You’ve probably heard of Instagram and may even have an account. You might even know that you “should” be posting, but you maybe you don’t know where to start or exactly why it’s good for business, or how often and what you should be posting. This post is a basic introduction to Instagram that will be part of a complete “how to” series we’ll be running over the next several months to equip and inspire you to start using this amazing marking tool in your dental practice.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a mobile social network owned by Facebook and is the third largest platform in the world, behind Facebook and YouTube, with over 1 billion active monthly users globally and 77.6 million active users in the U.S. alone. Instagram is an easy-to-use, powerful and free marketing tool that leverages photo, short video, and written text to connect with your community, build trust, and drive sales. If you can take a photo on your smartphone and send an email, then you are ready to start using Instagram in your business! But before you do, let’s cover some basics so you can start off on the right foot.
Why is it useful for dental offices?
Simply put, your customers and clients are on Instagram. 64% of U.S. adults between 18-29 use Instagram and 40% of adults between 30-49 also use the social network. There are over 4 million posts on Instagram using the hashtag “dentist”. Because of the nature of Instagram, it is a more informal social space that encourages genuine connection and a more “behind the scenes” approach which only increases the “know, like & trust factor” for your business. You can easily stand out to a potential client based on the kind of content they find online when performing an Internet search.
How to get started
First, you need to choose a username or handle that is as close to your actual business name as possible. You want consistency across all social media platforms. If you have a personal account it needs to be entirely separate from your businesses account. As mentioned above, Instagram is free. There is an option to pay for an upgraded business account which allows you to run sponsored posts. However, to get started that is not necessary. Choose a branded profile photo that is easily recognizable in small format. I want to give visual examples of good and bad profile photos. Optimize your profile’s bio with a clear message about your business name, what you do, and where you’re located. You are allowed to include one link to in your bio. It’s recommended to link to a page where potential customers can sign up to receive updates from you.
How often should I post?
Consistency is everything in the beginning. To get your account started, you want to build up several “rows” of images. Think of each post as a mini blog post. Begin with your brand, who you are, what your business does, what clients can expect from you. Share client testimonials, fun facts, and ask questions of your audience to build engagement. From there, posting once a day or twice a week is typical. The more important part of using Instagram is that you post consistently and engage consistently and in a timely manner.
If you want to stand out, build a strong connection to your current clients and attract potential customers then Instagram is a powerful and free tool for you to leverage in your dental practice. Let us help you create beautifully branded content and develop a strategy for using Instagram to it’s fullest potential. Contact us now to set up a free marketing consultation. Call now.