Updated: May 1, 2021

5 Beginner Instagram Tips For Dentists To Grow Your Dental Practice Quickly

Table of Contents

Instagram is a powerful platform for dental marketing full of opportunity. I’m going to share a few beginner tips to help dentists grow their Instagram following and engagement. More importantly, these tactics when used effectively (it’s not hard) to grow your dental practice outside the platform. After all, 15,000 Instagram followers from outside your regional market that cannot convert to patients doesn’t accomplish much. We need to turn your new or burgeoning Instagram account into a patient acquisition funnel.

Of course, while I’m focusing on dental practice growth, the information I’m sharing can just as easily be used by medical practices and even legal practices.

Tip #1: Brand Identify Is Crucial

Your dental practice is a brand that you worked hard to create. You graduated from dental school, and you take care of your patients. Focus on your brand identity and keep it consistent across all social media platforms. Remember, consistency builds trust and trust grows your practice with fresh patients every week.

When setting up the Instagram account for your dental practice, make sure you add a clear photo of your logo – just the icon or the symbol. Don’t include the text because it will be too small to read.

Your Instagram handle will be the name of your practice, whether that’s your name followed by DDS or DMD or a business name such as Crestwood Dental.

This will develop your brand recognition.

Let's Look At A Couple Examples

Once you have added your logo and named your Instagram account with your business handle, you’re going to include a short bio. This bio will concisely state what you do, such as any specialties or procedures you are known. Keep it short and simple, but feel free to get boastful. If you’ve performed 10,000 orthodontic procedures, why not share that in a single sentence.

In this short bio, you’ll also want to share something relatable about you and your team. Maybe you all have a similar interest that personalizes you as an office, such as a shared passion or hobby or office mascot. This single sentence will humanize you and your office staff.

Above all else, make sure you include the link to your website or any special offer you may be currently running.

For example, a link that leads to a new patient dental cleaning and teeth whitening special.

It’s important you provide somewhere for them to go to learn more information about you.

In the example above, Dr. Kamangar created a primarily well done Instagram profile with only one minor mistake.

You will note the small empty box next to the words Cosmetic Dentist, as seen in the profile screenshot above. This box appears as a tooth emoji on the Instagram platform but does not appear on all platforms as seen below.

Cosmetic Dentist Emoji Mistake How It Looks On Instagram

Your viewers will see the emoji when using Instagram.com or the official app on Android. Oftentimes the iOS app does not properly display these emojis, and several lesser-known browsers such as Opera also do not support them. I recommend you avoid using emojis in your profile if you can.

And one more quick example. In the Instagram Profile below, you’ll see that the dental practice, Sugar Fix, has used their logo instead of a profile photo. And while the profile includes four Instagram emojis that may not appear on several other browser or devices, the profile is strong with consistent brand identity.

Instagram profile with logo of dental practice

Tip #2: Determine Your Theme and Tone

The theme and tone of your Instagram account will ensure cohesion between your
posts and your stories.

On Instagram this can be as simple as using a specific filter, or lighting throughout your images, fonts, and colors, etc.

Establish whether your tone will be witty and personal, or professional and informative, or perhaps a carefully crafted hybrid. Regardless of your choice here, make sure you always add some warmth to your posts and interactions on Instagram. Dentists must be perceived as warm and comforting.

Consider your local market; is your demographic an older generation, a younger generation, a mix of the two, or do you specialize in pediatric dentistry. This choice will be based on your largest demographic of current patients as well as the new patients you’re targeting.

Whatever your local market, let your personality shine through while practicing consistency that adds and develops your brand recognition.

Only Use Real Photos

When it comes to photos, you should use only original and high-quality photos. You can either take photos yourself, get your hygienist to snap pictures and video after every cleaning, or hire a professional photographer to come in once every couple of months to showcase high quality images.

Just stay away from stock images, people are following YOU for a reason, no one wants to see a stock image within a dental practice office that isn’t even yours. Stock imagery has no place on Instagram if you want real engagement with your audience.

Tip #3: Post Regularly and Consistently

Posting consistently is key to growing your dental practice’s Instagram following quickly and effectively, and also to retain followers.

A person follows your account because they want to see content from you. If you wait too long in between sharing content, that hard-earned follower will simply unfollow you.

Analyze and pay attention to how your followers are engaging with what you’re sharing. This will help you determine your most popular types of content, allowing you to expand accordingly and gain more shares and more followers.

Some posts may perform better than others, so understanding why it will help with your growth.

You don’t need to post three to five times a day, every day. That’s too much.

Posting that will often take you into overkill territory where you’re burning through
content. And posting that frequently often means you haven’t reviewed your analytics on the Instagram platform. Not every post will get 100 likes and add more followers, some may receive only one like, and it may be from your mother out of state. Stick to your analytics and know what’s working on your account and what content isn’t engaging with your followers, and make changes as needed.

Instagram Hashtag Strategy For Dentists

Tip #4: Don't Forget Your Instagram Stories

Try to post an Instagram Story at least once a day. Show some behind-the-scenes clips, people love that.

A few quick ideas for fast but engaging Instagram Stories you can use:

  • Demonstrate in 30 seconds or less how a major piece of equipment works.
  • Show off your latest technology and explain it succinctly.
  • Take viewers on a quick tour around the office.
  • Let your staff do a Takeover Tuesday each week and put them in control of the dental office’s Instagram Stories.
  • Show your staff celebrating a milestone, event or even a birthday.
  • Introduce one of your favorite patients for a special surprise giveaway.
  • Some treats that your team was given from one of your patients.
  • Amusing and relatable team bonding exercises or outing.

Let people into your world, the more they see it, the more they will feel part of your community.

Keep in mind that posts and stories that you and your team make will always perform better than stock images and quotes. Always.

Tip #5: Engage More Than You Post

People pay attention to those who Like and, more importantly, those who comment on their images and that respond to their stories.

So, take the time to engage on other people’s profiles, particularly if they are part of your target audience or a current patient.

If they’re asking a question on their caption, take the time to respond to it, give your opinion, compliment their picture, maybe even their smile (see what you did there).

If they tagged you on a post, thank them and always repost it to your feed. You can only grow a community through communication and engagement, so get involved.

You Can Do This

Now, it’s important to remember that getting people to follow a dental practice online, especially on social media, can be hard, but it’s not impossible and plenty of others have done it.

As a dentist, you are YOUR brand and so are the people that you hire.

Capitalize on this. Be present and put your personality in the spotlight. Let your staff be themselves on your office Instagram.

This is an opportunity for your practice to make yourself look approachable, friendly, and to show that you understand the common fears people have about dental visits. As such, you’re warm, comforting and experienced to take each patient by the hand and make sure they feel secure.

Instagram’s users are more likely to become your patient if they like who you, so make a fantastic impression through your Instagram page.

Take the time to invest in Instagram marketing by engaging and communicating with other Instagram users.

Picture of J. Fleischmann
J. Fleischmann
James is a content strategist, sites manager and copywriter for ServerWise. He's written 51 e-books for clients resulting in over 600,000 new leads as a ghostwriter. James lives in Texas with three dogs and has a Longhorn as a neighbor.