When was the last time you encountered a pet owner who adopted a new furry friend without any research into its care? Unfortunately, it happens all too often, leaving you to fill in the gaps with client education geared toward a reluctant novice.
Your veterinary social media is a great place to start sharing educational content with pet owners, but sometimes it needs a little boost. Learning the ins and outs of social media promotions can help extend your reach with potential clients—and you don’t need to be an expert to get started.
So what should—and shouldn’t—you do when it comes to social media advertising?
When exceptional pet care is your priority, it can be tempting to update your veterinary social half-heartedly—but remember, your online presence is an extension of patient care! Save time and maintain your high standards by keeping these dos in mind when creating social media ads.
Do… keep it clear and simple.
Social media ads, like any other kind, are inherently business-oriented. We often say to keep your veterinary social media natural and conversational. When it comes to your ads, it can be good to lean more on a more promotional tone, such as using action words like “Book now!” and “Learn more!” that inspire pet owners to action, to help keep your message clear. Just be careful not to overdo it!
Using phrases like these can help you make a specific impact in a short amount of time. After all, social media ads have character and running time limits, so you’ll want to make the most of every word.
Do… use CTAs.
You’re setting up an ad campaign to get a response from pet owners, and the best way to do that is with calls-to-action (CTAs). CTAs make it easy for clients to reach out and connect with you by telling them exactly what you want them to do next.
Are you looking for traffic to your veterinary website? Trying to gain more followers on Facebook to build an audience for client education? Whatever the intent, be sure your CTA spells it out; ask pet owners to “Visit the website now!” or “Connect with us on social media!”
Do… use good imagery.
Your ad will need to make a quick impact on pet owners, and using awesome images with each ad is a great way to catch their eyes. Each social media platform has its own restrictions for ad images, so keep that in mind during the design stage.
Do… remain consistent across platforms.
Some platforms may work better for you than others, and strategically choosing the best place for each veterinary ad can save you a ton of money. Whichever platform(s) you choose, be sure your content keeps a consistent voice and overall aesthetic.
Wouldn’t it be nice to plan, create and publish your veterinary social media content and advertisements all in one spot? When using a tool like WebDVM Social, you can! Save yourself the time and hassle by doing it all in one place.
This voice and aesthetic should match your overall marketing goals. Creating a quick and easy content plan will help keep your social media promotions on task and on track for success.
These social media faux-paws should be avoided at all costs… or else! Just kidding. We all make mistakes, but avoiding these few can help you stay ahead of the competition and maintain a strong online relationship with pet owners.
Don’t… overdo it.
If you have well-performing posts on your veterinary social media, some platforms will notify you to ask if you want to promote them. This is a useful feature, but it can definitely be over-used.
Pet owners, like most users, don’t like their attention “bought.” Millennials, in particular, tend to be cynical of brands that over-promote themselves on social media—and as the largest pet owner demographic, it’s important to be mindful of their perceptions. Limiting your budget here can save you heaps of money too.
Don’t… use images from Google.
Using Creative Commons Zero (CC0) images on your ads is another great means to save money on marketing. An image grabbed from a Google search, however, is not a good plan. Using images without permission can mean legal problems for your practice.
It’s your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate rights and permissions to use every photo within your content. There are plenty of alternatives to Google Images, and we even made a giant list of free sources to make your life easy.
Don’t… pack your ad with keywords.
We talk a lot on our veterinary blog about optimizing your content with SEO keywords, and infusing your social media ads with those keywords can be equally effective. When writing ad content, don’t forget your message is meant for people, not search engines. Too many keywords will leave your content cluttered and inaccessible to pet owners, who are your real target!
Don’t… USE ALL CAPS OR EXAGGERATED PUNCTUATION!!!!!
Speaking of your target audience, this isn’t a Shamwow commercial. Writing in all caps, with excessive punctuation, definitely makes your content stand out—but not in a good way. Nobody likes to be screamed at, so try to write as though speaking with a pet owner in person. Maintain the same voice you might use on your website, social media or blog, and try to avoid over-the-top text.
Mastering the art of social media advertising may not be as hard as you think. Now that you know what’s okay and what’s not, you’re already well ahead of the competition. Keep the momentum going at your veterinary practice, and get started with your next social media ad campaign today.
Want more tips on social media? Check out the social media section of our veterinary marketing blog!