Social Media 101: What’s the Buzz?

September 18, 2017 - Posted by Emily Kennaley

With a new school year underway, it’s the perfect time to continue your own education and refresh your veterinary practice’s marketing by going back to the basics!

We’ve talked a lot about how essential marketing, veterinary content, and email know-how can improve your business strategy. Now, it’s time to take that knowledge online into a whole new world.

Today’s lesson is all about social media.

Social media is the mouthpiece for your practice, allowing you to connect with pet owners beyond the walls of the exam room. Posting on social media is a great way to become a part of your client’s everyday lives—which can build pet owner trust, and optimize client education.

Why should you pay attention to social media?

Your website helps you get found in online searches, but your social media is what helps get your content out there, and makes direct connections with pet owners.

Since 90% of millennials trust medical content shared by friends on social media, it’s the perfect place to meet the educational needs of one of the largest pet owner demographics and beyond.

#1.  Know your audience.

According to one study, people turn to social media for medical information personalized to their experience—and that includes pet owners. Social media helps your practice to share quality, targeted pet health information.

To create customized social media content, you’ll need to understand what pet owners want, need and expect from you. Watch for patterns of pet owner behavior at your clinic to get an idea what types of concerns particular pet parents share, or use social media monitoring tools to find out what pet owners are talking about online.

You can use these findings to target pain points with your veterinary social media, creating a more relevant, personal environment for your clients online.

 

#2. Know your platform.

Each platform calls for slightly different content, so it’s important to understand what types of content belong on which platform to encourage the highest possible engagement rate with pet owners.

For example, viral content like adorable cat videos do well on platforms like Facebook, where pet owners can easily like, comment, or share. Not only does this add some fun to your feed, it also increases your visibility—when a pet owner engages with your content, their followers may see it too!

LinkedIn, on the other hand, calls for more professional content, like articles about the importance of preventive pet care, pet health insurance, or recruitment.

 

#3. Plan ahead.

Social media is a competitive space, and to keep your audience’s attention, you’re going to need a plan.

The best way to maintain a strong, engaging social media presence is to stick to your content plan, which you can fill with your upcoming content, organize with content calendars, and deliver with social media schedulers. This will also help you spot any gaps that need filling before it’s a problem.

Using a tool like a WebDVM website, for example, gives you access to curated content and educational articles that you can use on your social media, as well as a way to schedule and publish your social media and blog content so everything matches up.

 

#4.  Keep it consistent.

While social media offers a lot of flexibility, it’s still an extension of your veterinary practice—so your voice, imagery and message should remain consistently “on brand” with the rest of your marketing. That’s not to say that you can’t mix things up, though!

Your veterinary social media should contain a unique mix of entertaining content, educational posts and even the odd promotional ad for your practice. By mixing up the type of media, and staying consistent with frequency and quality, it establishes a pattern that keeps pet owners coming back—whether for fun, or simply to learn!

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We’ll be posting even more social media terms on our own social media throughout the week, so be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts for more!

What’s a course without a test?

Stay tuned on Thursday, when we’ll post a nifty quiz to exercise all your newfound (and newly remembered) knowledge. Use this post and our social media posts for your study notes, and we’ll see you then!

Take your quiz now!

Not to worry, we aren’t keeping track of scores. This is just for your own development—and for your veterinary practice’s, too.


Want to get started with your social media strategy? Check out how the LifeLearn ecosystem can help!