If your practice is using social media to stay in the minds and hearts of the community you serve, then you know the benefit an occasional Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google Plus post can have on your practice. It strengthens your brand, establishes goodwill, and can even aid in new patient acquisition. Different rules govern different platforms, and because Instagram is a fairly new but widely popular platform, we wanted to give you some pointers:
Instagram is a Picture Feed
Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Instagram is a purely picture feed. Although you can use your captions to send a message, Instagram is designed to give a snapshot of what is going on in your world.
Instagram is a Cell Phone App and Can Not be Posted to from a Computer or Tablet
If you want to start an Instagram for your practice, you need to download the app to your cell phone. Other staff members can access the account if you share with them the username and password on their phones or computer, but you can only view Instagram posts from the web and cannot post to the account from anywhere but your phone.
Your Instagram Posts Need to Be Funny, Interesting, Informative, or Otherwise Attention-Grabbing
If you catch a followers’ eye with an interesting picture, then they will read the caption to your picture. However, most people scroll through the images of people they follow without taking the time to read the caption or “<3” the picture unless it merits the attention. The reason you need to put up good pictures is that it will help you attract and retain followers and they might even read the caption you put or even “<3” the photo (the equivalent of liking on Facebook or favorite-ing on Twitter).
Establish a Following by “Guest Posting”
When you start out, you will have no followers. A good way to get followers is to ask your staff and patients to follow you, follow other people, and to ask other people to tag you in their posts. That will expose your name to the followers of that account, and those followers might follow you as a result. Basically, it just gets more eyes on you. And you can do the same for the person who draws attention to your account! Tag that friend in one of your posts so they are exposed to your followers.
Don’t Post All The Same Type of Picture
Your posts can be graphics advertising an event or offer at your practice, pictures of staff and patients, or can be inspirational quotes in front of a neutral background! The possibilities are endless, but avoid a lot of the same “type” of picture. If you only ever post graphics depicting dental tips, you should give your graphics person a break and throw in some pictures of patients in the chair or staff at a local charity event. Keep it interesting by mixing up the types of posts you share with your followers, and you will draw more attention to your posts, account, and practice.
Use them! Abuse them! Instagram filters make the photos of amateur photographers look more intense, dramatic, and professional. Mostly, filters are just fun. You don’t have to put a filter on every picture, and you should not be using the same filter every time, but don’t be afraid to use them. Filters are another way to draw attention to your posts (although an occasional “no filter” post can draw a lot of likes as well, because it draws attention to the quality of the raw photo.)
Comments, <3’s, and Captions
Comments are a way to react to other peoples’ posts, they are pretty self-explanatory. The only thing to keep in mind with comments goes for all social media outlets—don’t share any sensitive or personal information in comments. Keep them light, message the follower if you have something to say that you don’t want other followers to see. Give comments, get comments.
“<3”’s are likes, so the more likes you get on a photo, the better. If you like other peoples’ photos, they will likely follow your account or like some of yours. To like someone else’s photo, tap on it twice with your finger.
Captions can be long or short, they are a great way to tag people in the photo, explain where it was taken or when, or the details of an offer if you are posting an infographic. Share information about your office!
Who You Target with Instagram
If you are using Instagram, your audience will be somewhat different than your audience on Facebook. Most adults have Facebook while Instagram attracts more young people. For the most part, the kind of patients you will attract and retain through Instagram will be young moms, singles, and teenagers (with exceptions, of course!). In a word: “Millennial’s”. This is an important age group as Millennials include young parents, college grads, single adults, and teenagers—all of whom you treat. And, as with Facebook and other social networking sites, Instagram is fairly young and will attract more of the clientele you serve over time.
There is no better time than today to create an Instagram account for your dental office. As you follow social cues on the application and apply these principles, you will be able to strategically use your Instagram account to build your brand and establish yourself in the minds and hearts of the community you treat more effectively.
At Platinum Recall, we consider ourselves experts in the dental industry, and we know how to make practices thrive in a challenging industry. Just follow the account of our dental practice in Utah, Platinum Dental Care , on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter for an example of how we use social media marketing.
However, our expertise is not so much in social media as it is in patient retention, practice expansion, and staff unification. Our dental accounting (dental bookkeeping) service , 24/7 dental call center, Platinum Stats virtual practice progress tracker , and team training can guarantee your business success. Dentists have enough to deal with—Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn…. Not to mention serving patients! Let us take a load off and boost your production while we are at it. Give us a call at 800.900.2012 today for a free consultation or sign up here for a free demo of Platinum Recall dental management services.
If you are asking, “How do I sell my practice?” Platinum Recall provides the dental management services necessary for the success of your practice.