Social media marketing coupled with paid advertising on these platforms continues to dominate the bleeding edge of dental marketing. While Instagram itself is not a new platform, it is still the most popular platform in the social media space after Facebook and Youtube.
With nearly 90% of Instagram users following at least one business on Instagram, it’s more important than ever to market your dental practice on Instagram.
Many dental practices, including several Pro Impressions Marketing member offices incorporate Instagram as part of their marketing mix. The problem is that many dental offices are missing the mark in implementing some best practices for effective marketing on Instagram.
Why Bother With Instagram
There are plenty of reasons for Instagram to make sense for dental marketing. Some statistic sources say that almost 43% of Instagram users are females. 31% are men and the remaining are non-binary. 46% of Instagram users live in urban areas while 35% live in suburban areas, therefore, meaning the majority of users on Instagram are in your target demographic.
As far as the income of users, 42% make $75,000 per year or more and 39% make $30,000 to $75,000 per year. These are all income ranges that can afford dentistry, including cosmetic dentistry.
Nearly 75% of 18 to 24-year-olds use Instagram. On the flip side, 57% of 25-30-year-olds, 47% of 30-49-year-olds use Instagram. These age ranges are perfect for preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. As they continue to age, you can shift your focus more away from preventive and cosmetic dentistry to restorative options. Capturing their interest now can help you become their dentist for life.
Why Instagram Can Feel Tough
You can think of Instagram users as the social media elite- or at least people who want to rub elbows with the elite. Top brands invest money trying to reach these users in an attempt to either set trends themselves or to affect the choices of the trendsetters in their favor. The trouble is, since Instagram is an image-based social media platform, being active on Instagram means generating image-based content.
Creating quality images is easy for high-end brands like Michael Kors who have the time, money, and product to have a weekly photo shoot. When you have a service business, you have to try to capture the essence of what you do while you’re doing it.
You might think, “Well, my ‘product’ is my dentistry! We can share photos of our patients and their appliances!” This is a great idea. We should absolutely do that, but there are some challenges to this approach:
- You have to take the photos. There is no way of getting around taking photos if you want to do Instagram marketing
- You have to have permission to share patient photos on social media
- Your photos have to be high-quality images (good lighting and composition)
- Instagram users bore easily
The first item is the biggest issue. You have to generate original content if you want to grow a following on Instagram. Once you get permission and capture high-quality photos, generating that type of content is a breeze.
Creating Intriguing Instagram Content
We understand that it might feel difficult to come up with social media ideas all the time which is why we launched our monthly #staysocial blog. #staysocial is a monthly blog series that provides you with weekly social media post ideas so you can keep your content fresh and your followers intrigued. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss a month.
We also recently wrote a blog filled with TONS of social media post ideas you can use at any time!
Instagram Do’s and Don’ts
When you post to any social media platform, you want to focus on these areas:
- Who you are
- Making patients feel special
- Reminding patients why they chose you
- Educating patients about dentistry, but from a patient’s point of view
These are ideas that were presented at a Digital Dental Marketing Conference in the past. One of the presenters at the conference, My Social Practice, is a fairly well-known company in the dental marketing world. They specialize in helping offices with their social media and offer a variety of packages and services. They advise promoting a patient of the day on Instagram.
The biggest problem is that all of their stuff ends up looking the same. Again, because Instagram users bore quickly, they will smell canned social media messaging a mile away. If offices don’t judiciously intermingle posts that they create on their own with the canned content from social media marketing companies, their marketing will tend to be a turn-off in the long run.
Driving Instagram Traffic
Unlike Facebook, Instagram posts cannot contain links. There is a workaround by using certain technology like Later’s linkin.bio, or Linktree, but you have to manually add them after you post on Instagram. Unless you use that technology, it’s nearly impossible to gain website traffic from posting on Instagram. Instead, your office’s Instagram profile needs to link to your website, and your best hope of converting users will be to attract followers using hashtags.
Hashtags have a reputation for being overused and misused but they can be done strategically. Don’t try to merge SEO tactics with hashtags by tagging images with #sandiegodentist etc. Instead, use hashtags that are likely to be used by users and brands that have the same values and interests as your ideal patient while still being relevant to the image. Some examples might be:
That last one is obviously borderline but you get the idea.
Getting Started with Instagram
Instagram has tutorials for this but the key that I will share is this: in their 3 step recommendations for creating content on Instagram:
1. Sign up for an account and switch to a business profile
2. Understand how to stand out with good creativity
3. Create quality photos and videos
So while it’s easy for us to tackle Step 1, your team needs to understand how to tackle Step 2 and 3. Our best recommendation would be for you and your team to focus on posting great content to Facebook and then we can select choice image-based content to share on Instagram. Not everything that makes for good Facebook fodder will help us win on Instagram.
Streamline Your Instagram Posting
When you sign up for our Online Practice Center package, you will gain access to a social media scheduler that allows you to schedule all your social media posts ahead of time. You never have to wait around all day to post your social media content at the perfect time. Instead, sit down for a couple of hours per month and schedule your entire month in one sitting!
If you don’t have time to come up with amazing Instagram content on your own, that’s okay because we can help. When you sign up for our Online Practice Center + Membership package or Online Practice Center + Custom Premier package, you gain access to social media marketing completed by our social media experts at Pro Impressions. We create and schedule three posts per week that go out to each of your social profiles. There’s no excuse to not post consistently on Instagram with our help at your side.
If you’re interested in signing up for an Online Practice Center package or one of our other dental marketing packages, please contact us to schedule a consultation at (970) 672-1212 or book an appointment online.