March 4, 2020
by Ashley Halsey
Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms on the internet, and one of the most popular among younger users. If you want to reach a younger audience, your dental practice might have to get with the times and start marketing through Instagram. Here is a crash course in setting up a successful Instagram marketing strategy.
First thing’s first, learn all you can about Instagram as a platform. If you’re new to Instagram, it might help to open a personal account first to get an idea of the user experience. Follow other dental accounts, especially your competitors, and see how they operate. Pay close attention to hashtags, stories, and targeted advertising; these are the best ways to reach a wide audience.
Once you have an idea of the fundamentals of Instagram, open up a business account for your company. If you’re new to Instagram, you can find this feature in the settings under Account. Business accounts give you access to analytical data about your posts and your followers, plus it allows you to promote posts to new users as ads. Using a business account also helps with syncing across multiple platforms, through the use of content distribution tools like HootSuite. Linking your accounts together will ensure your business is putting out a singular marketing voice across all avenues.
Once you’re all set up, it’s time to start posting. It’s important at this stage to know exactly what tone you want your marketing to take. Instagram is a social network built on building a personal connection between users, celebrities or brands, perhaps more so than Twitter or Facebook. As a result, the brands that do best on Instagram take on a personal touch with their followers. Show them that there is a human behind the keyboard and you’ll likely win over far more of your customer base.
“On social media, we don’t follow accounts, we follow people. Remind your followers there’s a human behind the brand name”, explains Peter May, a social media marketer at Writinity.com and Researchpapersuk.com.
Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, Instagram is all about visuals. 93% of customers base their purchase choices on visual appearance, according to one Shopify survey, so it pays to highlight the visual appeal of your brand. Luckily, the everyday work of dentistry is full of evocative images that you can use to grab followers’ attention.
Just as it’s important to keep your marketing consistent across platforms, it’s also important to keep your visual tone consistent across your posts. Are you going to stick to photographs, or also include screenshots, text, or memes? With your photos, can you limit yourself to a particular aspect ratio or shot composition? These may seem like overly technical concerns but if you can associate your brand with a particular visual style it is far more likely to stick in the heads of users.
There’s no point going in all guns blazing into a posting regime if you can’t keep it up. Social media marketing is about staying power and long-term plans, and Instagram is no different. You might post ten times in a week but, due to the platforms algorythms, your message still might not get out there. That’s why a thought out and strategic approach to posting is important.
Starting out, try one post a day or a post every other day in order to establish a routine and avoid bombarding followers. You can create a week’s worth of posts and then use content distribution platforms to schedule them to come out on a regular basis. Avoid scheduling too far in advance or your copy will begin to sound too generic and not timely. Remember: you want your users to see the human in you, not the posting bot.
Hashtags are a big part of Instagram, and can be used strategically to boost your brand reach. On a post, aim for 3 to 10 hashtags, focussing on what’s big in your local area. This will make it more likely for local patients to find you on Instagram’s Discover page. As always, do your research: find out what trending hashtags you can relate back to dentistry or your practice in particular. Just one relevant and engaging post can result in new followers and potential customers. “It only takes one post to win over a user, make sure every post is the best it can be”, says Hugh Matinee, a business blogger at Draftbeyond.com and Lastminutewriting.com.
About the Author
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Luckyassignments.com and Gumessays.com who has been involved in many projects across the country. Mother of two children, she enjoys traveling, reading and attending business training courses.