Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras
Social media doesn't have to be a dog eat dog. Ew, even we hate that analogy. But the truth is, social channels are a great place to set yourself apart from other practices. In the beginning, choose one or two places to post because this will be the easiest to manage, and then you can scale up once you're in the rhythm of creating and repurposing your content.
We love animals, and we are no stranger to visiting many veterinary clinics. We have five fluffers in the family and are proud fosters and volunteers to a local rescue. You are one of the reasons we launched Sweet Talk. We are consistently impressed by your kindness, and we want to give back in our way - by giving you tips to scale up your social media.
Think Outside the "Bark"
We are going to start with the very basics. If your veterinary clinic treats birds, bees, and everything in-between talk about it! Add it to your website, write a blog and feature it on social media. By adding this information throughout your digital space, you're boosting your SEO, basically giving Google the nudge to highlight your website to searchers. You'll show up to them more frequently.
TikTok And You Won't Stop!
There are endless examples of healthcare professionals flocking to the behemoth platform TikTok. Even Alberta Doctors took to TikTokin'. Before you start practicing your moves and lip syncs, consider a few things:
Who will be the face of your TikTok?
Will you stay on top of sounds, trends and challenges?
Be prepared for some backlash. With everything, you can't please everyone. You can have responses prepared to deal with unruly comments or trolls.
Ways To Engage
Lights, Camera, Action. More than 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day. It is an easy way to interact directly with your audience, answer questions, and discover new potential clients. Be sure to advertise you're going live a few days before and post reminders before the camera rolls.
Poll your audience. Use IG Stories to ask Q&As, quizzes and have polls. Engagement on your account will increase your reach, and your account will be shown to more and more people every day.
What Could I Be? Or Guess the breed is a great way to engage with your following. When cute pups or kittens come in for their first visit, ask the owner if you can post their photo. Ask your followers to guess the breed. You should get lots of reactions!
The Pet Doppelganger. We love this one. Do you have any staff members or clients whose pets look just like them? Post away to engage with your community. Encourage them to tag you in their lookalike posts.
Behind The Scenes
But Leave The Blood And Gore For HOWLaween - Take photos of your veterinarians behind-the-scenes and share them on social media. This makes for popular content for most professionals. Leave shots of blood, cuts, puss in the operating room. People scrolling don't need to see it. And now, more and more platforms are adding censors to graphic images as they could be triggering to audiences.
Educate. This may seem like a no-brainer, but provide your clients and prospects with great information to benefit them and their pets. Include reminders about dangerous foods, info about vaccines, dog bite prevention, money tips for caring pet owners, chronic disease awareness, and what owners should know about anesthesia, and the list goes on.
Success stories. With pet parent approval, feature pets you've helped save. You can educate clients about accidents and/or diseases while showcasing your abilities and bedside manner. Be sure to include before-and-after photos, when possible.
Be A Community Leader Of The Pack
Proud To Be In The Community. Any time you participate in a community event or donate to a fundraiser, you help your neighbourhood and raise awareness of the causes that are close to your heart. This pay it forward model gives back to the community while raising your profile in the city. A wonderful win-win.
Help Find Lost Pets. Post about local lost pets on your social channels. And, when reunited, be sure to post a "back home" update. This is the reason you got into this industry, right? It's another way to help pet parents.
Staff appreciation. Celebrate the days that praise your employees – Vet Tech Day and World Veterinarian Day, for example. Publicly thank your staff and show your appreciation. You could also highlight a staff member each month.
Keep us in the loop!
Promote And Repurpose Your Blog Content. Blogs work well on Pinterest, and you can drive traffic back to your website.
Going Away? If your clinic closes for holidays, share an update on your social media, and you can even plan by adjusting your hours on your Google Listing. For more tips<<Hyperlink Vacation Blog>>>
Special offers. We love using National Days, for example, National Mutt Day, for social media, but you could take it one step further and tie it to an offer. Mutts on this day get 15% off a nail trim
Email lists. It's a great way to send appointment reminders, but it's another opportunity to connect. You can send birthday messages to pets, and it is an excellent opportunity to repurpose other content like your favourite post, blog or offer.
"Social media is absolutely an important space for medical professionals to be having conversations around things like public education, trying to combat some of the misinformation and pseudoscience that's just running rampant on all these different platforms," said Sarah Mojarad, a lecturer at the University of Southern California and science communications expert.
Posting to social media might seem futile, but it is an extremely valuable part of your brand. It breeds client advocacy, builds your reputation and develops brand equity. We are happy to bring your clinic's story to grow your audience. Reach out to us for social media management by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.