From zero to half million followers, THE SUCCESSFUL STORY OF @IDENTISTRY
INTERVIEW with Dr. Cosmin Sandu, Founder and Owner of iDentistry, the largest dental community on social media, to discover what’s behind his success.
Could you please introduce yourself?
Hey, if you don’t know who I am, my name is Cosmin Sandu. I am a young dentist from Romania with the huge passion for what I do. I recently opened my dental office based in Bucharest, where I provide a full range of treatments, endodontic procedures being my favorite.
How did it all start and when?
The @identistry story started 4 years ago on Instagram, a place where I wanted to create something wonderful as a small retreat for me, I could’ve never imagined it would become what it is today: the largest community in the dental field with over 470,000 followers!
How did you develop such a huge community?
As I try to answer this question … I realize how much I love what I do: @identistry was created to help dental students, dentists and dental hygienists, but also people who’d like to know the “process of a smile”, to productively use the time wasted on Instagram and learn new things.
For 4 years, daily, I posted dental content on this page. I learned a lot of new things about dentistry, but also about marketing and dental photography. The most important thing on any social media platform is that you can make new friends, something that I am proud of: a community of friends, a place where you receive an answer to a question from all over the world!
You have talked about learning new things on Instagram. But how do you learn from a social media platform where mostly visual content is posted?
When I started, many have considered this crazy but most of us, when buying a specialty book, want to have as many pictures as possible because we want to see how the procedures are done, not just text. A large amount of research shows that through visual content, we remember information far easier and better. Our brain is an image processor not a word processor, in fact much of the sensory cortex is dedicated to the visual process: the part of the brain used to process words is quite small compared to the part that processes visual images. As a dental student, I took classes that got slide show presentations with 90% text; I have to admit I was terribly bored and didn’t understand much. I wanted a platform where I could see as many images and videos about the procedures presented in the text. After those lectures I started using internet to search for pictures and videos, which I then posted on @ identistry, hoping that information would help others who were in the same situation.
What would you suggest to dentists who want to start using Instagram?
I think Instagram is the best social media for anyone to grow their business and the biggest advantage is that it is free. I think the first step is to create your profile and don’t overthink too much; just be yourself and stop worrying about what others think about your posts.
How much effort does @identistry require in your everyday life?
I am posting every day and it does require quite a lot of work in terms of time and commitment. It’s very important to post interesting content daily. There is a lot of work behind each post: I want my photos to be eye catching and the key is good lighting. Besides, I spend a lot of time searching for good quality content to be re-posted.
How do you search for content? What are your favorite sources?
I am personally following various dentists worldwide. I look through their accounts frequently and I follow many dental communities and groups on Facebook too. Sometimes I receive suggestions by direct messages through Instagram or email.
Which are the criteria dentists should consider in order to be featured on your page?
I prefer to keep my Instagram page’s concept stable and coherent therefore I choose the cases which match the flow of my page. Of course, all suggestions are welcome and will definitely be considered.
You went from 0 followers to almost half million in 4 years! What is the secret of your success?
I really focused on building a strong community of followers. It’s important to interact with everyone. However, I believe success has a lot to do with time management. In the past I was very addicted to Instagram. The experience made me realize the most important thing is to make sure I’m doing what’s healthy for me by protecting myself from social media overdose. I learned how to spend my time on Instagram in a disciplined manner. It’s important to take care of yourself!
Could you give our readers 3 golden rules to successfully manage their Instagram accounts?
Good quality pictures, daily content and relevant description of the posts but, remember, real life always comes first!