How many times have you treated pets with illnesses or injuries that could have been easily avoided? Most pet owners don’t share your level of expertise, so while you know the importance of preventive care, it may not appear that obvious to your clients until an emergency strikes.
Since most preventive care happens outside the exam room, it’s important to reach out to pet owners using your veterinary clinic’s online presence—particularly on social media.
Your veterinary practice’s social media isn’t all fun and games; it has functional purposes, too! When you blur the lines between fun and educational content, you’ll find a great recipe for client education and preventive care awareness. The result? Actively engaged pet owners and healthier pets for the long run.
So how can you put your veterinary social media to work to get your clients hooked on preventive care?
Type 1: Emotional Posts
People are creatures of emotion, so connecting with pet owners emotionally on your social media is a great way to drive them to act. Keep in mind that using positive emotions to inspire the “warm fuzzies,” like when you tell a moving animal story, is much more effective than using negative emotions like fear or guilt.
Think of it as if you’re writing Chicken Soup for the Pet Owner’s Soul*. Your task is to share emotional, real-life stories (with pet owner permission) that tug at people’s heartstrings and get them thinking. This way, you can unite clients with your practice and encourage them to think about particular preventive care themes.
*not an actual book.
Type 2: Inspirational Posts
Much like emotional posts, inspirational posts rely on a positive sentimental reaction to influence pet owners. The best inspirational posts contain success stories, like a kitten who recovered well from an illness, or a dog’s motivational weight loss journey.
Whatever topics you choose, inspirational posts are a win-win. You can encourage preventive care without accidentally seeming preachy to pet owners, and you can showcase your practice as a catalyst for an inspirational pet health experience.
Type 3: Videos
Now that we’ve covered the emotive posts, let’s focus on some hands-on methods of engaging pet owners on social media.
Videos are a great way to capture and keep the attention of your audience. Facebook users alone watch 100 million hours of video every day; imagine putting that time to use for encouraging preventive care! With educational videos, you can demonstrate how different veterinary procedures work, or give them an at-home how-to resource for simple treatments like nail trimming.
Feeling adventurous? You can even live stream interesting goings-on at your clinic! Real-time videos encourage engagement, because many social media platforms notify your followers whenever you go live. Plus, it helps build trust with pet owners by demonstrating your practice’s openness.
Using these videos can help identify maintenance needs that pet owners may not have been aware of, and help them to retain information about preventive care.
Type 4: Images and Infographics
When it comes to social media, using visuals and images can be a great way to make a lasting impression. Now, don’t worry; you don’t need to be an expert to create powerful images. All you need are the basics of design and some easy-to-use tools.
Want to spread preventive care awareness? Here are some great ways to do it:
- Using “did you know?” (DYK) facts and images
- Incorporating pet holiday and awareness month images
- Sharing infographics
Images help to make large bodies of text easier to digest. When you’re working with complex pet health issues, especially preventive care, keep your posts as brief as possible. This helps get the message across clearly.
Type 5: Posts that Tag Others
Once you’ve gotten the hang of sharing clear, informative content of your own, it’s time to start using your network of other industry experts. Tagging these other experts in your posts works on a variety of levels—bolstering your credibility, while increasing your visibility online. Just be careful to ensure that every tag is relevant, and not just for the online visibility!
Let’s say a colleague you studied with posts an excellent resource on LinkedIn about the importance of pet vaccinations for disease prevention. By sharing their content on your social media, and tagging them, both their followers and yours will see it. Plus, you’re spreading an important preventive care tidbit to improve pet health for all.
Need a hand with your social media? Leave the guesswork to the competition, and see what we can do to help. Using a tool like WebDVM Social helps you manage client education online to ensure your preventive care efforts get the results you want.
Type 6: Seasonal Posts
Preventive care is one of those things that seems to come and go in seasons. To help save time in your practice, try focusing efforts for specific issues around one season where it’s most common.
For example, rather than cramming an entire year’s worth of preventive care information into a visit, spread it out on social media. This way, you can actively remind a larger audience of clients about seasonal issues like fleas and ticks in summer or holiday hazards in winter.
Maybe you lean more towards the seasonal posts, or prefer to emphasize the emotional side of pet health. Either way, when you mix things up on your veterinary social media, good things can happen. Taking your preventive care advice to the next level today can help you inspire greater pet health tomorrow.