Growing your Instagram following is not an easy thing to do organically and can take a great deal of time & effort and a strategic approach. If you are just starting out with a new Instagram account and want to build your following in the right way; gathering an authentic following of people who are really interested in your dental practice and what you have to offer, rather than fake followers, then read on to discover our 5 top tips on how to do this ethically.
1. Change your name to something relevant to the service you offer
These days, many people are using Instagram as a search engine to find products and services. If you want to make sure you are found when potential new dental patients are searching for a dental practice or a specific treatment, then you need to make sure that your name is relevant to what they will be searching for. Change your ‘name’ to something that is relevant to the service that you offer. For example: we’ve included ‘dental’ within our name, so searches for ‘dental marketing’ will find us.
To do this, simply go to ‘Edit Profile’ and change your ‘Name’
2. Use meaningful content in your captions
Yes, your social media post needs to be eye-catching with great photos ? or videos ? to get your audience to pay attention, but if you leave it there, you haven’t made the most of your opportunity. ?
Use meaningful content in your captions to show your dental practice’s personality, engage your audience and start the conversation. We think it’s a little like dating…you may first be attracted to them because of their looks, but then you get to know them and start dating them because of their personality and how they make you feel. Social media is very similar. Your audience will get to know your practice’s personality through your captions, which ultimately builds trust. It’s only then that they might engage with you through comments or send you a DM (direct message) to start a conversation with you. They are unlikely to contact your practice and make an appointment because you put great photos on your feed, nice as they are! ?
3. Look carefully at your #Hashtags and use a good mix of sizes
Some people cringe at the mention of hashtags, but they are a useful tool if you want to grow on Instagram. They allow the right people to find you and help to increase your reach.
The difficulty with hashtags is using the right ones for your business. Many people fall in to the trap of just using the biggest hashtags, thinking that they are the most popular, so will give them the best results. However, when you use hashtags that are too big, your post will quickly get lost.
The best thing to do is take some time to do a little research and find small to medium hashtags (between 50 – 500k) that are relevant to your business.
Using hashtags that are more specific will mean that the audience you reach is more likely to be interested in what you have to say.
For example, rather than using #smile, which has 330m posts, try #dentalimplants, which has 345k posts.
4. Rotate your #hashtags
A mistake many people make with hashtags is to use the same ones over and over again.
The problem is, if you use the same hashtag too many times, Instagram will think you are spam and actually decrease your reach and chances are, you won’t appear on the feed for your followers, or anyone else your post may be relevant to.
To avoid being penalised, simply rotate the hashtags you use. Create 4 or 5 lists of hashtags that you rotate each time you post.
5. Engage with your followers
Remember that Instagram is a social network, designed to encourage interactions between users. So if you want to grow organically on Instagram, you need to put energy into engaging with your people.
If you take time to engage with other and they engage back, that’s going to show Instagram that you are providing content your audience want to see and it will increase the chances of your post showing up on their feed.
The more you interact with people, the better – especially if they aren’t following you yet. This will actually increase your reach organically as people are going to be curious about you and click on your page. You can’t really automate this as you need to develop genuine connections. The message needs to come from you.
To make community engagement easier:
- Follow key hashtags that are within your niche
- Keep an eye on posts from other people that you aren’t following – then like and comment on their posts and they may engage back with you.
- Stay engaged with your existing audience and start conversations as much as you can.
The key here is to treat your business account in the same way you do your personal account. Like and comment on other people’s posts and they are more likely to engage with and follow you back.
For more information on how we can help you with your social media, visit our social media page