instagram

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


Recently, our much beloved app, Instagram, tested something crazy in several major countries like Canada, Japan and Brazil. They took away the public “like” option. Well, they took away the ability for users to see how many likes a post has, we should say. Now, it looks like this change is going to spread to a portion of the app’s users in the United States this week, and this has some marketing gurus freaking out a little. 

If there’s no public “like” option for people to engage with, how will anyone know that you’re worth listening to? Those hearts are like currency! Of course, you’ll know how many people engaged with your photo using the “like” button but no one else will know. How will this impact your dental marketing strategy? Let’s dig into it a little bit…

The Reason for the Change

Facebook (the company who owns Instagram) stated that the reason for the change was to remove pressure and social competition. Many of the app’s users are younger individuals. In fact, the average user age is currently 25-34 years old as of August 2019 (in the United States, this age group makes up 36.1 percent of the app’s users). 

Adam Mosseri Tweet Screenshot

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced the change on his twitter feed. When Bloomberg News asked for the reason behind the change, he said, “The idea is to try and reduce anxiety and social comparisons, specifically with an eye towards young people.”

This social comparison has created a real issue among users, especially younger users of the app. Mental health issues are probably the most serious side effect, but it has also caused many users to buy fake likes or followers to try to boost their metrics unnaturally. This is not just a bad social media practice, it can also be bad for business. 

How Could This Impact Dental Marketing?

As you know, we’ve done a few courses on Instagram, and we’ve always discussed engagement… specifically, authentic engagement. We never advocate buying results in the form of likes, comments, or followers. While you will still be able to see how many “likes” your content got, no one else will be able to see the metrics. 

The reason we spend so much time talking about social media marketing is because we know how important it is for your patients and potential future patients to see your content, to have a space online where they can easily interact with you, and to keep you front of mind as an expert in their local community. This change doesn’t impact any of this, and it shouldn’t change your dental marketing strategy whatsoever. 

Your focus, as always, should be on posting content that’s visually appealing and creating engaging captions that highlight your expertise and your fun personality. You should be including 15-30 targeted hashtags on each post, and switching them up to make sure they relate to the photo and the content. If you do these things regularly (ideally at least three times a week) and post on your Instagram Stories daily… you’ll be good to go! You won’t even miss that public “like” option after a few weeks!

Stay in Your Lane

One thing we’ve noticed over the years is that anytime there’s a change in how social media platforms operate — for instance when there’s a redesign or algorithm change — people tend to freak out a little bit. It’s important to research the changes by reading articles written by trustworthy sources, and then continue to stay in your lane. Most of the time, whatever change is being made is going to have very little effect once the initial panic wears off. 

You already know what to do and how to talk to your dream patients. Keep showing up, keep engaging, and keep putting great content out into the world. If you do this, you’re going to be just fine!

If you have questions about Instagram, social media marketing, or dental marketing strategies in general, please reach out. The soiree squad is always happy to help!

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Instagram Stories don’t look like they’re going anywhere soon, that’s for sure! They’ve already taken a huge bite out of Snapchat’s numbers by offering what they do… but better (in our opinion, at least). In fact, we’ve fully made the switch from Snapchat to Instagram Stories and we’ve seen some serious growth in the last few months when it comes to our story viewers. 

Flipping the camera around and talking to your audience is still the best way to use Instagram Stories, but creating branded graphics to promote your practice, upcoming events, specials, and new services is also a great strategy. In a previous blog post, we taught you how to use Canva to create Instagram Story templates. In this blog post, we’re going to show you how you can also do it inside of our favorite scheduling platform: Planoly!

What is Planoly?

Planoly is a visual planner for Instagram. That means, you can see what your grid will look like once your content posts to your feed. You can rearrange your posts within Planoly to get the exact look and feel you want for your feed, and then you can add your captions and hashtags right inside of the app.

Planoly will also automatically post the content for you! This is perfect for busy dentists who sometimes don’t have a few extra minutes to log into Instagram and post content. We love to sit down once a month and plan out all of our content at once. Then, we don’t have to think about it at all. We’re posting consistent content without having to be tied to our phones. That’s a HUGE win!

Making Instagram Story Templates

Another cool feature that Planoly offers its users is StoriesEdit, which offers the ability to design and schedule Instagram Stories! This feature is integrated right in the Planoly app; you can use it on your mobile device or on the web-based app.

Here’s how it works:

First, choose an Instagram Story template from the StoriesEdit library. These can be customized, but all the design work has already been done for you! 

Once you’ve selected your favorite design, you can customize it by tapping on the Add (+) icon to add images, text, shapes, and a custom background color.

When you tap on the Text (T) icon, you’ll find all your text editing tools. You can choose your font, font style, alignment, spacing, height, and color options. Make sure you set it up to match your existing brand as much as possible to keep everything cohesive! 

The Shape tool allows you to add borders, footers, and other shapes to your stories. You can change the size and color of your shape, and choose whether you want the shapes to be filled in. 

All colors, including the background color, can be customized. They have a bunch of pre-set colors that they’ve determined will look good with the specific template, but you can also use the dropper icon to get an exact color match to your brand (far left option on mobile only). 

Follow these steps to create a standalone post, or make a series of coordinating stories that you can post in order to tell a longer story!

Posting Your Story

Once you’re happy with your Instagram Story templates, save them by tapping the download icon on the top right corner of your template. You can choose to save your template to your phone, send to Planoly, or share to Instagram. 

If you want to post it right away, go ahead and share to Instagram. If you want to schedule it to post in the future, you can save it to your phone (if you want to post it manually yourself) or send to Planoly. If you do this, you can choose the date and time you want it to post and let the app handle everything for you. 

If you’re using the desktop app, you’ll see the download and share options on the bottom left of the screen.

In our opinion, any tool that helps you create more beautiful content while spending less time managing it throughout the day is a HUGE win! We absolutely love Planoly, and while it does take a little bit of time to fully understand, it can be a game-changer for your practice. If you have any questions, let us know! We’re always happy to help!

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We recently got a question from one of our Dental Soiree clients, and we thought it was a really good question. In fact, it’s a perfect question to answer here on our blog! How do you get your patients to follow you on Instagram?

It’s a common problem, because it seems like once a patient walks out your door, they forget all about you until it’s time for their next appointment. Even then, sometimes it takes some serious prodding to get them to come in and see you. Getting them to follow you on social media seems a little out of the question, but trust me, it’s not.

Let’s go over three easy ways to motivate your patients to not just follow you, but also help spread the word about your practice on their own social media pages!

Tip #1 – Hold a Contest

This is always a surefire way to get people to follow you on Instagram or any of your other social media pages. Hold a contest! Give away a SoniCare or a goodie bag filled with trendy and fun dental products (for example, Hello Toothpaste, CocoFloss, and cute bamboo toothbrushes). 

Make sure the contest is long enough so you can tell plenty of patients about it. Maybe announce it on the first of the month, and tell your patients about it all month. Make cute posts on Instagram showing the prize and tell people in your caption to tag a friend who makes them smile, or something fun and cute like that.

At the end of the month, you’ll pick a winner. There are plenty of free programs online to help you randomly pick a winner. All in all, it’s pretty easy, and it’s a great way to grow your following quickly not just with your patients, but with other potential future patients who are local to you!

Tip #2 – Put Your Handle Everywhere

In this day and age, things have to be easy or we’re not going to do them. You need to plaster your Instagram handle everywhere so people see it. Put it on your business cards, put a vinyl on your door or window, put it on your ads, your Facebook cover photo, put a link in the footer of your emails.

Trust me, it’s not enough to put it in one place or expect your patients to seek you out. You have to make it as easy as possible for them!

Tip #3 – Make a Chatbook for Your Waiting Room

Show people what they’re missing on your Instagram by putting your favorite posts of the year into a cute Chatbook. At both Dental Soiree and Sugar Fix, we LOVE making Chatbooks because it helps us document what our team did that year, and they look so polished and professional. We even give them as gifts to our team during the holidays!

Basically, all you have to do is go on their website, connect your Instagram feed, and they do all the work for you. Just select which photos you want, then choose your preferred book style. Once you receive your book, set it on your nicest coffee table where everyone can see it. Your patients will see all the cool things you’re doing on Instagram and they won’t be able to hit the “follow” button fast enough.

Converting patients to followers is just as important as converting followers to patients. You want your happiest people to be out there, sharing their experience publicly, and working as brand ambassadors for your practice! There really is nothing as powerful as social proof, so having people who already love you on your Instagram page, commenting on your posts, is huge!

We hope this blog post helped give you some ideas for growing your social following! If you have any questions for the Dental Soiree team, please feel free to send us a message! We also offer free phone consultations if you have specific marketing roadblocks you want to discuss.

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Promoting your dental practice on social media is not nearly as simple as it seems, is it? Sure, it’s easy for an artisan ice cream shop to get all the likes and comments in the world but a dentist? That’s a whole other story. It’s hard to get people excited about taking care of their teeth! In a world full of beautiful images and swoon-worthy content, is there any room for dentistry to shine? You bet there is!

If you have the right tools and tips, dental marketing is just as easy as marketing a delicious new ice cream flavor. Seriously! It’s something we know quite a bit about, so let’s dive into the three easy steps to promote your dental practice and find new patients!

#1 – Great Imagery

Hastily shot iPhone photos just don’t cut it on social media, especially on Instagram! Don’t panic, though. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a professional photographer to shoot your social media photos. Quality styled stock photography is an inexpensive way to get stunning images for a very reasonable price. 

Styled stock photography allows you to access a large number of images in your preferred style and brand colors. Often, you will even find that the images are categorized by theme, tone, subject matter, and/or season. This makes it very easy to consistently post on your social media channels, attract people who love to look at beautiful images (basically, everyone) and make dentistry look appealing! 

In case you didn’t know, we have a sister site that offers styled stock photography JUST for dentists! Head to SoireeStock.com to find out more!

#2 – Killer Captions

Whether you’re posting on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, your photo needs a compelling caption! But, you don’t want every single post to be the same “call us to set up an appointment” message. People will get bored pretty quickly! If you think about the brands you like to follow on social media, you’ll probably notice that they offer a lot more value in their posts beyond just their sales copy.

Mix things up by using fun song lyrics, quotes you like, ask questions, or share something more personal about yourself or your team. Remember, it’s social media. Keep things fun, and always remember: your followers would rather you post what’s on your mind instead of some boring thing a corporate marketing guru would suggest you post.

If caption writing REALLY isn’t your thing, don’t worry! We can help! The monthly bundles we offer over at SoireeStock.com include 30 caption templates that you can fill in (kind of like mad libs) to create custom captions that will get people talking!

#3 – Relevant Hashtags

Hashtag research can take quite a bit of time and effort. Because of this fact, it can be tempting to just add some common ones like #teeth and #smile to your post, but these are WAY too popular to be effective on their own. Because so many posts use these hashtags, your post will be buried immediately after you hit the publish button. Someone searching for those specific hashtags probably will never see your post. 

The best strategy for hashtagging is to mix some more niche hashtags with some hashtags that are more broad. All hashtags need to be relevant to the work you do, or you’re not going to be successful at attracting the people who will ultimately become patients and brand ambassadors. 

Our re-launched monthly bundles over at Soiree Stock include 30 targeted hashtag sets that you can copy and paste into your posts. Each set includes both niche and popular hashtags, and every hashtag relates to the caption and dental industry as a whole. This is a HUGE time-saver when it comes to promoting your dental practice!

Curious about using our social media bundles to make your dental marketing a breeze? We offer a free week over at SoireeStock.com. Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of the homepage!

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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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