Educating pet owners is no easy feat, especially when they’d rather ask their smartphones than their veterinarians about how to handle a pet issue. It’s important to improve client education, but what exactly does that look like in today’s plugged-in culture?
If you’ve ever felt like engaging pet owners online beyond just the fun stuff is impossible, you’re not alone. When it comes to educating pet owners, you’ve got to get straight As on social media.
Currently, 90% of millennials—the largest demographic of pet owners—trust medical information shared by their peers on social media. Reaching out through your veterinary social media channels can help deter clients from sharing misinformation from other resources.
So how can you share awesome educational information with pet owners on social media? Let’s hit the books.
Organize your content into themed topics.
The success of any curriculum depends on following a plan, and pet owner education is no different. Maintaining a flexible content plan for your veterinary social media can help maximize the impact of your educational materials. Don’t worry, developing your media strategy doesn’t have to mean an eternity of overtime. In fact, there are plenty of ways to save time.
Planning ahead enables you to target your social media to specific issues and gaps in pet owner knowledge. Stay organized using themed topics to plan your posts, which not only gives you a solid direction to follow, but also helps emphasize your message to pet owners.
Want a quick and simple way to create and share educational content? Using a tool like ClientEd Online provides trusted educational materials, while WebDVM Social, built into every WebDVM website, helps you share it out.
For example, look at Shark Week. Discovery Channel started the program to excite and educate the public about shark conservation by airing entirely shark-infested material for a week.
While your content won’t be as extreme, it can be equally effective for your veterinary client education. Instead of sharks, plan your social media around weekly or monthly themes like flea and tick prevention, heat stroke awareness or the link between grooming and animal wellness.
Break down educational concepts into bite-sized tidbits.
Studies show that 60% of adults trust social media from doctors more than any other group, so you’ve already got an audience to share educational content with. By posting easily digestible content, you can optimize pet owner learning and engagement.
How? Break down educational concepts into bite-sized tidbits. That’s the beauty of social media; you can focus on the essentials, helping improve retention of important information. Embrace the power of the micro-moment by using did you know (DYK) facts, posting links to your blog, or sharing quick facts. Short-and-sweet details keep your audience interested and coming back for more.
Maximize the impact of graphics and images.
Blending brief, informative text with captivating images makes your content more memorable for pet owners, which can help improve both education and compliance. Sharing images on your veterinary social media isn’t just about cultivating a pretty feed—your graphics are a major asset for client education.
Sometimes, when you’re dealing with a more complex issue, a DYK post won’t suffice. For these cases, infographics are a great way to supplement a short-and-sweet content style. Infographics balance text and imagery, allowing you to educate pet owners in more depth, while maintaining a level of interest that a large block of text would lose.
Infographics are easy to read, and highly sharable on social media. Save time and your budget by making one yourself using a free tool like Piktochart, or share relevant graphics from a reliable source. If you choose the latter, make sure to add your own two cents to maintain your credibility as a go-to resource for pet health information.
Simplify education by using videos.
Videos are another great way to share educational information with pet owners. When you think of fun stuff going viral on social media, cat videos probably top the list. Why not take advantage of that popularity? It can be as simple as sharing live videos of basic treatments at your practice (with pet owner permission, of course!) or quick how-to videos on things like nail trimming, or administering common medications.
Even if you’ve demonstrated these skills many times in the exam room, pet owners can often forget or stress over the details at home. Educational videos help bridge the gap, acting as a resource clients can return to any time—and hopefully, they’ll share it too!
Tailor your content for each social media platform.
One study shows that 40% of adults seek health advice online, while 30% of the same group feel compelled to share what they find on social media. If clients are turning to Dr. Google for personal health answers, they likely do the same for their pets. To keep up, you want to be as accessible as possible—which means tailoring your content to fit each platform.Wherever you post your educational content, be sure to keep these social media best practices in mind so pet owners stay engaged and receptive. Given some time and dedication, you’ll be sharing educational content on social media like a pro, teaching pet owners and improving compliance in one fell swoop.