instagramOnly teens use Instagram to post silly pictures of themselves and their friends, right? Actually, Instagram can be a valuable accompaniment to your medical or dental website design efforts. It’s especially effective if you’re attempting to market to a young, vast audience of more than 100 million active monthly users. Here are 10 tips for using Instagram alongside your website design to expand your dental or medical practice.

1. Choose the Right Username

To keep things consistent across all your online marketing efforts, choose a username that is similar or identical to your main website’s URL and other social media networks. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for patients to find you.

2. Delegate an Instagram Expert

Pick someone from your practice to be the sole updater of your practice’s Instagram account. That person needs to have the app on their mobile device and be empowered to upload photos to Instagram frequently throughout the month. This should obviously be a trusted, professional individual who preferably already has Instagram experience.

3. Create a Schedule

Establish consistency in how frequently you share pictures. It’s wise to upload at least one picture to Instagram every week. Post frequently, but don’t spam your followers with multiple uploads every day.

4. Tell a Story

Instagram is an opportunity to share a different side of your dental or medical practice. Don’t treat it like a product placement ad. Followers are more interested in the behind-the-scenes experience.

5. Take Unique Pictures

It may seem necessary at first to post only professional, perfectly posed shots, but that’s not the purpose of Instagram. Take candid shots of staff members, an up close shot of dental tools and equipment, or silly events that happen with patients throughout the day. Don’t worry about taking perfect pictures; just take them!

6. Get Permission

While fun, spontaneous shots of staff members and patients are fun to share, make sure you get permission to post any pictures you take. Preserve anonymity by only using first names, if you use names at all in your posts.

7. Use Hashtags

These are incredibly useful for organizing your posts and helping people find your pictures. Hop on Instagram and search for dental or medical pictures that other companies have posted. See what popular hashtags people are using and implement some of your own. Consider hashtagging your city as well so people know your location. Write hashtags like this: #Sydney #oralhygiene #dental #healthcare #tipsfornewdocs

8. Run a Contest

Once you’re established on Instagram, encourage your followers to upload photos using specific hashtags. This widens your influence and gets non-followers to see your content. As an incentive, tell your followers you’ll select a winner and give away a prize.

9. Respond to Tagged Photos

If someone uses your Instagram username in a description, that means you have been tagged. Grab more attention (and give appreciation to your followers for tagging you) by responding to their picture. But always remember that your responses are public, so make sure your conversation won’t taint your practice’s name.

10. Keep it Fun

People want to feel a part of something. When you share pictures from behind-the-scenes, you give people an insider’s look at your dental or medical practice. Taking and sharing pictures can be a fun part of life at the practice. Don’t think of it as a chore, but as a fun part of your daily routine.

Instagram is a proven way to boost your dental or medical website design efforts without any extra cost and hardly any effort. You know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but on Instagram, it could be worth a thousand likes and retweets, resulting in more business for your dental or medical practice. Get on Instagram today!

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