70% to be exact in the US alone. Add small to medium businesses to the mix and the number of advertisers present on the platform increases to more than 2 million worldwide.
There’s a reason brands are choosing Instagram as their go-to marketing tool over other social media giants like Twitter and Facebook. Do you know what that reason is? It’s the highly engaged audience the platform boasts of. More than 80% of the personal accounts present on the platform follow at least 1 brand they like, and that is the bare minimum. There are people on Instagram who follow, interact with and actively purchase from thousands of brands out there.
So, can dental practices around the globe make good use of this amazing social media platform to stand out from the noise and make a name for themselves? Absolutely! Being a renowned digital marketing agency with a strong background in providing exceptional dental marketing services ourselves, we get this query from a lot of dentists and we say YES! to every single one of them.
It was about time we settled this question once and for all!
Before I begin preaching you about how you can make use of your hidden marketing talent on the platform to bring in more foot-traffic for your dental practice, you need to understand the nature of this unique platform and what makes its user tick. Instagram is a highly visual platform and is the happiest social media platform out there which is mostly used by millennials.
And Millennials love brands that are real. You don’t have to be the best out there, just be real and you’ll have their trust. For this, you would need to be fully transparent about who you are and what you do regularly. That can include showcasing your personal life, the people that help you run your practice, all the inside stories and what not. Showing the human side and being totally real about yourself really works at Instagram, whereas self-promotional content has no place on the platform (unless you are a well-established brand with millions of followers), you’ll only get frowns and ignorance that way! You’ll have to engage your audience with your posts and make them trust your practice first. Hard selling on the platform with your first post right away will put your practice in a bad light, so I would advise you to stay away from that entirely on the platform.
Keeping that in mind, here are a few ways you can start marketing your dental practice on the platform and build a ton of following -
Create a business profile and give all the information you can in the bio
While there is no problem in marketing your dental practice from your personal account, business profiles on Instagram come studded with deep analytics for every post and audience intelligence features that will help you understand your audience better.Moreover, by having a business profile, you’d enable prospective patients to give you a call or contact you right from the Instagram app, which is a great way of fostering conversions.
Use this opportunity and mention every detail about your dental practice as you can in the 200 words bio section on Instagram. That includes your contact information, the area your practice serves, the top services you provide, your business website, the time your business is available and every other information that can help prospective patients in choosing your dental service over others. Make sure you don't forget to add URL of your website as that's the only place where you can add a link for users to go to your landing page. Optimizing your profile bio is vital and should be your top-most priority before you begin with any of your dental marketing efforts on the platform.
Making use of influencers is a no-brainerInfluencer marketing has consistently been one of the top marketing trend for the past few years and Instagram has been the go-to platform for a lot of influencers to advertise their collaborations with a brand in the most personal and non-branded way possible. According to a study by Zine and eMarketer, nearly 80% of influencers prefer Instagram as their platform of choice for brand collaborations. And more than 68% of marketers are using Influencers within various industries to give a boost to their brands.
Dental practices should not be any different. If you are looking to quickly get in front of a broader audience and gain exponential exposure, influencer marketing is the way to go. You could reach out to influential people in the health and fitness industry or anyone with a big audience on Instagram and offer your dental services to them for free (in some cases), in return you or they can post an insta pic and/or a story at your dental service The influencer gets free dental services and you get to leverage their huge audience in the most genuine way possible, a win-win situation. As an example, Dr. Kevin Sands from Beverly Hills, USA, does this a lot with Instagram’s biggest influencers such as Kylie Jenner, Drake, Kim Kardashian and a lot more (not that they need dental services for free).
While you can also make use of influencers in a lot of other creative ways, I think this example gets the point across. Imagine the people following these influencers getting connected with you and looking for your services. Once they follow you, make sure you keep them engaged as they would not remember your services when they are scrolling their feed regularly.
Don’t shy away from showcasing your unique personalityWith so many businesses on the platform, showcasing your unique personality in every post can really set you apart. So make sure you engage with your existing audience and attract more users and make them stick. It doesn’t always have to be about before-and-after images of your dental patients. While posting these kinds of posts may be great for marketing on other social media platforms, do it too much on Instagram and users will simply start getting bored of your stuff! To engage your audience, keeping a healthy mix of creative posts that bring out your personality in the best light possible is vital. As they would recognize and would look forward to your unique self. The above video is the courtesy of Dr. Daniel Rubinshtein, who is a renowned dentist in New York City with a 198k following. He constantly posts funny stuff related to his dental practice along with the proven before-and-after treatment posts that have amassed such a massive following for his practice. You can have a look at his profile page to see for yourself how his creative and funny posts will make you like him in an instant.
Actively engage with your followers and share the loveYour followers are there with you for a reason. They actively comment, like and share your posts for a reason. While getting all this love from people may feel nice, you should work upon making your audience feel nice once in a while as well. Reply to their comments, showcase and reshare their posts about you with your entire audience, actively engage in giveaways or run some contests, giving your audience back some love always puts your brand in good light and attracts more fans. While it might mean a little to you, it can mean a world for your entire audience. If you do this for your practice, you’ll look like a practice that doesn’t only care about making money but cares about their audience as well. Best example of a dental practice doing this on Instagram is Apa Aesthetic. Founded by the award-winning dentist, Dr. Michael Apa, he actively engages with his audience on Instagram in every way possible and shares the usual before-and-after treatment posts mixed with posts about his personal life. The result - 229k huge following on Instagram. You can check his Instagram account to witness all of the giving-back for yourself.
Don’t forget to use #Hashtags
Talking about Instagram, how could we forget #hashtags?Using hashtags is a great way to get your posts seen on Instagram. As every hashtag becomes a categorized link where all the posts with the same hashtag are displayed, use a hashtag that gets searched by a lot of people and you get instant exposure for your posts on the platform.
But there’s a trick to it.
On Instagram, you can use general hashtags like #dentistry, or you can use specific hashtags like #KidsDentistry. You can even use local hashtags like #NewYorkDentistry. Or you can create your own hashtag like #(your dental practice name)dentistry to add branding to it. The world of hashtags is so vast on Instagram that choosing the exact hashtag that would bring you the best kind of exposure can be a bit of a daunting task, to be honest. While Instagram provides you an option to place up to #30 hashtags in your post, overdoing them can look like spam. So, you’ll have to carefully select each of them and use them sparingly. This is where ideally you could use 3 where one is specific to your brand and word (unique) and the other could be general which would show up on specific hashtag searches for images on Instagram. Keeping a mix of them all works best as they’ll bring targeted people to your posts and also build your brand at the same time. So, work on creating a unique hashtag of your own. Dr. Sam Saleh, based in Beverly Hills and currently with 251k followers, uses #branded hashtags perfectly on most of his posts. His own hashtag, like he has used in the image above, is #drsalehsmile and if a user clicks on this hashtag, it displays each of his post where he has used the exact same hashtag categorized by top-posts, most recent and other hashtags he has used in the same individual posts. A prospective patient, if he clicks on it, will then be able to see all his work at a glance to make the final decision which can work wonders in making conversions because it’s all his own glorious work on a single page for everyone to see (obviously, why would any other dental practitioner use #drsalehsmile). On top of that, patients who have taken his treatment and are boasting his work on the platform using the same hashtag would also be visible on the same page. It really can make a difference if you think about it.
Some other Instagram featuresWhile hashtags can be a great way to gain some extra exposure on the platform, Instagram is studded with some other features as well which you can make use of to stand out and get creative with your posts.
Instagram StoriesInstagram Stories was first introduced in August 2016 and lets users post disappearing photos and videos to their profiles. The feature is great as stories don't add to the clutter of news feeds but are displayed at the top of it in the form of colorful circles. This Instagram feature can be used as a great way to get in front of your audience.
Instagram BoomerangBoomerang is Instagram's own app which lets users create a mini-video by capturing a burst of photos, stitches them all together and plays it forward and backwards creating a never-ending loop. It lets you break away from posting your usual photos and videos on the platform and can add a little spice to your profile.
Instagram Live VideoTo get in front of your audience, along with uploading stories on your profile, you can also start a live video on the platform and gain a lot of engagement from your audience. All your followers automatically get notified when you start a live video, so Instagram does most of the legwork for you in this case. You can start a live video of you operating on one of your patients to give all your followers a sneak peek into your dental practice and how you operate. The best part? Your followers can interact with you in real-time and ask whatever their heart desires, which is great for building a relationship with your audience.
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