Do it for the ‘gram: Developing your dental practice’s social media identity
Have you heard of Instagram? Of course you have. It’s one of the largest social media platforms, currently serving over one billion monthly active users. If you’re under the age of thirty-five, you likely have an account yourself that you use to post filtered selfies, pictures of your cats, and/or esthetic landscapes. However, have you ever considered using the platform for dentistry?
Creating Instagram profiles is easy – I mean, people create Instagram accounts for their dogs all the time. But just because it’s easy, does that mean you should make one for your dental office? Absolutely.
Instagram is extremely popular among millennials, a rapidly growing percentage of our patients. Over 63% of all Instagram users are between the ages of 18-35 and they check their Instagram accounts about as frequently as they check their text messages. On average, Instagram users spend over 50 minutes on the app every day. Because of this, a well-developed Instagram account for your dental office can be a difference maker when trying to appeal to your current and next generation of patients.
For the sake of this blog post, let’s pretend that the previous paragraph convinced you to create an account and you now are looking at a blank Instagram with your practice name and logo in the top left corner. Congratulations! Now, what’s next?
Before posting your first photo, you should take some time to consider what message and mood you want your Instagram account to convey. What is your brand? This can (and should) vary based on what type of practice you identify with.
As a millennial myself, I’ve spent plenty of hours scrolling through (I mean, researching) dental Instagram accounts. I’d like to share three great dental practice Instagram accounts that you can use as a reference when developing your own social media identity.
Comical and Playful
Is the mood in your office light and whimsical? Do your staff members spend the majority of their time laughing? If so, you may want to your practice Instagram account to resemble @brightinspireddentistry. This North Carolina-based practice focuses its Instagram account around dancing videos that are filmed with their patients. Their videos, which they call Monday Bites, even landed them a feature on the Steve Harvey Show.
Professional and High-End
If you are a general dentist or prosthodontist in an affluent city, like Los Angeles or Dubai, you may choose to convey a more professional mood on your Instagram. If you identify with this mood, you will appreciate the Instagram of Dr. Munther Alherani: @drmuntheralherani. Dr. Alherani uses only high quality DSLR photographs and prominently features impressive before & after photos.
Family and friends
Does your practice foster a family atmosphere? If so, then maybe your Instagram should look like @penzdentalcare. Dr. Matt Penz combines family, staff, and patient photographs to create a warm and loving account.
Whether you identify with one of the above or choose a completely different direction, it is vital to plan your posts. Planning is the best way to ensure each post contributes to your overall direction and brand. I manage our practice’s social media account (@markiewiczdental) and rely heavily on later.com. Later is free and allows you to plan and schedule your posts ahead of time.
Your number of followers likely won’t increase at a rapid pace; however, managing a dental Instagram account can be still be rewarding and beneficial. It is a platform that allows you to engage with current and potential future patients. So, even if you don’t want to just do it for the ‘gram, then consider doing it for the millennials.
Dr. David Markiewicz is a New Dentist guest blogger and a member of the American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society and Chicago Dental Society. He grew up in Illinois and is a graduate of the UIC College of Dentistry (’19). He practices with his father, Dr. Anthony Markiewicz, at their family practice in Mundelein, Illinois. When not at the dental office, you might find David and his wife admiring their cat, Gatsby.