One of the benefits of spending 4 days a week on the road is the opportunity to spot trends very early.
Here’s a trend that has exploded in the last 3 months.
The use of Instagram by dental practices to post photographs and short videos that include:
- patient testimonials and
- team news
Most of the content is very light-hearted, given the nature of the channel.
Which had me thinking about who the Instagram users are and whether this was dental teams having some fun or a considered approach to the market?
Here’s an extract from Rose McGory Social Media Management (a respected blog on the subject):
UK Instagram Users 2017
Instagram themselves haven’t released any new data since that which we used in last year’s report, giving us 14 million Monthly Active Users in the UK, from a global MAU figure of 300 million. The global figure was updated in December 2016 to an impressive 600 million, but it would basically be a total guess as to whether the UK’s growth has kept pace with the global growth.
It’s hard to tell at this point whether Instagram is continuing to cannibalise Twitter’s market, particularly among the younger demographic – that seemed to be the case in previous years, but the research that we’re referencing here doesn’t really support it. Which is good from a marketing point of view, because the lack of native “retweet” function and inability to include links in a post, means that driving anything other than general brand awareness is harder work on Instagram!
The We Are Flint survey suggested that 29% of UK adults use Instagram, which would give us a figure around the 19 million mark. The same report also gives a proportion of 64% of users as being under 30 – but gives the same figure for Twitter, which has generally been considered to be an older demographic thus far. Even more interestingly, Instagram has something of a peak in the higher income brackets (though not as much as Twitter does); 46% of users reported a household income of over £48k per annum.
So I think we can take it that Instagram users are, in general, younger than the Facebook audience but do seem to have a higher than average net disposable income.
So here’s my take on this:
- Instagram is a great way to get your team engaged in the social media marketing process because they see it as “fun at work” (reference my post last week about the ladies at Cirencester Dental Practice who opened an account before my eyes and started to post photos and attract followers – since last Tuesday 7 posts, 26 followers and 83 followed);
- Manage your expectations on the ROI at this stage and also be mindful of the treatment modalities you are referencing (or, should I say, the types of patient whose stories you are telling) so that you are aiming at the right demographic;
- Make sure that all of your posts are immediately reposted on to your Facebook Page;
- Use Instagram to create the habit of social media engagement and then extend to asking patients to consent for photos, check ins and reviews on Facebook;
- If some of your patients are white-collar workers, make sure that your practice blog posts are reposted onto a Linkedin page for the practice and/or dentist’s profile
Instagram might not be the best ever way to get patients but I’m seeing it as the easiest way to get your team engaged in internal digital marketing.