A Guest Blog by Amanda Duffy
Dentistry is a service profession and for dentists to be successful they need people who want and need their services. The best way to do this? By connecting with them on Instagram!
With more than 200 million active monthly users, the possibilities are endless when it comes to advertising your services and reaching out to potential clients through Instagram posts. Imagine being able to reach an entirely new audience across the world—for free? That’s the power of Instagram—if you know how to use it properly. Here are some tips on the 5 best practices to get the best out of your dentistry Instagram account.
1: Post Regularly
Dentists should post to Instagram at least once per week. That may seem like a lot of posts, but it’s important for you to show your potential and current patients what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Transparency is essential to engender trust and underline your credibility. It also shows people who search Instagram that you are active on the site; so if someone is searching hashtags related to teeth whitening or oral surgery, your account will pop up in their search results—even if it’s not an actively used hashtag!
Posting regularly can help your credibility. By demonstrating your expertise, you can establish yourself as a credible source of information for patients. People are more likely to trust medical advice on social platforms than they would if it came from an unknown website or a spam email. But remember that while you want to show off your skills, you don’t want to spam people with too many posts about how great you are.
2: Make Posts Engaging
Dentists should post informational content on their Instagram account. Posts can cover all sorts of topics from scheduling an appointment to teeth cleaning tips for dental patients.
Your Instagram posts are a great way of engaging with people online and getting the word out about your practice or services without having to put out an ad. For example, you might post information about how you offer cosmetic dentistry procedures, like veneers or teeth whitening, at the most affordable rates in your town or city. This will help potential customers find you when searching these terms.
There are plenty of other ways to make your Instagram posts engaging—and with a little imagination, the sky’s the limit. Some suggestions for creating engaging, memorable potentially shareable posts include:
- Giving followers an inside peek into your dental office. Show off your team and what they do, from dentistry to administrative tasks. Include information like what type of insurance you accept or how long waiting times usually are before being seen by the dentist. This will give people insight into who they’re trusting with their oral health care.
- Share big news about your practice that has nothing to do with dentistry. This could be anything from new staff members to where you’ll be taking your summer vacation next year. People love hearing updates on other aspects of life outside the dentist’s office.
- Curate specialty content, which could include before and after pictures, videos of patients telling their stories about how they found you, or what it’s like to work for your office. You need to be aware of privacy issues and ensure you have the proper consent—particularly from your patients. However, many people are only too happy to share selfies and show off their new smiles. Encourage them to do so using your branded hashtag.
3: Mix up what types of content you post
Don’t just upload images all the time but also include video clips and animated GIFs from other sites as well. There are numerous ways dentists can use Instagram’s features for effective marketing purposes. This includes sharing photos, videos, and text posts and accessing explore pages for trending content. This ensures that people won’t get bored looking through your feed because they’ll be more entertained by different forms of media rather than generic content.
Instagram also allows dentists and other business owners to add links into their post descriptions which will take followers straight from the Instagram app over onto your website where they can learn more about you or see offers you have going on such as discounts, coupons, etc. It’s important not to forget this when composing long-form text because it makes following up easier once a follower leaves social media space.
Additionally, dentists can share photos on their accounts to document and showcase the work they do. It is a great way for dentists to show off all those beautiful smiles!
4: Include Quality Captions and Learn How to Use Hashtags Effectively
Captions are the best way to show your audience what you do and how you interact with patients on an everyday basis, all in less than 160 characters. You may be surprised at how many people read Instagram captions but don’t actually click through to see more of the post or page it was shared from. This could mean that they’re seeing content without even realizing it, which is great for raising awareness about your dental practice.
Captions also make your followers feel like they know you personally by sharing small details about yourself in each caption (and some larger ones too!). They are a good way to showcase your personality.
Be yourself and do what is natural to you. It’s not about how many followers you have. It is more important to make sure your posts are of good quality and that they resonate with the people who follow you.
You can use up to 30 tags in one post, but only the first 12 will show in search results on Instagram or your own feed. It’s highly unlikely that you will want to use that many and you don’t want your post to look spammy. You should worry more about their relevancy rather than their number—and don’t include irrelevant hashtags just because they are popular.
We all know how powerful hashtags are. They’ve come a long way from being a social media fad. Hashtags connect people with similar interests and make it easier for them to find others like themselves, as well as content that is relevant to their niche interests. When trends become popular, a hashtag helps people find content that may be of interest to them that they may not be able to find if it didn’t have the hashtag attached.
5: Shorten URL’s before posting them
The URL shortener for Instagram is called InstaURL. This service will turn a long URL into something much shorter and can be found in the developer section of your profile settings on Instagram. The shortened link appears as a clickable, blue hyperlink within any post that you share about an external website or article.
InstaURL gives you the ability to save your Instagram posts as drafts, giving you plenty of time for edits before posting. You can edit post names and captions with ease from within InstaURL- saving a lot of time in the editing process.
Instagram offers high engagement rates for dental professionals, particularly If you’re looking for great reach without having to spend too much money. You don’t have to write reams of content—but make sure your pictures are of a high enough quality to look good. There are plenty of apps to help you take better photos on your phone, create filters, and add fun stickers to your photos before posting them. Instagram can be a huge asset for your dental marketing—so make the most of it.