It’s 2016, and you’re not making the most of your dental practice marketing without taking advantage of famed photo and video sharing app Instagram. In this post, we’ll explain why you should use Instagram for your dental practice, and how to make the most of it with our Instagram tips. We’ll also introduce you to some best practices in use by dental offices worldwide on the Instagram platform.
Why Use Instagram
Whereas Twitter is a social media platform that creates a conversation with short-form blogging, Instagram is a visual platform where users use smartphones to share photos and short videos. Research shows that Instagram can be a great communication tool for reaching younger people: 41% of users are between 16 and 24 years old. However, 20% of worldwide internet users between 16 and 64 use the app, so your Instagram reach will extend beyond just millennials. Harnessing this platform can drive patient acquisition and retention through positive engagement with your practice. And, like a newly designed reception area, your Instagram account gives your dental practice the appearance of being current, stylish, and up to date!
How to Use Instagram
The best part of Instagram is how easy it is to use. Of course, before posting anything on Instagram, you’ll want to develop a plan for posts tied to your overall social media strategy. Keep your Instagram profile accessible and current, but also tasteful and professional. Once your plan is in place, and your staff is all on board, you can get posting! Just set up a practice account, get out your smartphone and start snapping photos! Photos and short videos are easy to post, and following your practice is simple for patients and fans. Promote your Instagram on your dental practice website, other social media channels, and with a placard at your reception desk!
Instagram Best Practices
Our advice when trying to figure out what to post to Instagram is to find inspiration in other dental practice Instagram accounts. Look for who has the most followers, the most inspiring and positive posts, and which practices really convey the personality of their practice and its people on Instagram. Make short videos occasionally to keep your posts dynamic. And don’t forget hashtags! These will allow you to insert your posts into the various conversations on Instagram, and perhaps find new followers and patients! (One caveat: Always get each patients’ – or a parent’s – permission before using their image on social media channels.)
Feature Your Patients!
Your patients are your best promotional tool. Featuring images of your happy patients post-appointment, maybe holding a cute sign, creates a continuous marketing campaign. It also depicts your friendly, trusting relationships with patients. Be sure to have patients sign a release form verifying that it’s okay to use their photos in social media posts.
Before and After Shots
Instagram is a perfect place to make a visual statement, and nothing is more powerful than before and after shots of your work. Let the transformations speak for themselves!
Feature Your Staff—And Yourself!
Your staff is the greatest asset of your dental practice. Include Instagram posts that feature their accomplishments and highlight the positive working relationships within your practice. Make your followers feel like they’re following a group of people, not just an office. And include yourself in the narrative—when patients feel they know you, they’ll stay loyal to your practice.
Promotions, Promotions, Promotions
Instagram is the perfect venue for promotional ads for your followers—a well-tailored audience that has been following your other posts already! Be sure to make promotions clear and easy to read, as they’ll most likely be seen on smartphones.
All-Star Instagrammer: SugarFix Dental Loft
Here’s an Instagram account we especially love. It includes updates about the practice itself that keep followers engaged in the identity and digital story of the dental practice and its staff. It also contains stylish, upbeat images, lots of humor, and encouragement. Head of the practice Dr. Jessica Emery also conveys a strong sense of her own personality, and appeals to younger users by posting images created using the Snapchat app. No wonder Sugar Fix Dental Loft has 1,511 followers! This is one to study.
Online marketing should meet potential and current patients where they already congregate online. Instagram’s popularity, ease of use, and appeal across age groups, but particular hold on young people make it a great choice for promoting your dental practice. It’s also a lot of fun! So get out there and start building your loyal Instagram community of patients today.