelmed with pictures of your cute sensory bin and crafts. (Equally, you might not be bothered, and that’s fine too!)  Starting a new account is easy, but you’ll need a different email address to your current account. (You can easily switch between both accounts on an iPhone without having to log out too!)

Tip #2: Connect with Others
This really is one of the best things about Instagram for me! Spend some time looking through Instagram to find some amazing SLPs and SLPas to follow; they might be the big SLP Bloggers or they may be an SLP from another district.  Either way, connecting with them is so fun! Be sure to like and comment on their posts and stories, and respond to them if they comment on yours! If you’ve got questions for particular Instagrammers, don’t be afraid to drop them a message; but remember that not everyone has the time to respond (most SLPs on Instagram have full time jobs, so Instagram is a hobby for them too!).  We love it when new followers come say hi, so feel free to pop over to our Instagram page; we share therapy ideas, resources and fun stuff to help keep you inspired!

Tip #3: Use Hashtags
Basically, hashtags are ways for people to “tag” their posts so other people can find them. You can use hashtags in your posts so they’re found by others, and you can click the hashtags to find more related pictures.  Popular SLP hashtags include #SLPeeps, #speechtherapy, and #instaslp.  You can use any hashtag you like though. If you’ve posted a picture about a sensory bin, you can either click the hashtag in your post or you can type #sensorybins into the search bar on the ‘Explore’ page (the one with the little magnifying glass) and find all the other pictures that show sensory bins.  If you’re really interested in a particular topic, you can also follow hashtags and view any stories that people have tagged too!

Here’s an example of the #schoolslp hashtag:

Tip #4: Use Collections
Seen a picture of a therapy idea, blogpost or craft that you like the look of? Press the little pennant on the right side of the photo, and it will save it to your “Collections”.  If you press and hold the pennant, you can save it to a particular collection; I have them for Winter Therapy Ideas, Blog posts, Recipe ideas and more! No one else can see your collections, so you shouldn’t be embarrassed about what you save/how you name each collection!  You can view what you’ve saved in your collection at any time by going to your home page and pressing the pennant button again.

Here’s an example of my collections:

Tip #5: Don’t Compare- Just Be Yourself!
You know the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy”? Well, bare in mind that when you’re looking on Instagram, most of the time you’re getting a very one-sided view of a person’s daily life.  They’re choosing what to share with you, and how to word it, so take it with a pinch of salt. Just because it might look like they’ve got it all together, doesn’t mean they always have. So don’t go hard on yourself if your last session felt like a total flop, and they’ve posted about a successful mixed group session where everyone made amazing progress!  Be yourself when you post your pictures and ideas too; don’t worry if your pictures aren’t as polished as another SLPs, or if your desk isn’t as clean; you’ll have amazing therapy ideas and knowledge to share too, so snap the pic and let us know what you’ve been up to!

I hope these tips have been useful for you! Have you got any other ways you use Instagram that you think I should know about?  Let me know below!

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