The key to building a long lasting engaged community on social media is consistency. There is no point sporadically going on a social media frenzy for this effort to then drop off again, this won’t encourage your clients to engage with you on a regular basis which make it harder to create a lasting relationship with them.
Ideally you need to be posting at least once a day, incorporating a variety of different posts from our blog ‘6 Types of Social Media Posts for Vets’.
But it’s not ALL about posting. You need to ensure that you are responding to all comments, encourage readers to comment, like and share and don’t forget to follow others too!
This can be a bit intimidating, and we know from experience that your commitment of attempting to sit down once a day to write a social media post can easily be forgotten, especially amongst all the chaos of a veterinary surgery. Which is where scheduling platforms come in.
A scheduling tool will change the way you use your social media accounts. Not only will you be able to sit down and schedule all your weekly/monthly/bi-monthly posts (the choice is yours) ahead of time, but you will be able to derive better structure and strategy to what you are posting.
Once you begin to use a scheduling tool you will realise that you are benefitting in a number of ways:
- Blocking out time to plan your social media schedule means that you will get the job done quicker, enabling you to focus on other important tasks once you’re done. You don’t have to give it another thought.
- We would suggest working out how many of which type of posts you want to schedule for the month ahead, then sit down and write out all your posts in one go – why not even task you team with coming up with a few each as well. This will help you to remain on message whilst giving you a variety of content and tone.
- Once you have your list, divided up into post type you can begin to schedule them. Whilst you do this is will become obvious where the holes in your content are that need plugging.
- Additionally, you will be able to identify your ‘evergreen’ content. This is content that is always relevant so can be used over and over again. This could be holiday themed posts, anniversaries, birthdays, or even just promotions that you offer all year round, this will save you precious time.
Multiple Platform Management
- Many scheduling tools can manage multiple social media platforms – such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Making the process a lot easier as you won’t have to log in and out of each platform individually and you can easily coordinate a campaign across all three.
- This also helps to diversify your content, as the different platforms all have different rules (for example Twitter has a character limit of 280).
- By pre-scheduling your posts, you are able to stick to regular and consistent timeslots to take posts live. You can also schedule posts to be published outside of your practice business hours, this delivers the impression of a steady social media presence.
Choosing a Scheduling Tool
There are (what seems like) an infinite amount of scheduling tools available out there, but the one you choose all depends on the functionality your individual practice requires.
Some things to consider when shopping around are:
- The number of social profiles the platform will allow.
- Ideally you will want three (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook). Be careful here, as many providers price will increase based on this point.
- The number of users you wish to have access.
- If only you are using it then great, but if you want to share the responsibility around your team you will need to keep an eye on the price, as again many providers price will increase based on this point.
- How simple the tool is to use.
- Remember, the idea of using the tool is to make your life easier, not more complicated if you can’t pick it up ‘out of the box’ and use it then you don’t want to get involved.
- Ease of engaging with audience.
- Does the tool include ways of engaging with your audience, answering their comments and their messages form the one platform? You don’t want to have to log into each platform individually to check for comments and messages every day.
- Level of reporting.
- How often do you want to be able to report on your social media endeavours (if at all?). Some tools offer weekly and monthly reports of your social media platform performance, the analysis of your page reach and engagement.
- Level of competitor analysis.
- How often do you want a comparison report of your competitors’ social media accounts? (if at all?).
- Listening Capability.
- Do you want to be able to monitor what your audience is posting about you on social media, news and web?
- Different team roles.
- Some tools offer the ability to send your content to your team members or manager for approval, different use roles and working on a joint schedule with your team.
When we use social media is can often seem like we are just shouting into a void and not getting much back. But it really is true that consistency is key. Scheduling tools will go a long way to ensuring that you are making the most of your social media accounts, helping you to connect with your clients, increase awareness of the work you do and maybe even boost your bottom line.