While Facebook is still the 800 pound gorilla in the social space, it’s lost some of its luster as millennials have moved on looking for the next big thing. Fear not intrepid reader as much of that lost luster can be found in two places: Instagram and Pinterest. In fact because these two platforms are so visually oriented, in many ways they are the ideal platforms for orthodontic and dental practices. Let’s take a look at Instagram this week.
Instagram allows users to snap a photo with their mobile phone, then choose a filter (if they want) to transform the image and turn it into a “memory”. Yes, it’s really just a photo-sharing service, but it boasts some 300 million daily active users. It has a decidedly youthful skew with 90% of the users 35 or younger.
- The first step to creating your Instagram presence is an easy one – simply download the app. Choose a username that will be easily recognized like your practice name. Be sure to include your website URL in the bio so people can click through to your site. Instagram now offers a free business profile. This allows you to view post insights, advertise and make it easier for your followers to contact you. Check it out under your Settings.
- You can use the filters on Instagram to create a signature look for your practice. In addition to their preloaded filters, there are many add-ons you can also download to help you fine-tune your photos. The players change quickly and the options too varied to go into them all right now. As always, Google is your friend.
- Content can be a challenge for even the most active social media posters. Don’t be afraid to survey the orthodontic landscape and see what others are posting. Inspiration is often born of imitation and you can always put your own spin on an existing idea.
- Hashtags are huge…check out related industry hashtags and use them in your posts. The more hashtags the better on Instagram which allows up to 30! You can even create your own branded hashtag. Maybe you pair that with your practice mascot or your practice name. Always respect others’ branded hashtags and search before you choose.
- As with all platforms, you want your patients to feel special. Sharing first and last visits is a must. Creating a patient of the day or week gives you a natural vehicle for elevating and sharing patient experiences. Be sure to get written permission from patients prior to posting their photos.
- The before and after would seem to be a natural fit for Instagram. But some kids can be wary of their before images. Always err on the side of discretion and ask for written permission.
- Contests, even silly ones, are great on Instagram. Be creative with your ideas and look for ways to create contests that create many winners. The more you can promote your patients, the more you’re promoting your practice. Be sure to check current Instagram guidelines for running contests.
We’ll complete this two-part post with a pin for the win. Check out Pinterest tips in our “Social Marketing Tips” category.