The Best Social Media Tips for Veterinarians
Never run out of ideas for social media posts again
Running successful digital marketing campaigns was likely not something that veterinarians learned when going to school, but in today’s world, it’s a skill that vets cannot brush aside. Marketing campaigns help vets grow their practice and attract new clients, and one of the simplest marketing methods is to build an online presence through social media.
Social media allows veterinarians to connect with their clients and position themselves as an authority in their local areas. Plus, establishing a brand on social media makes it much easier for existing clients to recommend your practice to friends and family. If someone posts an ISO (In Search Of) post on Facebook, all your clients have to do is tag your practice’s Facebook page.
Social media has been around for more than a decade now. But, the constant changes on the platform, as well as the arrival of new platforms, can make it hard to know how to promote your vet practice on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.
Below are three social media tips for your veterinary practice that will help you establish a brand on social media and get more clients.
Tip 1: Build Relationships
To make your veterinary practice known on social media, you first and foremost want to be social. After all, that is what social media is all about.
Building relationships with current and future customers is the key to social media success. Clients love to see their veterinary practice in action so they can get to know the people who are treating their beloved pets. One study found that 76% of consumers were more likely to buy from a brand they were connected to because of social media. On social media, you can tell your stories and your clients can check out what’s going on at the practice.
There are two ways your can build relationships with current and future clients with your veterinary practice’s social media account.
1) Be responsive
Respond to comments and messages you get on social media in a timely fashion. Don’t leave their questions sitting there for weeks or months. You wouldn’t ignore a question from a client when speaking face to face, and you shouldn’t online, either. Check your veterinary practice’s Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter pages regularly for those comments and messages. Then, respond appropriately.
If, unfortunately, you receive a negative review or comments on social media, do not ignore it or retaliate back. Instead, invite them to have a private discussion on the issue they are upset about and resolve it out of the public view.
Thanks to social media, brands now have the ability to help customers with problems and answer their questions, as well as receive feedback.
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2) Ask questions and prompt discussion
Build a feeling of community with your audience by asking questions and prompting discussions with your social media followers. If you are able to make your clients feel like they are part of a community, you will attract more people to your veterinary practice.
Some questions you might ask could be:
- What is your dog’s/cat’s favorite treat or toy?
- What dog-friendly trails do you take your dog to?
- Does anyone have silly videos of their cats or dogs?
- Do you have fun traditions to celebrate the holidays with your pets?
These questions can spark discussions among your followers. The more comments people leave on your post, the higher the chance that Facebook will show the post to more people.
Tip 2: Deliver Consistent Relevant Content
Having an empty newsfeed is bad, but so is having a feed that is overcrowded with content that has nothing to do with your veterinary practice. In order to properly establish your brand on social media, you need to have a consistent brand message that is supported by your posts.
Struggling with promoting your veterinary practice on social media?
It starts with delivering consistent and relevant content, and then continuing to create valuable content that fits your brand’s voice and mission.
1) Cover the basics
Your veterinary practice’s brand includes your logo, colors, fonts, and image style. That consistency should feed over into your social media posts, too. Use the same types of images and colors for your posts. This consistency will drill your brand’s message into the minds of your clients.
2) Adjust the content to the platform
Each social media platform is meant for different purposes. Twitter, which is more word-heavy, should be used for sharing updates about your practice, while Instagram, which is more visual, should be used to post shareable photos and videos.
Even though the posts may be a little different — some platforms have limits on character count and video length — the overall brand message should be similar. Take one core piece of content, such as a video showing how to cut dog’s nails, and edit it for each different platform. They should be similar enough to match your brand, but also be customized to the specific platform.
3) Establish your brand voice
One of the most important ways to be consistent in your branding is to have the same tone and voice in every post. Determine how you want your voice to be, and then stick to it. Your brand voice can be informative or silly, excited or sweet.
As you post on different platforms, you may have to adjust your posts to fit the requirements for that platform. Make sure your brand voice remains consistent across all platforms.
If you are trying to target a different audience or buyer personas on a separate social media platform — for example, building credibility with veterinarian peers on LinkedIn — your brand voice will likely change. It’s ok for your brand voice to differ a little, but it shouldn’t be unrecognizable.
So what type of social media posts are best for veterinary practices?
There are three main types of content that you can post on your veterinary practice’s social media accounts.
Educational Vet Social Media Posts
Educational posts teach your customers about common problems that their pets may experience. This is a great way to engage with your clients and encourage them to start a conversation with you. Educational posts can be quick facts, infographics or videos. You already have the knowledge, so it shouldn’t take too long to share that knowledge with your clients.
Sharing educational content also helps increase your credibility among patients. They are more likely to trust you if they can see you sharing your expertise.
Breaking News for Pet Owners
If there is breaking news about animal welfare, share it. That news might be about a new illness going around, or it could be about breakthrough studies related to animals. Post the article, then provide your point of view on the topic.
Sharing breaking news positions you as an authority and launches a conversation online. Remember to respond to those comments if you can, because it will keep the conversation going and increase your engagement.
The Low-Down on Your Veterinary Practice
People love to be in the know. Use this to your advantage by posting about what’s going on at your veterinary practice.
Is there an event going on? Did you just make some new hires? Did you have an emergency situation with a pet that is now on the mend? Tell your following. Share these stories to keep your audience engaged.
In a world where people’s attention spans are constantly shrinking, stories are the best way to keep people’s attention. According to one study about attention spans, 55% of business professionals believe quality storytelling keeps consumers focused and engaged. Share your successes and noteworthy news from the practice. You’d be surprised how interested social media followers can be in the day-to-day workings of a veterinary practice.
Tip 3: Utilize Facebook Ads for Your Veterinary Practice
Facebook Ads is the perfect platform to grow your veterinary practice. You will need to invest some time and money, but the rewards are potentially enormous.
Whether you have tried Facebook Ads before or not, this is a strategy you can use to get more leads and convert them into long-term clients.
The first step is to look at Facebook Ads that are performing well in your newsfeed. Look at:
- The message
- Graphics/visuals in the ad
- Their call to action (what they are asking the viewer to do)
- Overall purpose of the ad
You shouldn’t create a direct copy of the Facebook ads you like, but you should use it for inspiration as you create your own Facebook Ad campaign.
As a veterinary practice, you need to target your Facebook ads appropriately so you don’t just throw your money away. These are some targeting strategies that you will want to use to ensure success. You should target:
- People in your local area
- Followers who already like your page
- People who are 25+, because they are more likely to have a pet
Tip 4: Boost Website Traffic with Pinterest
Pinterest is often confused as being just another social media platform, but it is actually a powerful search engine. As a search engine, it is great for SEO (search engine optimization). Pinterest allows more people to see and visit your page, and those increased page visits can help your veterinary practice rank higher on Google.
Pinterest is an underused platform, so there is a lot of opportunity for those who are willing to put in the work. As with all social media platforms, you have to post content that people like and want to look at and/or share.
Maximize your results with Pinterest by writing a description that uses keywords your clients might be searching for. If you are stuck for ideas on keywords in your title, type in different keywords related to pets and veterinarians into the search bar on Pinterest and see what comes up. It can give you some ideas of content you can share. Travel tips for dogs? DIY dog birthday cakes? The possibilities are endless.
Tip 5: Video Marketing
As mentioned earlier, educational posts are a great way to engage with your followers. The best way to promote educational content on social media is through videos.
Why? Videos gets more attention on social media platforms. Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you can get increase views and shares, all while getting your brand message across with video marketing. You can do live videos on Facebook, video stories on Instagram, and short informational clips on LinkedIn.
If you do not have time during your busy day to jump on a live video, then you can pre-record a video. Create a long video where you talk about multiple topics, then edit it into multiple videos for sharing. As always, respond to any comments on the video to keep the conversation going. The more eyes you get on your post, the better your social media strategy will be for your veterinary practice.
How long should your video be?
According to a study of over 100 million videos on Facebook, a video should no be no longer than 3 minutes. On Instagram and Twitter, you want to keep the video to about 30 seconds. Videos on YouTube can be longer.
You don’t have to be an expert on camera or have professional equipment. Grab your smartphone and just talk to your audience. Personal videos perform better on social media.
With these social media tips for veterinarians, you can establish a brand that improves your brand reputation and gets you more clients. Ultimately, social media is about being social and delivering valuable content to existing and future customers.
When you can build a strong brand and a loyal following, you’ll never have to worry about finding new clients.