The statistics on social media engagement are almost unbelieve. Its estimated that Facebook has 2,375 million monthly users, Instagram has 1,000 million and Twitter 330m. Its staggering.
No matter how you feel about social media, it’s a necessary marketing tool for your practice. Whether you are a small independent practice, have multiple sites, or are part of a large group, if you don’t have any social media accounts you are losing out on connecting with your clients, increasing awareness of the work you do and maybe even boosting your bottom line.
We did a quick poll of the vets that we work with to see if they are managing to make the most of their social media (if they have any) and it quickly became obvious that many are struggling to squeeze the potential out of their accounts.
So, in this article we will take a closer look at the types of social media posts that Vets should be making the most of to increase engagement with clients.
What to post (and when)
Many of the vets that we have spoken to come back to us with the same question: ‘what should we post about?’
We get that it can be tricky to start producing daily social media posts, especially if it’s something that you haven’t done before. The good news is that as a Veterinary Practice you have an absolute goldmine of potential content that you can use, trust us!
Below we have outlined a variety of types of posts you could use to connect with the wider community, increasing awareness of the work you do, educate your clients and maybe even boost your bottom line:
- Videos and Pictures
- The simplest and easiest way to connect with your following is videos and pictures. There is nothing that people love more than a picture of an adorable little kitten or a video of a gorgeous puppy. It sounds obvious, but its definitively difficult to ignore a post when you literally have those puppy dog eyes staring back at you.
- With posts like this it’s great to introduce the pet in question and mention why they are visiting you. It’s posts like these that are guaranteed to get you lots of ‘likes’.
- Make sure that you ask the pet owner’s permission first, and whilst you’re at it, ask the owner for their own social media handle (or perhaps their pet’s – more people than you think have set up Instagram for their pet!) so that you can tag them in any posts you create.
- I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to bet that my puppy (a black and white Sprocker called Ned) is the most gorgeous pup in the world. He would win any ‘cutest dog’ competition hands down. (Don’t worry, I’m aware that EVERYONE thinks this about their own pets.)
- Running competitions like this, with prizes such as ‘free consultation’ or ‘free nail clip’ or even a dog toy from your practice shop is likely to drive engagement with your clients and might even bring in a few new ones.
- Ask your clients/followers to upload a picture of their pet and tag your practice to enter, you could even add themes (Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Sleepy Cat, Water baby dogs etc). The added bonus of this is that all of your client’s followers will see their post too, driving wider community engagement and awareness of your practice.
- Does your practice do a ‘new puppy bundle’ or any other offers that you could promote via social media? Maybe a subscription for flea, tick and worming treatments? A discount for multiple pets?
- It’s worth trying to promote these through social media. A great one we have seen recently is ‘sign up for a 12 month flea tick and worm treatment subscription and get the 12th month free’ not only is the client getting a great deal here, but you are increasing your MRR (monthly recurring revenue). The same would work with any special dietary food requirements,
- Educational Posts
- How often should I worm my pet? When do I clips my dog’s nails? What’s the benefit of having my pet spade? What kind of diet should I be feeding my rabbit? How do I know if my dog needs their anal glands done? This is just a quick example of the sort of question that pet owners might have about caring for their pet.
- Educational posts go a long way to concreting the relationship that you have with your current clients, and again might help to encourage new clients to register their pets.
- Don’t be scared to go big with these educational posts, if there just too much information to put in a single post you could write a blog and put a link in your social posts. Once you have done a few you could even re-use the material to create a pack for pet owners, such as a ‘New Puppy Guide’ that you could send to newly registered dog owners.
- Why not try a ‘day at the vets’ story, following a pet that is in for treatment that shows the whole journey throughout the day. Owners are curious of what their pet experiences behind your doors and they want to know that their pet is getting lots of love as well at the treatment that they need.
- Informational posts
- Puppy socialisation meets, missing cat alerts, local cases of Alabama Rot, Blue/green Algae in lakes close by, new doggy day care openings. Informational posts can be about almost anything that is happening in the wider community that your clients might like to know about. Use these posts like a digital notice board.
- Advertisement Posts
- Does your practice have a shop? Instagram has a shopping feature that you could make the most of, why not have a picture of one of your clients’ pets next to the special hypoallergenic food it needs, or in the new collar/harness they’ve bought from you, and link it via the Instagram shop and your website. This could go a long way to broadening your customer base.
Engagement with Clients
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 the list above.
But its 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 a commitment 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. So, as always, if you have any questions our team of Veterinary IT Experts are here to help, you can book in a chat with them at a time that suits you.