Building Your Brand on Instagram

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This week on All Things Business for Physicians, we’re talking social media with special guest, Dr. Eugenia Prokopets, a 4th generation dentist with thousands of followers on Instagram. She moved to the United States from the Ukraine with her family when she was five and now lives and works in the Washington D.C. area.

Tune in to this episode if you want to learn about:

  • How Eugenia amassed over thousands of followers on Instagram
  • Why being on Instagram can truly help doctors grow their business
  • Eugenia’s top do’s and don’ts on Instagram for clinicians
  • How to choose the right hashtags that will drive organic engagement
  • What Eugenia thinks about Instagram filters and how she edits her pictures
  • How she decides which comments she responds to
  • Which posts get the most engagement on her platform and why
  • How to choose the right Instagram handle
  • The integrative benefits of being on multiple social media channels

“I’ve always felt the need to connect with my patients on a different level,” she said, even as a new clinician straight out of her last residency. She realized early on that using her Instagram platform to start connecting with other doctors, current patients, and even prospective patients could be a game changer and really something that would set her apart from her professional peers.

The way Eugenia sees it, social media offers a relatable and accessible solution to a major pain point for potential clients: “Patients desire a real connection with their doctor.” Instagram is a great way to showcase your skills, your personality, your day-to-day life, and your office dynamics (“not just reviews”) and effectively engage patients in a more personable and real-time way.

We asked Eugenia for a few of her major do’s and don’ts about brand building on Instagram:

  • “Don’t buy followers.” Anything you do on the platform that doesn’t foster genuine engagement is risky—and patients can tell.
  • Avoid the slippery slope of the comparison game.
  • Most importantly, stay true to who you are.

Eugenia also gives us some pointers on the use of the hashtag, which can be a valuable tool for driving meaningful engagement. “Use as many hashtags as you can [per post],” she says, and focus on using ones that relate to both content and intention of what you’re sharing. As far as how you insert them into the post directly, she recommends keeping them separate from the main caption of the picture—whether by posting in a separate comment or by adding several characters (she uses periods) between the text and the hashtags.

Another strategy she uses to help direct people to her page? She “watermarks” her photos with her Instagram handle; this way, if a picture of hers ends up on another page or website, viewers will be redirected back to her.

As far as Instagram filters go, “They can enhance the photos and they’re fun to use,” she says, but she doesn’t use one specific kind for all of her content. Instead, she uses whichever ones will enhance the particular photo—though she also recognizes some Instagram users prefer to have a bit more uniformity. Personal preference and the type of account will influence this.

We finish our chat discussing the benefits of using YouTube and other social media platforms in addition to Instagram.

Her best advice to listeners struggling to grow their following on Instagram? “If there’s anything you’re really scared to do…that’s exactly the next step you need to take.” There’s no better time than now to put yourself out there.

You can connect with Eugenia on Instagram at @dreugenia, on YouTube at Dr. Eugenia Prokopets, or via email at drprokopets@gmail.com.

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