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What Dentists Need to Know about Instagram Marketing
5 July 2019

what Dentists Need To Know About Instagram Marketing

Instagram currently boasts more than 500 million daily active users – it has the power to seriously grow your practice.

Yet many practices are still not getting the most out of Instagram – or worse still, haven’t even set up a practice page.

Whether you’re new to Instagram or want to improve upon your existing page; Instagram is a must have in today’s digital age.

Here are some important steps that every dental practice needs to follow to get their Instagram account off to a great start and increase their online presence: 

Optimise Your Bio

Your Instagram Bio is important – not only does it tell people who you are, but it is your chance to convert visitors into followers and (potentially) new patients.

So, what does your bio consist of? Let’s break down each main part and discuss how to make the most of each section available to you.

Your Profile Picture

Instgagram Profile PictureA picture is worth a thousand words – make your profile picture count!

It should be a true representation of your dental practice and brand. Think about what it is your practice represents?

Also bear in mind that your picture will be small, so it needs to be visually appealing and eye-catching when scaled down to those scrolling.

Some ideas to consider:

  • Your practice logo (especially if this is bright and eye-catching)
  • A picture of your practice or practice sign – particularly if this aesthetic
  • If you are a specialist practice (e.g. smile makeovers) – a photo illustrating this


Top tip! Your profile picture should be sized at 110 x 110 pixels – it will then be cropped into a circle.

Your Bio Copy

Instagram BIo Emojis not only provide a fun way to connect with your audience, they can also serve the useful purpose of breaking up your content.

Don’t be afraid to use emojis in your bio – not only will this make for an easier read, but it will also make your brand look friendly and approachable.

Think about what’s important to your practice and what key points are important to you – what is your page about? why should people follow you? and (as we will soon discuss) what link might people want to click on your page?

Read our Instagram bio (above right) for inspiration!

Your Link

Linkein.bioYou only get one link on Instagram – use it wisely!

A tool like linkein.bio or linktr.ee, will allow you to drive your traffic to more than one URL – whether you want this to be a blog post or any other specific page on your practice web page.

If you click the link in our White Dental Beauty profile you will see it takes you to a multitude of links. (pictured right) 

With free tool linktre.e you can make the most of your one Instagram link – handy!

Business Instagram

Upgrading from a personal Instagram account to a business Instagram account can provide you with multiple benefits and is free to do.

One key benefit of a having a business Instagram, is the ability to incorporate call, text and email buttons (right), making it easy for potential patients to contact you.

call and emailOnce you have switched to a business profile, simply:

  1. Go to your profile and tap ‘edit profile’
  2. Within the menu, find ‘business information’ and click on ‘contact options’
  3. Ensure you have added your practice phone number, email & address entered.
  4. Under ‘How would you like to be reached?’ tick the appropriate button for the button you would like on your profile.
  5. Remember to click save!

Dental Hashtags for Instagram

Why are hashtags important? Well simply put, hashtags make your content discoverable – a lot more discoverable.

In fact, according to research by Agorapulse; posts featuring at least one hashtag have been shown to increase likes by an impressive 70% (compared to those without hashtags).

So, how do users discover your content using hashtags?

Users can search for your content one of two ways:

Option 1. They can use the search bar to manually search for hashtags  of interest (If a post featuring your hashtag is featured it might come up)

Option 2. They can ‘follow’ a hashtag of interest. This option means that the Instagram algorithm will show the user highlights of photos from content featuring that hashtag of interest (again, if your post features using this hashtag – it may be shown to the user in question)

                                                  Option 1                                                                                                                   Option 2

double So, hashtags are important – now what?

Choosing Your Hashtags

Choosing the hashtags that you want to use on your post can seem overwhelming. It can help to make a potential list of hashtags, and then reduce it down to the winning ones you wish to trial

Top tip! Remember to keep a list of the one’s that didn’t make it – you can always trial these at a later stage. 

Stuck for ideas? Get inspired!

  • Get to know your audience – It sounds obvious, but look at what your patients are interested in, and what they’re searching for. If you add hashtags using terms your patients actually regularly use, you’re much more likely to be found.
  • Use a free tool such as All-Hashtag – their free hashtag generator has the power to show you the top 30 hashtags based off one keyword of interest & other similar hashtags – handy!
  • Get competitive! Explore what hashtags your competitors are using for similar posts – are these hashtags effective? Do the posts have a lot of engagement?


What’s the right number of hashtags?

Opinions differ on ‘the right’ number of hashtags to feature on your post, and whilst analysis by Trackmaven indicates posts with 9 hashtags receive the most engagement; the key is to find out what works for you and your audience.

The maximum number of hashtags Instagram allows is 30 –  so why not start with 9, trial less and more and see what your audience responds to?

Where to place your hashtags

Again, conflicting advice is often given on the ‘best place’ to position your hashtags.  

You have two options: Place them in the caption itself or write them in a comment.

There has been no reported difference in the functionality of either of these approaches, so it comes down to personal preference and what you find most aesthetically pleasing for your feed.

Dental Captions for Instagram

Often added as an afterthought, your photo caption can make a big difference to engagement levels.

Hook Patients with your Opening Line

Although Instagram offers a generous 2,200-character limit offering users the ability to write longer captions, people typically only see the first few words of your posts in their feeds.

For this reason, make sure that you engage your users with critical information in your caption within the first sentence. Ensure this is clear, easy to understand and interesting!

If you do decide to write a longer post, ensure that your opening line peaks your patients’ interest; before adding the subsequent additional text.

Use Call to Actions

White Dental Beauty CTAA call to action is something which encourages a viewer to perform a specific act. This could be anything from liking your picture, adding a comment or heading over to a link in your bio.

The aim of a call to action is often to drive conversions, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a great way to encourage more interaction with your audience, ultimately increasing your engagement.


Incorporating emojis into your Instagram captions not only provides you with another fun way to connect with your audience, but according to Quintly; can increase engagement by a remarkable 48%.

Whatever you use your emoji for, the key is to ensure it is relevant to your image and supports your caption.

With so many emojis to choose from, it’s not hard to find ones that relate to dentistry. We often enjoy using the teeth emoji (above), however there’s a whole host of dental emojis including dentals professionals and more!

The popularity of emojis is ever changing, but it’s worth keeping up to date with the most popular emojis and incorporating them within your posts – we enjoy Emojipedia – a great bookmark for those who want to keep up to date with current live emojis and stats!

What & When to Post

With so many accounts to follow, standing out on Instagram can be difficult.

Here are our top tips for those just starting out:

  • Make your feed look cohesive: You can post a perfect standalone picture but remember your pictures will join to form part of a whole page. Create consistency by choosing one filter/style or practice watermark for every image and sticking to it!
  • Post a variety of content to interest your viewers: Keep it professional but post things that will interest your patients; whether its before and after pictures or progress videos!
  • Use Instagram stories: Keep in touch with your followers daily with Instagram stories and make sure they don’t forget about you! Show them daily life in the practice, what can they expect if they visit? Keep it fun and light-hearted!


bA business Instagram account affords you with the benefit of viewing your follower analytics (including activity, content and audience statistics which can be accessed in the insights tab - pictured right).

This is especially helpful, as it can help inform the best day and time for you to post on your account to maximise your chances of engagement. 

If you have a business Instagram account you will be able to see what days your followers are most active in a graph format such as that seen right:days

Obviously personalised times unique to your audience are optimum, but if you can’t get your hands on this data; a study by Later, found that the best time to post on Instagram is between 9am-11am.

How to Grow on Instagram

Your account is finally all set up – now what?

In addition to curating your own Instagram feed, it is important that you actively engage with others in the Instagram community.

Ensure that you follow and engage with other local businesses, and areas of interest within the dental field.

On a daily basis:

  • Reply to all comments and direct messages you have received
  • Engage with others in the Instagram community – like & comment on others posts
  • Post at least one piece of content a day – consistency is key!
  • Follow a hashtag you think your patients would be interested in e.g. teeth whitening and engage with them in the comment section


Grow your practice with Instagram

To get the most from Instagram, it’s incredibly important that you understand that consistency is key.

Whilst it might take a little bit of time and effort to grow your page – the benefits in the long run, will be more than worth it.

Prove to your followers on Instagram that your practice is the only practice to go to and look forward to lots of new patients in the near future!Book your Free Tooth Whitening Demonstration