Introduction to Dental Instagram: How to Use Visuals to Attract Patients
by Tyson Downs
Social media marketing isn’t optional. Any dental office that wants to connect with patients online must use social media. The question is, which social media sites are most effective for attracting new patients?
At Titan Web Agency, we work closely with our dental clients to help them maximize their marketing ROI and grow their practices. Lately, we’ve been focusing on Instagram marketing, which we think is ideal for dental practices.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about dental Instagram and how to use it, including some of our best dental Instagram post ideas.
Why Should Dentists Use Instagram?
Instagram is the fastest-growing social media site and that makes it ideal for any business to use as a marketing tool. Here are some Instagram statistics from 2019:
These statistics show that Instagram is an ideal marketing platform for dentists. The fact that the audience on Instagram skews younger means that you have a chance to attract new patients who could stay with your practice for decades to come.
Creating Your Dental Instagram Account
Now that you know why Instagram is an important marketing tool, let’s walk through the procedure for setting up a dental Instagram account if you don’t already have one. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
These are the steps to set up a basic Instagram account. From there, you’ll need to switch your account to a business account. Here are the steps to follow:
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have your dental Instagram account set up and you’ll be ready to get started with Instagram marketing.
What Kind of Content Can You Post on Instagram?
Instagram differs from some other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter because the focus is exclusively on visual content. It got its start as a site where users could share mobile photography. However, it’s undeniably true that many companies share professional photographs too. It’s important to include a mix.
There are three basic types of visual content you can share on Instagram. They are:
You can post any of these types of visual content as stand-alone items on Instagram. You also have the option of combining multiple photos and clips into Instagram Stories. Remember those statistics we shared earlier? 500 million Instagram users access Instagram Stories regularly.
How to Post Photographs of Your Patients
For dental practices, there are few things more powerful than sharing photographs of patients who are smiling and happy with their dentists. However, there are some issues to keep in mind before you share photos of your patients.
The first issue is taking candid shots. You should never take a patient’s photograph without their specific consent. There’s no circumstance where it wouldn’t be considered a violation to photograph a patient without consent – and you have a moral and ethical obligation not to do so.
The same is true when it comes to posting the photos you take on Instagram. It’s essential to be sure that the patient understands where the photo will be posted and provides their consent. Patient health information is protected under HIPAA. Here’s what the HIPAA Journal has to say about posting patient photos on social media:
PHI (Personal Health Information) can only be included in social media posts if a patient has given their consent, in writing, to allow their PHI to be used and then only for the purpose specifically mentioned in the consent form.
That means you’ll need to prepare a consent form for your patient to sign. You’ll also need to be careful not to disclose any information about the specific conditions or treatments of the patient. It’s important to take consent seriously, maintain good records, and back up those records so you can prove the patient consented if necessary.
How to Use Hashtags Effectively
Like Twitter and Pinterest, Instagram uses hashtags to help users find content that interests them. On your dental Instagram, you should follow these rules for hashtags:
The key with hashtags is to be mindful of how they look and what they mean. You don’t want your practice to be associated with inappropriate or silly hashtags. It may also be helpful to research your local competitors and see which hashtags they’re using.
How to Leverage Your Instagram Following to Attract New Patients
Ultimately, your goal with using Instagram is to grow your practice. That means attracting new patients regularly. The good news is that there are some easy ways to do exactly that. Here are some dental Instagram post ideas:
These pointers will help you build your Instagram following and over time, turn those followers into new and loyal patients.
Dental Instagram marketing doesn’t need to be complicated. You’ll need to put your creativity to work, but if you do, you can use Instagram to attract new patients and grow your dental practice.
About the Author
Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.