Instagram is an engaging way to capture moments and instantly share them through social media. Most people have a personal Instagram account to display their daily activities and likes. However, the social media platform is quickly becoming a branding and advertising tool for dental offices. The photo-sharing application can help dentists educate and entertain their patients, even when they are not in the office.
An article posted by SmileSavvy.com describes the best ways to get started with an office Instagram account. First, choose a name that matches your practice. Your brand should be consistent and this includes any titles or descriptions of the business. Second, pick someone to be the manager of the account. Many people can contribute to the creativity of the pictures and videos but one person needs to maintain responsibility. Third, take many pictures and make them candid. People want to see what it is really like in your dental office. If you stage every photo, then the Instagram may look stiff and uninviting. Fourth, use hashtags. Even better, create your own personal hashtag for branding purposes. For example, #Dr[Dentist name here] can be a reference when other people are tagging pictures of you and your office staff. Always use your name, your practice name, and the location to attract patients in your community. Finally, make it entertaining and enjoyable. This account will not only display your practice environment but also the feel people should receive when being treated at your dental office. Keep it lighthearted and patients will support and share your social media pages.
If creating your own office account seems daunting, then try using other Instagram sites for patient education purposes. Dentistrymyworld displays information to explain oral health to their community of followers. The Instagram account mainly showcases funny photos, but there are also educational videos and case presentations. Patients can watch cartoon representations of common surgeries, such as a frenectomy, implant placement and orthognathic surgery. Explaining treatment procedures to patients can be very complex but showing them a picture or video could make all the difference.
Social media can be a great way to improve patient interaction with you and your dental team. Information posted on Instagram can attract new clientele, facilitate patient education and present your dental practice in a whole new way. There are many social media outlets available, all the dentist needs to do is #signup.
-Laura Nelson, Texas-Houston ’16, Council on Communications chair
About Laura Nelson
Laura Nelson is currently a fourth year dental student at the UT Houston School of Dentistry. She is Communications Council Chair for National ASDA and the Publications Editor in her local ASDA chapter. Laura will enter a Periodontics residency at UT Houston in the Summer of 2016.