instagram

All of our favorite Instagram tips for dentists in one place.


Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying the power of the hashtag. Posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag, so if you want to get more likes on Instagram and get on the Instagram Explore page (where people outside of your own network can find you and follow you), hashtags are essential. They are an absolute MUST when developing your dental marketing strategy.

Hashtagging 101

Instagram hashtags are the best way to get your Instagram posts (and your dental practice!) discovered by a new audience, and because you choose the hashtags you want to tag, you can target them to attract the right kind of patient. If your dental practice focuses more on orthodontics, you can target people looking for that kind of content using hashtags. Similarly with pediatrics, cosmetic dentistry, more high-end dentistry, whatever you want!

Since hashtag research can take a bit of time and effort, it can be tempting to just add some common ones to your post and move on. But hashtags like #smile or #teeth are way too popular to be effective. You might think that because a lot of people use these hashtags, they’re good ones to add to your post, but that’s not automatically the case. Because so many posts have these general hashtags, your post will be buried minutes or even seconds after you hit the publish button.

On the other hand, you don’t want to use hashtags that are too niche, either. Hashtags like #fundentistsinmiami probably don’t have any posts, so while you would be easily found if someone did search for that, the odds of someone typing in that exact hashtag are pretty slim… unless you start using it on all of your content and promote it as a branded hashtag for your practice. However, if you’re going to do that, you’re much better off using your dental practice’s name in the hashtag (more on this in a minute).

Find the Sweet Spot

Instead of using the most popular Instagram hashtags, it’s better to use the top Instagram hashtags for your industry that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your audience. You can use Instagram’s search function to search hashtags you want to use. This will show you how popular the hashtags are. We have found that hashtags that have 10,000 – 400,000 uses perform the best. For example, #miamidentist might be a better one to use than #fundentistsinmiami because 19,922 people are using it. People are searching for it, but not so many people that your post won’t be visible in the top few spots for a while.

 

 

 

 

This can be a time-consuming process, for sure. We recommend sitting down every few months to create a few sets of hashtags that you can mix and match with your photos. Unfortunately, Instagram does not necessarily “like” it when users attach the same exact set of hashtags to every post. There is a rumor out there that it actually causes your posts to be seen less, which is definitely not what you want. Be sure to switch them up and add relevant hashtags to each post.

Looking for a Shortcut?

If you’re thinking all this sounds like way too much, you’re not alone. We hear this from dentists all the time! Building a dental marketing strategy is a lot of work, but having one is absolutely necessary for growing your brand and your business. If you’re looking for a shortcut, we can help! We offer a monthly membership over at our sister site, Soiree Stock. As a member, you will get unlimited downloads from our styled stock photography website. We create content specifically for dentists, so you’ll find lots of photos that you’ll love. You can use them on social media, on your website, your blog, whatever!

In addition, we’ve recently decided to include the Soiree Bundle with all Soiree Stock memberships. The Soiree Bundle includes 30 social media captions and 30 researched and targeted hashtag sets each month. You can mix and match them, tweak them as needed, and post away. Your dental marketing strategy is literally as easy as copy, paste, post. Our memberships are affordable, and there’s no obligation. You can cancel anytime. If this sounds like it could be a lifesaver for you and your practice, you can get more information on the Soiree Stock website!

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Did you buy yourself a new planner for 2019? There’s nothing like the possibilities that hide in those clean pages, the year just waiting for you to take it by storm. If you’re a person who is naturally drawn to organization, you’d probably really love using a dental marketing content calendar to plan out your social media content for the year!

It might seem like a big task to plan everything out in advance, but you don’t have to do the whole year… you can just take it one month at a time. You’ll be amazed at how much more intentional you can be with your marketing. This almost always translates to better results and a more strategic approach. It helps you use social media as a tool rather than just a place you hurriedly upload photos and updates to.

What is a Dental Marketing Content Calendar?

You’re probably wondering what exactly we mean by a dental marketing content calendar. There are no hard and fast rules about what this has to be. It can be any kind of calendar, planner, or even a spreadsheet that you use to plan out your social media content.

First, you’ll want to decide how often you want to post. A lot of dental practices find the most success by posting daily, but if that’s overwhelming for you to start with, consider posting three times a week (maybe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

Next, take a look at upcoming holidays and special events. Plan content around those things first. Then, think about services you want to highlight. Then, fill in the gaps with educational content, behind the scenes photos, or just some fun, lighthearted posts that will make people want to follow your feed.

Creating the Content

Once you have everything planned out for the month, you’ll need to actually create the content. You’ll need eye-catching imagery and some great copy to go with it. This is by far the most time-consuming part, and you’ll want to do your best to stay on top of the social media trends that come and go so you can see the biggest return on your efforts. We have some super fun courses that specifically made for dentists over at The Soiree Suite. They will help you get all the information you need quickly so you can start rocking your social media!

Also, if you need help with imagery, you might want to check out Soiree Stock. This is our styled stock photography membership site that is loaded with gorgeous images that are ideal for dental practices. All you have to do is download the images you like, write a caption to go with them, and post. We have seasonal and holiday-themed images, dental images, and a whole bunch of other categories that will make setting up your dental marketing content calendar a breeze!

Staying On Track

Probably the most difficult part of all of this will be staying on track. As a dentist myself, I know how busy life can get and if we’re honest, social media is probably the first thing to get tossed to the side — especially if you’re also raising a family and have a busy schedule outside the office!

The dental marketing content calendar will help you streamline your work, but using tools like Planoly or Later to upload content ahead of time and schedule it in advance is a great way to be more hands off with your marketing. Your content will still stream when you want it to, but you won’t have to be there hitting the “post” button every single time.

We also think it’s ideal to sit down once a month and batch out all your work for the next month. It might take a few hours, but then you don’t have to think about your social media content again for a whole month! Batch working is honestly the most efficient way to work, and we believe social media is important enough to dedicate a few hours per month to.

No Time? You Can Outsource!

Does this all seem impossible? If your schedule simply doesn’t allow for regular social media updates, you can absolutely outsource it! If you decide to go this route, we encourage you to choose someone who understands the dental industry. This will be a major advantage when it comes to turning followers into patients.

The Dental Soiree team is experienced when it comes to getting you a gorgeous and effective social media presence that perfectly fits your brand and personality. We have several packages based on the services you need help with the most! You can contact us by filling out this short form and we will be in contact with you shortly to discuss details and answer your questions!

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Lights, camera, action! Are you ready to go live on Instagram? Or does the thought of hitting that “live” button give you heart palpitations? We’ve seen great success with our clients who regularly use Instagram Live, and we know that it will be an effective way to promote your dental practice, too!

However, there’s a little more to it than just working up the nerve to hit the button! You have to have something interesting to talk about. Otherwise, why would anyone tune in or stick around to watch your entire stream?

In this blog post, we’re going to give you five fun Instagram Live content ideas you can use to promote your dental practice!

Introduce a new product

There are new dental products hitting the market all the time and your patients and followers want to know how YOU feel about them. After all, you’re the expert. Take one of the new products and do a live video where you outline the claims of the item and then provide your expert insight as to whether those claims are valid and whether you think it’s worth your follower’s time and/or money.

Talk about an industry statistic

As dentists, we know there are shocking stats out there that people just aren’t aware of. Knowling the sometimes scary information about dental care can help people stick to their goals, and getting expert advice from someone who really knows what they’re talking about (that’s you!) can be invaluable. Hook your followers in with a great teaser for your live video, then give them all the info they need to stay healthy when you go live!

Give a behind the scenes tour

People love getting a look behind the scenes! Do an office tour for new patients who haven’t been to your practice before. Go into the breakroom and show people what you’ve stocked the fridge with. Trust me, they love to see things like this! Show them how a piece of equipment works to dispel some of the mystery around a procedure. Pull back the curtain a little bit and let them see the inner workings of your practice and give them a chance to ask questions as you go!

Introduce a new team member

Did you just hire a new team member? Sit down with them for a live video where you introduce them and let them talk a little bit about their life and passions outside of work! It’s a great way to get current patients comfortable with the new employee, and it’s also a fantastic opportunity to reach potential new patients with a more laid-back live video to show off your team’s personality!

Do a Q&A session

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that people have lots of questions about what we do. Answer their questions in a live Q&A session on Instagram Live! You can allow your followers to leave their questions in the comments of a post beforehand, or you can let them drop questions right in the chat during your live stream. If you choose to do the latter, it’s always a good idea to have a few questions prepared in advance that you can answer as you’re waiting for people to participate!

With all of these ideas, don’t forget to build up some anticipation first. Create a few social media posts to promote upcoming video and post them throughout the week leading up to your live stream. It’s a much more effective strategy than just going live and hoping people will show up!

If you feel like you need a little more instruction before jumping in, we have a great mini-course on Instagram Live over on The Soiree Suite. It will teach you everything you need to know to use this tool to promote your dental practice, plus we share our favorite insider tips for rocking your videos and your marketing!

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Instagram is an absolutely AMAZING resource that can transform the way your dental practice shows up online and reaches new potential patients. This photo sharing social media platform allows practices (and all businesses and brands) to reach new audiences and spread the word about their services. Here are four Instagram hacks you can use to really rock your dental marketing strategy!

Post Consistently

The first Instagram hack we want to share is not really a hack at all. It’s just a reminder to be consistent with your posting schedule. Consistency is key on Instagram. In order to be seen by your followers, you should aim to share content every day if possible. The regularity of the content will help your audience grow at a steady pace and keep you one step ahead of the algorithms.

It’s also important to stay consistent with the type of content you’re sharing. As a dental practice, sharing a picture of your family pet may not make the most sense. Keep your content “on brand” by consistently using the same editing styles. Try using the same filter on all your photos. They’ll look more cohesive and when people see them, they’ll know they came from you.

Hashtag Properly

Hashtags are a free tool that you can — and should — use to  help spread the word about your practice. They’re like tiny little Instagram hacks that can connect your photo to a network of similar content on the platform.

Let’s say you’re looking for photos pertaining to veneers. You can log onto Instagram, search #veneers and instantly see all the photos that have been shared. More importantly, your potential patients can do this, too.

Hashtags are helpful for people who want to look for content about a specific product or service. If a user is trying to find a dentist in Chicago, they can search #chicagodentist or #chicagodentaloffice to see the practices in the area. Don’t forget to make your posts searchable using relevant hashtags!

Interact Within Your Community

Interacting with your followers on Instagram is important, especially as a dentist. Your Instagram feed can act as a new form of communication between you and your patients. By creating a positive relationship with patients online, they’ll form a sense of loyalty to your practice. The more positive the experience, the more likely they’ll be to continue visiting your practice.

Don’t stop there, though. Interact with other members of your community, like neighboring businesses. People in your geographic area will see this and click through to your page to learn more about this fun dental practice that’s going out of their way to be kind on Instagram!

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are a great way to reach a new audiences in a targeted demographic beyond your established network of followers. Not only could you reach new potential patients, you could also reach people who will help you with free word-of-mouth advertising! Maybe they don’t need a new dentist, but they know someone who does. If your post is engaging enough, they may mention it and voila! New patient!

When setting up a sponsored post, you can decide what kind of audience you would like to reach. For example, if your practice is based in Phoenix, Arizona, you can arrange to have to post reach users in the Phoenix area only. This will get your name out in front of Instagram users who are already living and working in your neighborhood.

Have you tried any of these Instagram hacks? Let us know in the comments section! If you want more information on how to make Instagram work for your practice, we have a course for that. Check out our Instagram course over on The Soiree Suite to get all the details!

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Whether you’re a social media maven (like the team here at Dental Soiree) or you’re just getting started on your dental marketing strategy, you probably know hashtags are those few words preceded by the pound sign (#). But if you’re not that familiar with them, it may seem confusing and you may not want to use them. After all, what do they actually do? Well, the answer is they do A LOT! They are a great way to find like-minded people online, and on many platforms, it’s one of the only ways you have to grow your following.

The hard part isn’t how to use them. We could teach that in a minute or two (and there’s plenty of resources out there already on this topic). We want to help you find the RIGHT hashtags for your dental marketing strategy because that’s 99% of the battle right there.

So here’s our favorite techniques when we need to find the right hashtags for our latest social media post:

#1 – Research in the app

The easiest way to find new hashtags is just to search right in the Instagram app. You can see what hashtags other people in your industry are using and if you tap on a hashtag, Instagram will tell you how many times it’s being used. You don’t want to use too many hashtags that are under 10,000 uses, but you also don’t want to use hashtags that are all in the millions because your post will easily get lost in the shuffle.

Spend some time tapping on hashtags you like to see how they’re performing and make a list. Once you have a good list to pull from, you can use a hashtag tool (see below) to help you make the most of your research!

#2 – Use a hashtag tool

Yes, there are (many) tools out there that exist specifically to help you find the right hashtags for your posts. Our favorite right now is called Display Purposes. We love it because it actually filters out any banned or spammy hashtags so you won’t accidentally use them.

All you have to do is put in a hashtag or two that you know you want to use in the search bar and it will give you up to 30 hashtags that are related to the one(s) you entered. All you have to do is copy and paste the hashtag list into your posts and you’re good to go! It’s best to do this for every post so you have a unique list of hashtags, but if you repeat a list a few times, that’s okay!

#3 – Get creative

At the end of the day, social media is a creative pursuit. If you come up with a clever or witty hashtag, but no one is really using it, who cares? Use it anyway! It will show your followers that you are a creative person with a sense of humor and playfulness. It will make you more human and relatable and that’s what we’re all striving for on social media, anyway!

Likewise, if you come up with a good hashtag that includes your name or your branding, use that and try to use it on every post, too. It’s a great way to make yourself and your posts more searchable since when someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll easily be able to see more of your great content.

Have questions about hashtags? We can help! We made a course all about Instagram (including an entire section on hashtags) over at The Soiree Suite! This is our little digital classroom where we teach everything we know about marketing and social media. You can check it out here!

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Chances are, you’ve heard some of the recent buzz around Instagram’s new video feature called IGTV. You can now create long-form, vertical video and upload it for your Instagram followers to watch right inside the app, or in the newly launched IGTV app.

It’s easy to have a “wait and see” mentality when it comes to new marketing platforms or social media features. However, the people that get the most benefit from a feature are often the early adapters. I want to make it super easy for you to jump aboard the IGTV wagon and use it to market your dental practice… and I want to make sure it doesn’t take up too much of your time! I know how busy you are right now and the last thing I want to do is overwhelm you with one more thing you have to do.

A Brief Overview of IGTV

IGTV is a lot like YouTube, except rather than being a standalone platform, it’s integrated into Instagram. This is great because you already have an audience on Instagram; you don’t have to start from zero and build followers all over again. IGTV is also different from YouTube because the videos are streamed vertically rather than horizontally. For some people, this is a big deal but it makes sense that they did it this way. It feels more intimate, and it is consistent with how their Stories feature works. Videos uploaded to IGTV can be anywhere from a minute or two all the way up to an hour long.

To access IGTV from the Instagram app, you can tap on the little television icon in the upper right corner. Videos from people you already follow on Instagram will automatically start playing, or you can switch between the For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching categories to find other IGTV videos you might like.

Using IGTV for Your Dental Practice

Being able to watch fun videos on Instagram is great, but ultimately, this tool was built for content creation. If you post content on Instagram with the goal to find new patients for your practice, IGTV is definitely something you should consider adding to your marketing plan!

It’s super easy to get started, especially since there’s a good chance you’re already on Instagram. You can use your smartphone to shoot videos, and there’s very little editing that needs to happen, unlike YouTube. While it can be intimidating to get in front of the camera and try something new, if you want to keep growing, you have to hang out where your dream patients are hanging out. Consider sitting down to film a video this week and see what happens! While you may not get the views you’re hoping for right out of the gate, you’ll probably realize it’s easier than you thought and hopefully, you’ll make it part of your consistent marketing strategy. When you’re consistent, you’ll start to see your numbers go up quickly. That’s pretty much the case with any platform.

We’re running an IGTV challenge this week and I hope you’ll join in on the fun! We’re going to have a great time learning our way around the platform together and sharing our success. Be sure to watch our Instagram page for details on the challenge!

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