Social media platforms play a crucial part in any digital marketing strategy. They connect billions of people, providing dentists with countless opportunities and tools for advertising their services. Whether you want to build brand awareness for your dental practice to attract more patients or wish to improve your relationship with existing ones, social media will serve its purpose.
And when it comes to various social media channels in dental advertising, it’s Instagram that is becoming the clear favorite among dentists. However, if you’re considering promoting your dental office through Instagram, we need to warn you that it’s nothing like other social media channels. Dental Instagram marketing drastically differs from Facebook marketing, as both platforms, although both a part of Meta, serve different purposes.
To help you take advantage of the opportunities Instagram offers, we’ve prepared the following guide. Below, you’ll learn the basics and tips on how dentists can build their social media presence using Instagram social media marketing.
Why Should Dentists Market on a Social Media Platform Like Instagram?
Dental social media marketing allows dentists to connect with more people than ever before. Instagram connects approximately 157 million followers in the US alone, who turn on the mobile app to browse through photos and videos posted by their friends, influencers, and businesses like your very own dental office.¹ What does it mean to you? A wide range of potential customers you can reach with your content.
And speaking of content, Instagram offers dentists numerous channels to promote their brand. Using Instagram, dentists can post photos and videos either on their Instagram main page or Instagram Stories. This variety gives dentists a lot of creative freedom on what and where to post to reach the dedicated audience.
Most importantly, though, using social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram as elements of your dental digital marketing strategy can help build trust. With Instagram, you can take a more personal approach to promoting your dental office, and building a stronger relationship with your existing patients. It can also help attract new patients who are more likely to trust a dentist with a more friendly approach to their practice.
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How to Market Your Dental Practice on Instagram
Now that you know why you should promote your dental practice on Instagram, it’s time to learn a few tricks on how to do it. As covered, Instagram offers multiple ways to advertise a business and reach your target audience. However, when it comes to dentistry, we’ve noticed several trends emerging in dental Instagram marketing – patient involvement, behind-the-scenes content, and photo sharing contests. Here’s how to use them:
Involve your patients. Share your patients’ stories and ask them to share their positive feedback on your services. Doing that is a fantastic way to build social proof that you’re a trustworthy dental professional.
Share behind-the-scenes content. Showing how your practice operates behind the scenes is a great way to show a more personal side of your business, be it through visual content marketing or video marketing. It may not seem like the most engaging idea at first, but your followers will love this approach.
Organize a photo-sharing contest. There are several dental contest ideas you can run on Instagram. When organizing one, pick a hashtag you want your patients to share their photos under and create an effective incentive (e.g., a give-away or discounted services).
In addition to those listed above here are some more simple tips to incorporate Instagram into your dental social media advertising strategy:
- Post real photos and videos of your practice;
- Feature your patients in your Instagram Stories;
- Create a timeline for your posts to ensure you share your content regularly;
- Promote dental events, especially if you’re attending them;
- Interact with your audience;
- Create diverse Instagram marketing campaigns using various channels.
Of course, these are only a few ways and tips to promote your dental office. Get creative and do your research to ensure your dental Instagram marketing strategy is relevant and sprout social awareness among your target audience.
Be Sure to Set Up a Business Instagram Account
All it takes to start dental posting on Instagram is setting up a social media account. When it comes to that, you have two options. You can either register as a regular user or set up a business account. However, when it comes to Instagram for dentists, it’s the latter that unlocks Instagram’s full marketing potential.
When using an Instagram business account, you’ll be able to provide your followers with all the information about your dental practice, such as its address, phone number, and business hours. You’ll also have access to business data, providing you with insight into your followers. A business account also allows you to set up Instagram ads. And the best thing is, you can unlock all these features for free!
To switch to an Instagram business account, navigate to settings and find the ‘Switch to Business Profile’ option. There, you’ll be able to connect your Instagram profile with your dental Facebook page and select a category for your dental account. Once you’re all set, start following users and posting content to build your online presence. As for the question on how to do it, we’ll cover it in the following paragraphs.
Optimize Your Instagram Social Media Profile
Before you start bringing your dental post ideas to life, you need to set up and optimize your Instagram profile. It’s something many dental professionals neglect, believing that it’s their posts that matter the most. And while, in a way, it’s true, optimizing your profile will provide a much better experience for a potential patient trying to learn more about your dental practice. To achieve the best effect, you need to take care of the key features, including:
- Write the name. First things first, ensure the name of your practice is short and recognizable.
- Add the image. Include your office’s logo or your picture so that the audience can easily recognize your profile.
- Write the description. Provide your audience with an insight into your services. Highlight what makes your services unique and, if possible, include your dental awards and achievements.
- Add a link to your dental website. If you have a Facebook page or website, be sure to include links in your description.
- Include a call to action. You can include a visible call to action to encourage a user to call or visit your website.
Take Advantage of Your Instagram Story
Although Instagram Stories may look slightly inconspicuous when it comes to Instagram marketing for dentists, you’ll soon realize that they are the most powerful tool the platform has to offer. Simply put, Instagram Stories are short videos or photos you can add to your Story. The content is then visible to your followers for 24 hours, disappearing once this period is over.
What makes the feature so powerful? Well, for starters, Instagram Stories attract over 500 million daily active users worldwide (Statista). Secondly, they come with numerous fun features allowing businesses like dental practices to get creative with their content. These include polls, interactive stickers, gifs, filters, questions, and more.
Build Your Instagram Feed
It might seem irrelevant, but the profiles you follow can play a significant role in your dental social media strategy. By following people and profiles relevant to dentistry, you’ll be able to keep up with current trends, build your expertise, share top-quality posts, and find inspiration for potential dental Instagram ideas or marketing quotes for Instagram.
Besides following individual dental accounts, another excellent idea is to follow relevant hashtags. This way, you’ll see more dentistry-related posts in your news feed and Instagram reel. To take advantage of that, enter the hashtag and click on ‘follow’ to stay up to date with everything that’s going on in the Instagram dental community.
Create Engaging Content
It goes without saying that the only way to succeed in Instagram marketing is to post engaging content. Your content should be diverse and exciting. Otherwise, your audience will quickly get bored and lose interest in your practice. Luckily, Instagram offers tons of posting possibilities, allowing you to share everything from standard photos and videos to Boomerang stories and ads.
Here are several ideas for engaging Instagram posts for dental offices:
- Educational posts about dental hygiene and health
- Fun facts about dentistry
- Behind the scenes videos and photos
- Office tours
- Dental Instagram contests and giveaways
- Dentistry memes and jokes
- Patients’ testimonials
Reach New Audiences With Paid Advertising Campaigns
Social media ads are a fantastic tool that can help businesses drive traffic to their website and promote their services and products. Like Facebook, Instagram also has a dedicated paid advertising feature – Instagram Ads. It allows dental practices to create, manage, and track ad campaigns to help them reach new audiences.
As a Facebook ad, an Instagram ad looks similar to a standard post that appears on your followers’ feeds, Stories, and Explore. The only difference is that it contains links and CTA buttons. Instagram ads are also labeled as ‘sponsored’ to indicate that they’re ads. As for the types of Instagram ads, the most popular ones include image ads, stories ads, video ads, and carousel ads. As for the cost, it will depend on several factors, such as the targeting, competitiveness, time of the year, and placement.
Increase Brand Awareness Through Influencers
Influencer marketing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when speaking about the dental industry. Well, what if we told you that dental influence marketing is a thing? Moreover, it’s becoming more and more common among dental practitioners who want to promote their practices and reach a much broader audience.
In essence, a dental influencer is a person who has established a reputation in a dental area. Influencers operate like Instagram celebrities, having tons of followers who trust their judgment and referrals. Dental practicers can hire them to refer their services in exchange for money or free dental services. If you get one of your local Instagram leaders to promote your practice, then you’ve won a jackpot. Having a recognizable brand ambassador will help you reach new audiences, build social proof, and increase your brand awareness.
Interact With Your Followers
Regular posting is one thing. The other is engaging with your Instagram followers. Interacting with users has two primary benefits. First of all, it keeps your followers engaged and makes them feel heard. And secondly, engagement makes Instagram’s algorithm read your dental social media posts as more relevant, keeping them visible on your followers’ main feed.
Building engagement on Instagram is nothing complicated, so be sure to take care of it to build your social media presence. To improve it, you can:
- Respond to as many comments under your posts as possible;
- Respond to direct messages quickly;
- Organize Q&A sessions using Instagram Stories or Live features.
Use the Right Hashtags
If you’re familiar with Instagram, you know how profound hashtags are. You can use them to categorize your posts and build content awareness to reach wider audiences. However, there is a couple of pitfalls you have to avoid.
First, don’t clutter your content with too many hashtags. It’s best to use between 3 and 10 hashtags per post. And secondly, don’t use any irrelevant phrases. Search for keywords related to dentistry and to the content you’re publishing. You can find them yourself by analyzing your competition.
Observe Your Dentist Competition
Speaking of competition, be aware of what other dentists post, especially if they are your direct competitors. See what hashtags they use, what kind of content they post, and how they engage with their followers. Using this information, you can then use their dental post ideas to your advantage. Of course, don’t copy and paste what they’re doing. Instead, treat their Instagram activity as an inspiration for what you can improve.
What should I post on Instagram for the dental office?
There are several dental post ideas for Instagram, including:
- Behind-the-scenes photos and video content
- Dental contests and giveaways
- Q&A sessions
- Live streams
- Celebrations, social practice events, and awards
- Articles from respectable dental sources
How do dentists market social media?
Dental marketing on social media doesn’t only include Instagram. Dentists can also take advantage of the many possibilities offered by other platforms, such as Facebook (Facebook Live, Facebook ads, etc.), YouTube, or TikTok. Sticking to just one social media platform doesn’t make much sense, as every platform includes different audiences. With this in mind, using only one social channel limits the chance to reach out to more potential customers or connect existing ones within the social platform.
How do I advertise my dental practice?
As effective as it can be, social media marketing should only be one of the many parts of your dental marketing strategy. To advertise your dental practice more effectively, you should also take care of your website and Google Business Profile. Use a combination of SEO practices and paid advertising to increase your traffic and reach out to even more potential patients.
Instagram is becoming one of the most popular social media platforms used in dental marketing. It offers numerous amazing features dentists can use to promote their practices and build brand awareness needed in the highly competitive dental industry. As you can see, advertising your dental practice using Instagram is nothing complicated. All it takes is following several simple steps to ensure your posts are diverse, creative, and engaging. Take advantage of what Instagram has to offer today and build your dental social media presence! Watch a demo with Weave to improve your dental marketing.