Promote Your Dental Practice on Instagram - Dental Marketing 101​

Want to promote your dental practice on Instagram? We know Instagram dental marketing can seem like a waste of time, especially, if you don’t have the right strategy or understand the dynamics of the platform.

Dental marketing is changing and gone are the days of relying on reputation or word of mouth marketing! If you want to get ahead of your competition you need to have a solid digital marketing strategy for your dental practice.

If no one can find you online, your professional staff and flashy practice won’t matter as no one will come through the door. By the end of this article you will be a dental marketing wiz and will have patients clamoring outside your clinic’s doors.

Why should dentists care about Instagram?

Many dentists do not see the value in Instagram due to its association with viral videos and memes, they fail to realize Instagram has become a digital world inhabited by billions.

People browse restaurant pages, barbers, and dental practice pages before deciding who to trust. Even before looking at your Yelp reviews or your websites testimonials people will judge you based on social media presence.

If your dental practice has 200 followers and your last post was two years ago you automatically lose credibility. Every dentists should take Instagram seriously, as of 2019 there are over one billion monthly active user on Instagram, with that many people using the platform, it would simply be foolish to ignore it.

Why Should Dentists Care about Instagram?

The first step in promoting your dental practice via Instagram is setting up your profile correctly and professionally. A professional Instagram profile will inspire confidence in potential patients, this is what is needed to get them coming through the door!

Profile Pictures for Dentists

The profile picture is usually the first place where patients will be exposed to your dental practices page. It needs to be a high-resolution image of your logo or of the principle/owner dentists face.

Often having the principle dentists face works better because it makes the account seem more human and approachable. The picture of the dentist should be of the highest quality preferably photoshoot style, (don’t forget to smile!) Nothing scares patients away faster than dentists who look like they are ready to inflict pain.

Instagram Bio for Dentists

Many dentists get confused when it comes to what they should put in their Instagram bios. The process is pretty simple all you have to do is answer the following questions:

  1. Who are you and why should patients go to you?
  2. Where is your practice located?
  3. How can people book an appointment?

These three questions are crucial as they give a quick answer to the most frequently asked questions. Make sure you answer them with your own personal flair.

There is no need to sound like a cooperate robot. People want to see the culture of your practice share the vibe through your Instagram bio.

As a dentist one of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome is dealing with patients fear of visiting. Do not be afraid to use emojis as they tend to create positive associations of friendliness to your patients.

Instagram dentist bio

Instagram Personal Profile vs Business Profile

Choose a business profile over a personal profile if you want to get the most out of your Instagram dental marketing strategy. Business profiles allows you to see more in-depth insights of your posts than personal profiles.

If you are serious about patient conversions you will need to see what content is well-received on your page, what topics you should dump and where the traffic is coming from.

Business profiles allow your dental clinic to use Instagram advertising (more on this later) which is an incredibly powerful way to get potential patients through the door. Instagram advertising is a feature which is not available for personal profiles.

Business profiles make it easier for patients to get in touch with your practice by clearly displaying options to email you or call you (something that can’t be done with personal accounts).

Repurposing content between your Instagram and Facebook page can also be done much easier as you can repost your Instagram content on your Facebook page automatically when you have a business profile.

You are a business even if the page is run by the principle dentist, choose the right type of account to save yourself headaches down the road.

Dental Marketing Content Strategies for Instagram

Your dental marketing strategy needs to have strong content as a foundation. If your content is weak, no one will follow you or visit your practice! There are four main types of content that dentists can use to attract patients on Instagram.

Educational Posts:

We get it, you know a lot about dentistry you went to university and studied it. You attend seminars to perfect your craft and have an odd habit of checking out strangers’ teeth. Your patients don’t share the same fascination. They don’t know why it’s important to floss and they sure as hell don’t know what Invisalign is. It’s your job to educate them so they can see the importance of visiting you and keeping their oral health in check. When creating dental posts avoid dry and academic facts remember you are not talking to your colleagues, but instead to laymen. Cut to the chase and explain things simply, always highlight the benefit of what you are explaining and why the viewer should care.

Entertaining Dental Content:

Another strategy you can use is to incorporate entertainment into your dental profile. These posts can come in the form of videos or memes (use these sparingly as they can take away from professionalism of your account). People like to be entertained and it’s an angle most dentists don’t leverage. Being entertaining ads flavor to your dental practice. Often, it will help alleviate the dread people feel when it comes to visiting dental clinics.

A good example of this is the @dentistsinging a dentist who posts ridiculous rap videos of himself on Instagram.

Highlight Your Patients Results with Before and After Pictures

One of the most effective methods for getting dental patients to your practice is by showing them your results. A picture is worth a million words don’t talk about your team’s talent show it! When people see amazing results and life changing transformations your practice will be a clear winner. Before and after pictures should be taken from the same angle to highlight the effectiveness of your treatment. Make it a habit to ask your patients for permission to use their transformation pictures on your social media! Most will not have a problem with it.

Testimonial Videos

If a patient seems ecstatic about their experience ask them if you could record a testimonial video, you could even give free goodies such as a free cleaning to those who allow you to film their testimonial videos. This content is PURE GOLD for your dental marketing strategy. Nothing will persuade people to book an appointment like a real person highlighting their positive experience with your dental clinic.

Candid Pictures of Your Staff

Don’t forget to take to capture candid moments of you and your team in the practice. Immerse people into your thoughts on a typical day in the practice. Posting this type of content from time to time adds a nice human touch to your page.

Candid Pictures of Your Staff

Don’t forget to take to capture candid moments of you and your team in the practice. Immerse people into your thoughts on a typical day in the practice. Posting this type of content from time to time adds a nice human touch to your page.

Things You Should Avoid Posting

Certain things just don’t need to be posted on your Instagram profile the following content will scare potential patients away.

  1. Bloody removed teeth: You might think this is cool, but your patients are horrified by this. Keep in mind, they are not used to seeing these things.
  2. Academic reports: Boring! Patients are not interested in lectures.
  3. Dental instruments: You will seriously freak some people out! What you think are marvelous tools to many look like torture devices.
  4. Surgical operations: No one wants to see you putting inserting implants or doing a root canal!

Dentist Hashtags Explored

Hashtags are one of the best ways for dental practice to gain organic exposure on Instagram. Unfortunately, most dentists do not know how to use hashtags effectively and never make any traction with the feature.

Hashtags help user find content. There are two main sections in which users can find hash tagged content; the top and recent post sections. The Instagram algorithm determines which posts appear in the top posts section. 

Naturally, these posts tend to be of the highest quality. No one knows exactly how Instagram determines which posts appear in this section, however, it’s very clear that posts with higher engagement tend to have a better chance. The recent posts section shows the most recent posts listed in chronological order under this hashtag.

Hashtag Strategy for Dentists

The best hashtag strategy dentists can incorporate to gain more likes and comments on their posts is to use long-tail hashtags. A long-tail hashtag is one that is longer and more specific. Most dentists tend to use general hashtags such as #dentist the problem with this is that they will be competing against thousands of other dentists worldwide who use the same hashtag daily. Only a few can show up in the top posts section, the rest will battle in the recent posts section where they might each have 5 seconds of fame. You need to find golden nugget longtail hashtags that users search for, but dentists are not utilizing. Instead of using #dentist which has over 6 million posts on Instagram, use #dentalpractice which has less than 100,000 posts.

If you want to have a higher chance of grabbing your patient’s attention you could add locations to the end of your hashtags, for example, #dentalpracticelondon which has less than 100 posts. Do not be afraid of low post hashtags especially if they have a buyer’s intent #bestdentistlasvegas has less than 1000 posts, however, you can assume a user searching for such a hashtag is actively looking for a dentist.

Most dentists and practices do not have a large Instagram presence. It is recommended that most of the hashtags you use have under 200,000 posts on Instagram, this will give you the best chance of ranking.

Hashtag Strategy for Getting More Patients

Dental practices that want to gain more patients should take advantage of tagging their location in their pictures and using location specific hashtags. Let’s assume your dental practice is in the Los Angeles area, the obvious first choice in hashtags is #losangelesdentist there is more opportunity for those willing to think outside the box.

Which suburb in Los Angeles is your clinic? Beverly Hills? Use #beverlyhillsdentist for a more targeted followers. Use Google Maps and see all the suburbs near your location and try to see how you can incorporate them into your hashtag strategy. Look for popular spots that people would visit near your dental clinic.

In Beverly hills there is Beverly hills park which could be a good hashtag to use. You want people to find you even if they are looking for something else in the area. Do not abuse this strategy and just post unrelated hashtags most of your tags should be relevant to your post to avoid Instagram from limiting your reach in whats called a shadowban.

Dentist hashtags

Stories and Highlights to Promote your Dental Practice on Instagram

Dental practices frequently underutilize the story and highlight features on Instagram. The story feature is important as it allows you to interact with future patients and past patients in a much more human manner.

Instagram stories can build strong relationships which compel people to visit more often. Here are a few ways in which you can use your stories.

  • Guide with a tour of the dental practice
  • Educate on treatments
  • Give general dental advice
  • Document a typical day
  • Share candid moments
  • Familiarize followers with your dental team
  • Show off client results
  • Highlight testimonials
  • Display celebrity patients
  • Clarify any reservations
  • Answer questions
  • Share exclusive deals

You can then strategically place some of your best stories in the highlight section so that new followers will always be able to see them.

Human beings have loved stories since primal times it’s how we connect with each other. The story feature was created for us to share experiences through Instagram we can do this it via a digital medium allowing people to build a strong connection with your dental clinic.

Dentist highlight covers

Promote Your Dental Practice with Instagram Ads

The most powerful way for you book more appointments for your dental practice is through leveraging Instagram ads. Instagram ads allow you target anyone using the platform, chances are your ideal patient is somewhere on the platform. You just need to attract them with a compelling offer. Here is the process that is used to book more patients.

  1. Have a strong lead magnet

The first thing you need is a strong lead magnet that will motivate people to come through the door. Do not be afraid of losing some money by offering free service on the front-end, chances are you will make it back and much more on the back end. Some good lead magnets are:

  • Free consultations
  • Discounted treatments
  • Free cleanings
  1. Create a strong ad that speaks to your audience

Your ad needs to grab attention straight away! People are constantly bombarded with distractions on Instagram, make sure the first thing they see stops them in their tracks. Often video ads tend to do better than pictures because videos tend to be more engaging. Your ad should be straightforward highlighting the benefits of the offer and it should have a time limited offer to galvanize people into action. Check out these 9 Instagram story ad examples to get some tips from top brands.

  1. Direct them to a landing page that converts

Once someone clicks onto your ad they will need to give you their details via a landing page. A landing page is simply a page that captures crucial details from your client such as; name, email address and phone number. Once they submit these details, they will automatically get a coupon which allows them to redeem their offer. The advantage of sending traffic to a landing page as opposed to your website is people tend to be less distracted on landing pages and are more likely to fill in their details.

  1. Get more results with a thank you page

A thank you page can serve multiple purposes, however, one of the most beneficial is to give even more value to the potential patient if they share the offer with a friend. You can offer them a bigger discount or another freebie for simply referring you to someone else. Adding this simple option allows you to multiply your success and have people banging at your door.

Instagram Marketing is the Future for Dentists

Times are changing and dental practices that are able to adapt to the new digital world are thriving. Dental marketing is about building trust, it’s about differentiating yourself from being just another dentist or another boring practice to being something special. Follow this guide and you will get more patients though using Instagram.

Need help setting this up?

Busy is an understatement when it comes to the world of dentistry. We understand that not everyone has the time to master Facebook ads or set-up a funnel that converts like crazy! Especially when you put so much focus and effort into your dental clients.

The digital marketing team at The Insta Hustle are here to promote your dental practice on Instagram to the next level. We have worked with dentists from all over the world and know exactly what is needed to get you raving patients. Simply fill out our contact form here and we will be in touch.


Isaac Tinashe

Hi, I am Tinashe and I started delving into entrepreneurship in 2015. It started with YouTube, and I was drawn to having my own business even more as time passed. I am now the proud owner of digital marketing agency The Insta Hustle. My team and I work with clients ranging from dentists to real estate moguls and public figures. The world is changing and if you don't keep up you'll be left behind. Let me show you what is possible with digital marketing.