With over one billion active monthly users and over 200 million active business accounts, “Should my practice get an Instagram?” is one of the most common questions we hear from clients. Today, our social media team breaks down the benefits of the platform and what makes a practice a good candidate for Instagram.
Benefits of Using Instagram for Dentists
As both a social platform and a venue for advertising, here are some of the most common benefits Instagram provides to a dental practice marketing plan.
Instagram Builds Your Brand and Shows Off Your Office Culture
Since Instagram is a visual platform and more casual than Facebook, it is excellent for showing your patients entertaining, organic photos of what your staff is up to both in and outside the office. This generates interest in your brand, which attracts new patients.
Adding Instagram Expands Your Digital Footprint and Reaches New Audiences
The more social channels you have, the more ground you cover digitally and the higher likelihood you have of reaching more potential patients. However, being strategic is key to success on Instagram–you cannot just create a profile to reach more people, you need to be intentional.
Instagram Stories=Instant Content
Using the Stories feature on Instagram allows you to immediately share spontaneous content with followers. For example, if an office sends your staff ice cream as a thank-you for a referral, you can share a photo of your staff enjoying the sweets on your Story and tag their office if they’re on Instagram.
What Makes My Dental Practice a Good Candidate for Instagram?
Whether or not your practice should use Instagram depends largely on your patient demographic, the time constraints of your team and the opportunities you have to create content.
Consider Adding Instagram to Your Practice Marketing If:
Your Dental Practice has Younger Patient Demographics You Want to Reach
Instagram is the social channel of choice for younger patients, with 18 to 34 being the largest age range of active platform users.
You Can Consistently Commit to Using the Platform with Your Marketing Partner
Consistency is key for Instagram. If a prospective patient goes to your profile and sees you have an active, thriving follower base that regularly engages with your content, you’ll look much more credible than a practice that rarely posts and only receives one like per post. The more likes you get on posts, the more Instagram will show your content to people.
Your Staff is Invested in the Platform’s Success and Willing to Provide Content
Even if you work with a marketing partner, your staff will largely be the ones creating content. Our clients see the most success when they have a designated marketing coordinator in their office. They need to be interested, enthusiastic and invested in Instagram.
Keep in mind that having an Instagram also means creating more content outside of your usual social posts, too. Instagram itself recommends posting feed posts twice a week and Stories twice per day to build a following.
You are Already Active on Other Social Channels and Have a Clear Idea of How You Want to Use This New Account
Before creating an Instagram account, you and your staff need to understand what you’ll be posting there. Do you want your content to be educational and show off your advanced technology? Or does your dentist have a fun hobby outside of the office he or she wants to share with patients? Are your usual oral health partners and referring offices active on the platform and sharing content you can engage with? Clearly outline your goals and how you want to present yourself on the platform so your content reflects this.
What Dental Practices Should Avoid Instagram?
Just because Instagram is a component of the digital marketing ecosystem doesn’t mean you need to use it–or that it will even work for accomplishing your marketing goals. Every practice is different, and what works for one may not work for another.
Reconsider Adding Instagram to Your Practice Marketing If:
Your Dental Practice has an Older Patient Demographic that Isn’t Active on the Platform
If you’re trying to attract a younger demographic to your practice, Instagram is a strong option for you. But if you’re a practice focused on dental implants with a patient base aged 65 and older, it makes more sense to invest your social media marketing efforts into Facebook–where users ages 35 and older are much more active.
Your Organic Photo Opportunities are Infrequent or Inconsistent
Facebook may be a great place for business information, but Instagram is lifestyle-focused. You need to have a consistent flow of organic content beyond your usual deals and updates if you want to keep younger followers engaged and entertained.
Your Staff is Uncomfortable or Too Busy to Focus on the Platform
Optimizing your Instagram is a time investment, and it also requires you to get in front of the camera and share a part of your daily life with followers.
If your team is uncomfortable using social media and sharing personal content, or already strapped for time with their usual office responsibilities and can’t regularly engage with your followers and fellow practices, Instagram is a wasted marketing tool.
Your Overall Brand Voice is Formal and Doesn’t Fit Instagram’s Tone
Instagram is much less formal in how brands communicate with their followers. A picture of your dentist doing goofy cheers for the local college football team is far more common than a post about the insurance carriers you accept.
If using emojis and posting videos of your staff doing the latest dance trend seems off-brand for your practice, don’t force yourself to change just to use Instagram. Opt for platforms and posts that more accurately represent who you are.
Need Help with Social Media Marketing for Dentists?
At Whiteboard Marketing, our social media team creates content unique to each practice and utilizes strategic post scheduling and boosting to maximize your patient engagement. Schedule a consultation call with us to get started.
Written by Anna L. Davies, Digital Marketing Specialist at Whiteboard Marketing, with assistance from the Social Media Specialist Team.