THIS IS YOUR INSTAGRAM DENTAL MARKETING CRASH COURSE!
Dental Instagram is not like other social media marketing tools. But don’t let that scare you—we’re here to help! Even if you’ve been using Instagram in your dental practice for a while, we’re confident the information below will boost your efforts.
What is Instagram?
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Instagram launched as an iPhone app and later moved to Android. It hit 100 million users faster than LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter, or Facebook! And now has over 1 billion active users. It’s a social network much like Facebook and Twitter but its primary focus is posting and sharing photos. People use their photos to connect with friends, strangers, and even businesses. It’s a place where people express their lives and interests through photos AND peek into the lives of others.
Why Use Dental Instagram as a Marketing Tool?
Why do patients care about a dentist’s Instagram page? People everywhere are looking for “real connections” to the businesses they support. In the same way, they look for real connections with friends, family members, and coworkers. They no longer believe or trust traditional advertising. They associate with people they believe and trust. A Dental Instagram page is a powerful way to connect with your dental patients and potential patients in the same way friends connect with friends. We’ve seen dentist influencers on Instagram with thousands of followers because of the raw glimpse their followers get into their dental practices.
How You Can Market Your Dental Practice On Instagram
There are three trends in Instagram marketing. Here they are (in no particular order):
- Sharing Behind The Scenes: We’ve seen this strategy emerge with the music industry where bands share a coveted “backstage pass” view. You’ll be surprised that patients are interested in this perspective.
- Involving Your Patients: Post photos of patients on Instagram with honest compliments. Be sure to tag them too! And, get permission.
- Run A Photo Sharing Contest: Hashtags make running a photo contest easy! Pick a hashtag that is unique and ask your patients to share photos with that hashtag. Then pick a random photo and reward them for participating. If you need a little help check out these awesome dental contest ideas.
Instagram Marketing For Dentists Etiquette
Here are some important dental office Instagram post DOs and DONTs:
- DON’T overpost! A couple of photos a day is good. Nobody wants their feed overrun.
- DON’T post photos with words. You’ll see this on Instagram but the general consensus is that Instagram is for real photos.
- DON’T get too caught up with filters. They’re fun, but be more concerned about taking interesting photos first.
- DON’T take photos of patients unless you have permission. Sharing photos with patient permission is easy with HIPAA consent forms.
- DON’T overuse hashtags. More isn’t better. Hashtags are a great way to contribute to a collection of photos, but overused hashtags annoy people.
- DON’T overpost about dental services. Do you like it when your favorite TV show goes to commercial? The same goes for Instagram.
- DO post real photos. Patients want to connect with their dentist as a trusted friend.
- DO share behind the scenes. Your dental patients don’t know what happens outside the operatory. Share photos of you making whitening trays or cleaning instruments. You’ll be surprised how much patients will enjoy it.
- DO feature your patients. Posting a simple photo of you with your patient shows you care. Also, by tagging them in the photo, they’ll get a notification.
- DO team spotlights. It makes team members feel special. Include interesting facts about them. Tag them too.
- DO comment back. When people leave comments, always respond. It shows you are listening and that you care.
- DO run contests. Pick a unique hashtag no one has used. You can check by doing a quick search. Give something away. All they have to do to enter is share a photo with that unique hashtag. Be creative with your contest themes and make them fun.
- DO promote events. If you have a charity event coming up, promote and inform your patients using Instagram. Share photos during the event.
- DO research and use hashtags. Hashtags are an awesome way to organize photos by topic. Before using a hashtag it’s always good to do a little research. You may want to use a hashtag for a certain topic, but then realize it’s being used for another topic.
- DO respond to tagged photos. Tagging a photo means that someone used your Instagram username in their description. It’s a great way to get people’s attention. If you get tagged, respond!
- DO print photos. Occasionally print a few of your Instagram photos and display them in your office. This is an easy way to promote awareness of your Instagram activity and strike up conversations about your social media platform.
- DO follow other local business Instagram accounts and local hashtags. This will keep you in the loop on current and trending topics in your area and allow you to join the community conversation online.
Bonus Etiquette Tip
Yes, it’s OK to talk about dental services and offers you’re currently running in your dental Instagram posts every once in a while. Just be sure to promote them creatively and sparingly. Your ultimate dental Instagram marketing strategy should focus on becoming a favorite TV show or even a best friend, and not the commercials that interrupt.
Are you using Instagram in your practice? Have you seen success? If you’re not using Instagram, did this post help or are you still unsure about it?
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About the Author: Blake Hadley is an expert dental marketer and one of the founding members of My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Blake is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book Blake or one of the other members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of SEO for dental practices or our dental websites service, you can learn more here.