Instagram continues to be one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, and new features are frequently being introduced to make it more useful to businesses. Get your dental practice’s Instagram strategy ready for 2017 with these simple tips.
With over 500 million active users, Instagram is one of the best places to grow your dental practice’s online presence. However, for dental teams still just trying to get a foothold in Facebook, expanding to another platform might sound like too much to take on at once. It’s easier than you think! Top brands and small businesses alike are using Instagram to build relationships and awareness through interesting visual content and fan interaction.
Once you become familiar with the best ways to create and share Instagram content, it becomes a powerful tool to help you maintain top-of-mind awareness and introduce your practice to even more potential patients.
3 Keys to Using Instagram Effectively
While the basic fundamentals of social media marketing and creating good content certainly do apply to Instagram, these tips focus more on what makes Instagram unique. Once you have your business profile filled out and your account linked to your practice’s Facebook page, follow these guidelines to help you use the platform to its fullest potential:
1. Focus on Visual Storytelling
The main tagline on the official Instagram for Business page (which is a great resource, by the way) is “Inspire People Visually With Your Business’ Story.” People browse Instagram for different reasons than they would browse Facebook or Twitter — they come to Instagram to be inspired.
Top brands on Instagram, like Under Armour and Land Rover, use visually striking photos that evoke feelings and portray the lifestyle they want associated with their brand. This creates a strong connection with people who identify with or want that lifestyle for themselves.
How can you apply this in your dental practice? Capture moments that convey your team culture and what you want patients to feel when they visit. For example, if you pride yourselves on a relaxing, spa-like patient experience, you might share a photo of the floral arrangements or aromatherapy candles you have in the waiting room. Enhance the photos with the app’s built-in filters and editing tools.
Along with snapshots of patients and team members, share photos of anything visually interesting in and around your practice. Channel your inner photographer and get creative! Is there a centuries-old tree on your practice property? Snap a photo and share its story. What things does the doctor have on their office wall? Post a photo and share why they’re meaningful. Anything can be interesting with the right perspective.
2. Proactively Engage With Your Followers and Community
#tbt to all of the wonderful patients that have come through our office. Trusting us with your smile is a privilege and we strive to honor that the best way we can! #puredentalhealth #atlantadenist #buckheaddentist #smile
Interacting with patients and members of the dental community on Instagram is an excellent way to grow your following, especially for practices just starting out.
Make sure to follow back patients that follow you, and occasionally Like one of their recent photos. Respond when people comment on your posts or tag your practice. Seek out relevant dental hashtags and take part in the conversation. Follow local businesses, doctors, artists, restaurants, and news outlets.
When you follow someone on Instagram, Like one of their photos, or tag their business location, they’ll receive a notification from your account, increasing the likelihood of them following you back. So don’t be shy!
3. Experiment With Promoting Posts
Much like Facebook, Instagram utilizes an algorithm that displays content to users based on how relevant it thinks it is. Simply put, the more fans interact with your Instagram content, the more likely they are to see more of it in the future. On the flip side, if someone doesn’t interact with your content, they may not ever see it again — even if they follow your page!
Promoting (or boosting) a post allows you to invest some money to increase a post’s reach and get it seen by more people, just like how it works on Facebook. Here are some quick guidelines:
- Start small. Boost your best post of the week for $5 and see how much it increases reach and engagement. You can decide to increase your budget from there.
- Include a call-to-action link. Normal Instagram posts do not allow a link in the caption, but promoted ones do. Link to your homepage, Facebook page, or a special offer. For best results, use the same link that you put in your Instagram bio.
- Boost posts that invite interaction. For example, if you run a giveaway that asks people to Like your page to enter to win, that would be ideal to promote.
Make Instagram Part of Your Social Media Strategy
If your practice is not yet on Instagram, get started today! If you choose, you can give access to all your team members so everyone can contribute to the page. Make snapping and sharing creative practice photos a fun activity that brings your team together, builds your practice’s brand in your community, and attracts new patients.