Create Captivating & Engaging Instagram Stories Today! Stories 101

Instagram stories are a popular feature on social media. More and more people take advantage of stories to educate, share personal content, behind the scenes footage, and build deeper connections with their audience.

Do you use Instagram stories? And if you do, are you being smart with them? Or do you just post random content?

Instagram stories are incredibly beneficial for any business that wants to grow using social media.

Here’s why?

  • Stories allow you to grow your audience by using their own features such as locations and hashtags.
  • Easy and quick content. No need to curate stories, they don’t really need to match your feed. It’s perfect to post “on-the-go content”
  • Increases engagement. Use the stickers (poll, questions stickers, etc)  and increase your engagement. They are easy to use and fun for your followers.
  • Allows you to build loyal fans. How? By sharing behind the scenes of your business and more into your personal life.

Features

Instagram stories features screen
Instagram features

  • Location – Always add your location to stories. If you are in Toronto, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Stittsville, add it. Opens more possibilities of getting found by ideal patients.
  • Mention – tag someone. If you are talking about Crest, Colgate, maybe you are at a local bakery and want to share about them – tag them. It opens the possibilities of you getting reshared by this other business. It means more eyes on your business.
  • Hashtag – with the actual hashtag feature you can only add 1 hashtags. But feel free to add more by adding them as normal text. You can also add up to 11 hashtags.
  • Gif – Keeps it fun, exciting. I always say emojis convey emotion and so do gifs. Add them, but don’t go overboard. Instagram also loves and rewards those who use their features.
  • Time. You can use this maybe at the beginning of the day to show how early you get to the office or at the end of the day. Or a great idea to show how quickly a procedure can be. Post a picture at the start of the procedure with the time and then one at the end with the time. Showing how quick it is to get a cleaning or how quick it is to take X-rays.
  • Poll sticker. Ask questions, they can be dental related and they can be everyday content. Ask questions and increase engagement on your account.
What can you ask?
  • Coffee or tea?
  • Colgate or crest?
  • Do you experience tooth sensitivity?
  • Manual or electric toothbrush?
  • Do you include mouthwash into your routine?
  • In the summer. Do you love the heat or cold winter?

These are great conversation starters!

  • Question sticker – A great conversation starter! A great tool to use to open the door to your audience to ask dental questions. I highly suggest you keep it related to a topic! Here’s why: When you say “leave any dental questions below” that’s very broad and people tend to look past it and not think. Instead, say:
  • What questions do you have about whitening?
  • What questions do you have about Invisalign?
  • Do you get overwhelmed about all the toothpaste selection at the store? What questions do you have about different types of toothpaste?
  • What question do you have for our dental hygienist regarding your everyday oral routine?
  • Countdown – Countdowns build anticipation! Use it, what for? Here are some examples:
  • Christmas countdown 
  • Halloween countdown
  • Opening of the practice after time off
  • Someone’s anniversary at the office
  • Anything that’s exciting for the team and practice.
  • Slider – A great quick feature to add! 

You can add this one to anything! Easy engagement builder.

  • Quiz – The quiz feature is always fun! Use it to quiz your audience on a dental topic or even personal.

I love to use it to quiz my audience on how much they know me! Those who participate get to learn even more about me! 

As you can see there are so many options and features available. They are there to build/increase engagement. Use them for this reason!

How often should you show up?

The more the better! Try to show up every single day. Content doesn’t have to be overly curated, so there’s lots of room for impromptu content.

Another great tip is to show up throughout the day not just once. That keeps your account at the beginning of the story lineup.

How to increase engagement in your stories?

Do you post to your stories but don’t get any response? That’s normal. You have to train your audience to engage with your stories. It takes time so don’t get discouraged.

Start by asking simple questions (yes/no answer) and direct polls (Do you prefer electric or manual toothbrushes?)

Stay consistent with it and post polls often. Post questions once a day or at least 3 times a week.

Need more help with your Instagram stories? Check out my monthly membership: thesocialhygienist.com/tbr

Instagram stories hashtag must-knows

  • Stories allow you to add hashtags. Use them!
  • You can include up to 11 hashtags.
  • They need to be large hashtags (1million and more). That number refers to how many times it has been used.
  • Don’t let the hashtags take over the story. Decrease the size and place them in a corner. No need for them to take over.
  • For dental offices, it’s important to stick to location-based hashtags. When you add them to stories, keep them location-based.

Story ideas for dental offices

  • Educate about nightguards
  • Share your favorite dental products.
  • Introduce your team members.
  • Take your patients/audience around through a “day in the life”
  • Educate about dental decay
  • Educate about the importance of dental appointments.
  • Share a dental tip
  • Doing something fun this weekend? Share about it on stories.
  • Take your audience on a tour of the office.
  • Share pictures from your family vacation.

Take some time and review the hashtags you are currently using. Make sure you are taking full advantage of them. Implement the tips learned in this blog post and get ready to increase your social media reach.

If you aren’t following me on Instagram yet, make sure you do instagram.com/thesocialhygienist

Check out: 3 ways to generate & increase leads from your social media accounts

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