Instagram is quickly becoming the most-used social media platform, meaning there are many active users and more opportunities than ever to reach new patients. So, how do dentists use Instagram effectively in their marketing? While and definitely apply to Instagram, we’ve laid out a few of the basics for dental practices just getting started.
Instagram is a great place to stay connected with your current patients and find new ones. However, it can be overwhelming to consider all the features and possibilities of Instagram so we’ve boiled it down to the basics. Knowing how to set up an account, what hashtags to use and what kind of content to post is a great place to start.
How To Set Up An Instagram Account
If you don’t have an Instagram account already set up don’t worry, it’s a breeze. You can set up your account one of two ways:
The first way to create an account is to open your web browser and go to https://www.instagram.com/ The second way is to download the Instagram app on your mobile device. Navigate to the app store on your device and search for “Instagram” If you’re on an Apple device click if you are using a Google device click .
A page will appear with a form to fill out our information. Instagram asks you to sign up using your mobile number or an email address. We recommend using an easily accessible general practice email.
You will also be asked for your name, username, and password. Use your practice name for the “Name” and “Username” fields. The username you select might be taken and since Instagram only allows unique usernames you’ll have to try something else.
Let’s say for example your practice name is Gentle Dental the username @gentledental is taken, here are a few alternative examples:
@GentleDentalTexas (include your city name or city initials)
After you’ve filled out the required fields, click the blue “Sign Up” button to finish creating your account.
Welcome to Instagram. Easy right?
Switch to Instagram Business Account
Once you’ve created your dentist Instagram account, you may want to switch to a business account. This will separate your page as a professional business, not an individual user.
To switch your profile to a professional account:
Go to your profile and tap in the upper right corner.
Tap Switch to Professional Account.
What To Write In Your Dental Instagram Bio
Your practice’s Instagram bio is the first part of your Instagram page that your audience looks at when they visit your page. Potential patients checking out your Instagram page get their first impression from your bio and they may even make a decision to “follow” you based on what it says.
The best Instagram bios for dentists hook potential patients by providing valuable information right off the bat.
Your Instagram bio is the first thing your audience “sees” about you or your dental practice. They also see it often, yet take less than a second to form a lifetime opinion. Finally (and most importantly), your audience makes the decision to “follow” you based on your bio. That’s why an effective bio a big part of your Instagram marketing strategy.
Here are some ideas of what to put in your dental Instagram bio:
Instagram allows pages to include one link- we recommend this link directs people right to your practice website.
How to Use Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are gaining in popularity and more viewers than ever are swiping through the stories of the accounts they follow throughout their day. It’s a great way to compliment your Instagram posts.
Stories are located at the top of your feed and allow you to post a photo or video for 24 hours. After 24 hours, your post disappears! Stories work perfectly for quick updates, promotional announcements, running polls, and going live.
How To Post an Instagram Story:
Click the camera icon in the top-left corner in your Instagram app
Snap a photo, choose or image from your device or tap one of the options at the bottom of the screen (Boomerang, Create, Live. etc)
Edit your photo
Tap “Your Stories” on the bottom-right and congrats! Your post is now posted to your Instagram story feed.
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How to Use Hashtags
What is a hashtag?
Hashtags are pound signs (#) followed by one word or short groups of words like #dentists or #teethwhitening. Hashtags are used to categorize content across the internet. For example, if you search #dentist on Instagram, your search will bring up all the photos taken with that tag- there are a lot!
Where to find relevant hashtags
Introducing AllHashtag! It’s a free website that generates related and relevant content depending on your search. If you search “dentist” the system will give you popular hashtags that relate to your search! Check it out here!
A Tip That Makes Using Hashtags Faster & Easier
Select the hashtags that you’d like to use and choose a place on your phone for keeping them handy. For example, your “Notes” application. That way you can copy and paste the hashtags without having to key them in every time you post.
Keep in mind, Instagram restricts the maximum number of hashtags to 30. Also, for a much less cluttered feel to the post, some dental practices like to paste the hashtags in as a comment rather than including them in the image caption. Either way will be equally effective!
Give this suggestion a shot! It’s becoming effective in the world of dental marketing. You’ll be stunned to see how many local people will discover your practice on Instagram when you’re making an effort to join local conversations!
Check out how these practices used hashtags on their posts:
How to Easily Manage Multiple Accounts
Instagram has a feature that allows users to manage multiple accounts on one mobile device. Why is this such a big deal? Because it makes it easy for your team to share photos and great moments from your practice!
You can easily switch from your personal Instagram account to the practice account, instead of hassling with logging in and out or having to find the phone or tablet with access to the practice account.
This trick will save you time and allow for better Instagram collaboration in your office.
Adding accounts and switching between them is easy and super simple:
Go to your Instagram settings.
Scroll down and tap Add Account.
Enter the username and password of the account you’d like to add.
How to switch between the Instagram accounts you’ve added:
Go to your profile.
Tap your username at the top of the screen.
A list will drop down displaying the accounts connect to your Instagram app, tap the account you’d like to switch to and voila!
Keep in mind that Instagram allows you to add up to 5 accounts to your Instagram app.
Adding your practice’s Instagram account to the accounts of your dental team makes for easy social media teamwork. Granting access to your team will allow them to capture fun moments in the office and snap photos with your patients. This kind of fun, engaging content is what sets your practice apart from the crowd online and is crucial to finding social media success.
How to Show Off Your Practice Culture
When prospective patients are checking out your Instagram account, they are looking to get a good feel of your practice culture and personality. The experience you provide on your Instagram page should be a reflection of the experiences patients have inside your practice.
How can you exhibit your practice culture and build trust with potential patients from your Instagram page?
First, capture moments in your practice that demonstrate your practice culture. Focus on how you want your patients to feel when they visit your page.
For example, if you pride yourselves on relaxing patient experiences, you may want to post a photo of your complimentary beverages and snacks or neck pillows.
If you have a friendly and playful office, you might share a picture of a team member pulling a funny face at the camera. Many patients have anxiety about visiting the dentists and you can help alleviate some of that worry by allowing them to see their dental professionals as people with personalities!
Along with pictures of patients and team members, share photos of anything interesting in and around your practice.
Find your inner photographer and get creative! Has an animal wandered onto your office property? Snap a photo and share it! What does the doctor have on their office wall? Share a picture and share why it’s meaningful.
If someone brought in treats for the office or if you decorated for St. Patrick’s day- show it off! These types of pictures keep your practice relatable and builds trust with potential patients by connecting with them on a personal level. See more dental Instagram do’s and don’ts here!
Engage With Your Followers and Community
Communicating with patients and members of the dental community on Instagram is an excellent way to attract new patients and grow your following, especially for practices just starting out. Here are a few ways to start.
1. Make sure to follow back the patients that follow your practice page, and occasionally ‘Like’ one of their recent photos.
2. Respond when people comment on your posts or tag your practice. Follow local businesses, doctors, artists, restaurants, and news outlets
3. When you follow someone on Instagram, ‘Like’ one of their photos, or tag their business location, they’ll receive a notification from your account, increasing the likelihood of them following you back. So don’t be shy!