Use Instagram to stand out from competition

With more social media platforms created every day, it can take some time to narrow down which ones are worth using to promote your dental practice. Some are easy to eliminate based on low user counts or too narrow audiences.

However, at 500 million users and growing, Instagram is not a platform to ignore. It’s an effective avenue for acquiring patients that, unlike Facebook, many of your competition are not using yet.  Earlier this year, the platform launched their first tools for businesses, including business profiles, analytics, and tools to promote posts beyond current followers.

The business-specific profiles make it much easier for dental practices to connect with potential patients by offering click to call, text, or email functionality right on the page. You can also incorporate maps and directions right into your practice profile, making it much more business-friendly than the previously used profiles. These features break initial barriers to patient acquisition by making the first contact incredibly easy—the patient doesn’t need to search for a phone number or wonder if your office is close to their home.

One of the great things about Instagram is that you can track everything you share to the site and see which posts perform best and from there determine what to share in the future. Another benefit is to see demographics of the people who view and interact with your posts to assure you’re targeting your ideal potential patients. Plus, Instagram hashtags are an excellent way to connect with your local audience. Hashtags like #Austin, #funinDenver, or #SanDiegoDentistry will allow more local Instagram users to view your posts, increasing the likelihood of connecting with people actually interested in dentists in your area.

But the biggest advantage of adding Instagram to your social media arsenal is it’s designed perfectly for sharing the more day to day happenings in your dental office. It’s a visual first platform that places a secondary emphasis on the text posted with photos or videos. This means you can spend less time worrying about getting the wording just right and more time to capture moments that demonstrate your great office culture and why patients should want to be part of it. Singing “Happy Birthday” to the doctor, opening presents during a holiday gift exchange or a visit from a dental therapy dog all present perfect opportunities for some self-promotion that doesn’t come off as traditional marketing.

Take a look at these great examples. These practices have fully embraced the fun, effortless feel of Instagram marketing to show off their great relationships with current patients. Then they add in well thought out hashtags to help increase the number of interested leads viewing their posts. It’s a winning combination that makes their practices stand out from the competition.

Figure out the person or people in your office to lead Instagram to use, bring the team together to think ahead about what things might be great to share, and put a few posting parameters in place and you’ll be all set.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start engaging patients on Instagram!