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.
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!