To Instagram or Not to Instagram
These days, having a strong online presence is an essential part of a business’s marketing strategy. A well-developed website is a must, and many have found success with Facebook as well as other digital marketing strategies to create visibility online. Instagram has also become an attractive marketing tool. But is Instagram really a good fit for your dental practice’s marketing plan? If you’re considering putting your practice on Instagram, you’ll want to ask yourself some important questions beforehand.
First and most importantly, can you generate new video content and images on top of what you are already doing for Facebook? For a business or practice to attract attention on Instagram, it cannot simply re-post what’s on its Facebook page. Your Instagram followers will expect to see something different, so be realistic about how much new content you can produce on a weekly basis.
Another important question to consider is whether you’ll be able to create fresh, relevant content that is consistent with the story you want to tell about your practice. Instagram is a visual medium, and unlike with Facebook, it’s important to post original photos—not stock photos—and videos, and you’ll want to post at least twice a week. Before and after photos of your patients, with their permission of course, showing the positive outcomes people can expect from your practice is a great way to attract attention. Instagram is also a good place to share patient stories and to give a behind-the-scenes look at what is happening in your practice.
If you are looking to attract patients in their 30s and 40s, Instagram could really help grow your practice. Nearly 50% of people in this age range are on Instagram. Plus, people between the ages of 30 and 50 are often more willing to invest in ongoing dental care because they’re in their prime earning years and concerned about not just oral health but physical appearance as well.If this is the type of patient your practice is looking for, Instagram is a good place to to be.
As tempting as it might be to dive right in, it’s a good idea to do some research before opening an Instagram account for your practice so you don’t underestimate the time and team commitment it will take to have an active Instagram presence. Consider doing a search for other practices in your area that might be using Instagram and look at their feeds to see what they’re posting, how often and how many followers they have. If there are none, try doing a broader search and see what other practices are doing to promote themselves on Instagram.
If you feel confident that you have the time and resources to create content that compliments your practice’s other online marketing and can sustain that long term, then Instagram may be a great fit. If you are unsure about how to make your practice stand out on Instagram or how to keep a good momentum going, you might instead continue just focusing on your strategy for Facebook, which is where your practice will get the most visibility. And then, if you want to re-evaluate at a later date, Instagram will still be there, waiting for you.
The bottom line is that an Instagram account needs a specific, custom strategy. If you are willing and able to create Instagram-worthy content and maintain a good level of activity over time, you’ll have a great chance at success. But don’t just do it because it’s what everyone else is doing. Ultimately, it’s about what makes the most sense for your practice.