On average, people spend 151 minutes per day on social media. We can finish a whole crown prep appointment in significantly less time than that! Whether you are a big fan of social media or not, you have to accept the fact that it has become a huge part of our world and should become at least a small part of your practice. But how do you get started? First, you must answer these important questions.
Which direction do you want to go with your page?
In my opinion, there are only two avenues to go with your dental page; an educational/influencer route where you are catering to your dental peers or a marketing route where you are catering to patients. The most common mistake is doing too much intertwining of the two. Patients like to see that you're skillful in your profession, but I can guarantee you that seeing teeth on every post is not going to draw in the engagement you need to bring patients into your practice. But if you are hoping to educate dentists and you are always making generalized posts about the experience in your practice, you’re going to lose your dental peers’ engagement. If you’re unsure of the direction you want to go, then, let me ask you the next question.
Who is your ideal audience?
Patients or dentists. If you are trying to bring in new patients, you are not trying to go viral and you are not looking for other dentist followers. That beautiful class II filling that you took a picture of with a caption of all the steps and products used is a great post to make if you’re looking for dental followers. Your future patient, however, will scroll on by. And as satisfying as it is to gain followers after a viral post, I find that focusing on going viral takes the authenticity out of your content, which consequently lowers the quality of your followers. My account currently has only a thousand followers, but the quality of my followers is high. Last week alone I saw new patients and made over more than $5k in botox/fillers because of my Instagram account. My mindset is that I want new patients, not more followers. But what is yours?
What does your audience want from you?
Think about yourself scrolling through Instagram. What do you spend your most time on? Things people that interest you or posts that you take something from. Make sure your content does the same. For example, I love using Tokuyama Dental’s OMNICHROMA universal composite for class II restorations. How I show my appreciation for that product would change depending on the type of Instagram account I run. For my future patient, I would post a before image of a restoration done with a different brand of composite alongside an after image done with OMNICHROMA. I want the audience to know that I care about quality in my work. If you want your account to be educational for dentists, then show a series of your favorite Class II restorations with OMNICHROMA and put in your captions how it saves you money on inventory, it has high compressive strength, and excellent polishability. That audience wants to find products that make their practice more successful. Know your audience and cater to them.
What are you most passionate about?
Social media is a lot of work so if you veer too far off from what you actually like to do, then you won’t stay consistent. Even though you need to cater to your audience, you need to think of your social media platforms as a hobby and not a burden. Post what you're passionate about, just keep your audience in mind while doing it.
After answering these questions, get started! Don’t overcomplicate things. Write down exactly who your ideal audience is (keep it very specific) and then come up with 5 things that you hope to portray to them. Keep both in mind when you post, and success will come. Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog series for more specific tips on running your Instagram page!