Should your Dental Practice be using Instagram?
There are so many social platforms and only so much time and effort, so Instagram may not seem like the obvious choice for a dental practice when it comes to online marketing. It may seem like a frivolous platform made for selfies and pictures of dogs, but even massive companies are now using Instagram successfully to market their services or products visually.
Is Instagram Worth it?
According to the 2016 Fortune 500 Instagram Report, 250 major brands now use Instagram, twice as many as in 2013. In fact, if you count brands that are parented by those 250 companies, use of Instagram by business outclassed Twitter and Facebook for the first time ever in 2016. If Fortune 500 companies can leverage the platform successfully, so can your dental practice.
The Dental Side of Instagram
A picture can take the place of a thousand words. Dentistry is by nature visible – it’s all about the smiles. Dentists can use this platform to boost their online visibility, show off their patient’s smiles (with their permission, of course) and draw in audiences with positive, emotion based content that helps them associate dentistry with happiness and fun.
You can post many types of images to Instagram besides patient smiles. Consider the following as a jumping off point to start implementing Instagram as part of your marketing strategy:
- Images of your office space and procedure rooms
- Special offers for aesthetic options like Invisalign
- Images of your staff participating in community events and charitable functions
- Patient and Hygienist of the month
Don’t Forget the Hashtags
Like Twitter, Instagram is hashtag heavy – even more so than Twitter, because multiple hashtags are encouraged on each post. Tags like #dental, #dentalcare, #dentist, and #dentists are obvious choices, but also try more generic, fun terms like #smile. You should also be using geographic hashtags to draw in people specifically from your coverage area.
Need More Ideas?
Track some of the big brands and see how they are leveraging Instagram. They spend millions on advertising and marketing every year, and sine they are using Instagram more than ever, their approach is working.
Southwest Airlines was an early adopter of Instagram, taking advantage of the shift to mobile. Southwest targeted travelers, and encouraged them to share their pictures from vacations or business trips, then turning around and re-sharing their stories on Instagram and Twitter. This is easy adaptable from images of amazing destinations to images of amazing smiles.
Starbucks, another early adopter, still holds the top brand slot when it comes to interaction on Instagram, and is in second place for raw follower count. Their 2012 Behind the Scenes campaign met with massive positive reactions, and dentists can take a leaf from their playbook and share the “real stories” of what goes on in the office.
Fortune 500 companies continue to hold down the top slots in various categories; the most “popular” Instagram account is Nike, the most “impressive” one is Publix, Footlocker has the most avid followers, and Disney makes the best Instagram videos.
Should you Filter?
Filters are used much by the big brands, but they can be ideal for a dental practice to boost the fun factor. Consider a filter of the day and post images of as many patients and staff members as possible, or ask patients to post their own images using their personal favorite filter. When you post without a filter, hashtag #nofilter and see even more interest.
Advertising on Instagram
Advanced features on Instagram offer a pay-to-play option, with three different selection. You can use plain photo ads, which are simple and inexpensive to run, and encourage viewers to call your office for an appointment. You can create video ads and talk directly to your target audience. You can even create an entire gallery of photos and upload them as a carousel for smartphone users to swipe through.
Get on Board with Instagram Today.
You can start using Instagram today, and build your account up month by month. Don’t miss out on this Fortune 500 favored platform – it could do your practice a world of good!