Instagram recently rolled out a new way to create and share collections of photos and videos called Instagram Stories. As a dental practice, is it worth your time to try?
We think Instagram Stories present some unique opportunities for social media growth. They are essentially slideshows of photos and 10-second videos that grow as you add to them throughout the day—much like Snapchat stories.
Stories from people and brands you follow appear at the top of your feed, making it easy to quickly see what your friends are up to. Here’s the difference: stories are separated from your regular Instagram feed, and disappear after 24 hours. You might ask yourself then, “Why should I put effort into creating social media content that’s just going to be deleted in a day?”
Understanding the answer will help you connect with fans and potential patients in ways you haven’t thought of before.
The Unique Advantages of Temporary Content
The format of Instagram Stories, including the 24-hour limitation, can actually help you create more engaging content. Here are a few reasons why:
- Be more spontaneous. Got an idea for a post but not sure if it will work? An Instagram story is a perfect way to experiment. If it’s a hit with fans, you can continue adding to the story, and if not, it won’t stick around long.
- Take fans along for the ride. Instagram Stories offer a unique way to make day-to-day events interesting. Running practice errands or unboxing a new piece of equipment? Share an interesting snapshot from each step of the process, resulting in an easy-to-follow montage of moments.
- Never worry about over-posting. Because stories are completely separated from regular Instagram feeds, you can post as much as you want to a story and never annoy your followers or clog their feeds.
- Less polished = more authentic. Traditionally, Instagram has been seen as where people share their best, most-composed photography. Not so with Instagram Stories. In the context of a story, a less-curated, more fun look at your practice is a better approach—and requires less effort on your part!
Grow Your Instagram Presence with Stories
If your practice doesn’t use Instagram very often, creating a simple story is a great way to kickstart more regular posting. You could build a story by snapping pictures of what each team member is doing at the moment, and use the simple editing tools to add text and emojis. At a community service or continuing education event? Don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos and turn them into a story! Any photo or video you really like in a story can also be shared to your regular feed.
The temporary nature of Instagram Stories provides great opportunities to try new post ideas in a spontaneous, low-pressure environment. This kind of lighthearted, behind-the-scenes-style content is a powerful way to strengthen relationships with patients and fans, making them more likely to share your practice with friends and family.