This is the fourth article in our 4-part series to help you shine on social media with great, relevant content. If you need a recap, see our first, second, and third installments in the series. This article provides insights to help you develop the right content to achieve your marketing goals.
*Bonus: We’re adding a bonus article next week to help you plan out an editorial calendar and optimize your social posting, so stay tuned.*

Deciding what to write

You likely already discovered some new topics to write about while exploring your overall social media strategy in our first installment of this series. That’s great! Now let’s dig a little deeper into the actual content developmentthe final tactical piece for reaching your 2018 goals.
Coming up with a full calendar year of content for social media posts, blogs or related updates on your website can feel overwhelming. Laying it all out on a marketing and editorial calendar, as we’ll discuss next week, can help you stay on top of important dates, while also addressing pet holidays, promotions, and of course, your veterinary content.
Here’s a list of tips and tricks to help you save time and optimize the content you create. Some of this is reprinted from previous articles, Time-Saving Hacks for Your Veterinary Marketing Content and 3 Metrics for Tracking Your Practice’s Marketing Impact.

Track social media engagement

To better understand what’s resonating with your audience, try to analyze the traction you’ve gotten from past social media posts. You can use tools like Social Mention to search your practice’s name and explore the overall tone surrounding your practice on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have their own built-in analytics to help you stay on top of your engagement with pet owners too. Through these simple programs, you can track things like the number of shares, mentions, retweets, replies, and more. Plus, they’re both free!
If you have a WebDVM website, you have WebDVM Social built right in. It enables you to share social posts and provides analysis for you. The reporting feature enables you to track things like activity on certain posts, activity by day, and overall performance to get a better idea of what clicks with your audience.

How are you being searched?

We provided some tips about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in the previous article, which focused on the importance of relevant keywords and content. Understanding how you’re being searched can help you identify the keywords you should be using in your posts. When you’re trying to gauge your general reach, compiling data based on how many people are looking for you is also a great way to measure brand awareness.
Using a tool like Google Analytics is a great place to start because it’s free and can provide you with valuable data about your veterinary website traffic, as well as the number of times people search for you.
To broaden your results, it can be useful to track how your reach changes over time. A service like Keyword Planner can help you by allowing you to look at the data comparatively. To compare search volumes based on a particular timeframe, just input the specific dates into the “date range” box along with the name of your practice in the keyword search box.

Check out your competition and the market in general

To move beyond the numbers, check out your veterinary practice’s competitors to explore popular pet topics, and find new angles or perspectives to share. Beyond that, keep tabs on the animal health market in general too. Draw from your own continuous improvement through the veterinary conventions and networking events you attend, and any other areas where you gain new knowledge that helps with client education and compliance.

Ask your people

Spending some time determining what your clients actually want to read can help improve ROI (Return on Investment) and ROE (Return on Engagement). Afterall, you have clients in your clinic every day! While they’re waiting, why not ask them to fill out a short survey identifying what they would like to hear more about?  While this can be tough if they’re busy managing a lively animal in your waiting room, you could also ask for their permission to email them a questionnaire.
What should this survey look like? Include topic prompts but also leave space for them to add their ideas. You could even run a contest rewarding pet treats or other incentives for submitting ideas or finishing the survey. Services like SurveyMonkey or your eNews provider can likely assist you with a more formal survey. Whichever option you choose, be sure to ask client permission to add them to your database.

Lean on AllyDVM or ClientEd

If you are a LifeLearn client using AllyDVM, you could send out a survey as well as regular emails using this service. The best part of this approach is you’ll have a built-in record of what was sent to your database. If you have a WebDVM website, you already have access to ClientEd and over 1,800 articles that have been written and reviewed by veterinary health experts. These are accessible through WebDVM and shareable on social media. How easy is that?

Write, write, write

So when it finally comes time to write the content, who at your practice will carry that torch? In our second article of the social media series, we suggested that you assign a team member to lead your social media strategy, including content.
Since most social media content tends to be brief, it can likely be handled in-house. In some cases, however, you may feel the task is too much of a distraction for your busy team. In such cases, you may decide to hire an outside freelance writer or social media resource to help develop your posts.
But who do you call on, and how can you find them? You can use social to find freelancers that have the flair you’re looking for or perhaps even have specific experience writing in the animal health space. Colleagues and contacts in the industry may also be able to provide some referrals. Most writers will agree to work within a budget, as long as it’s reasonable. If your team is too busy to handle the task, having a resource that will ensure it gets done is a worthwhile investment.
In addition to the tips and tricks provided in article #2, if your own team will be writing your social media posts and blogs, Veterinary Content 101: What’s in a Word? has some great tips for developing content that engages and converts, while How to Share Educational Content on Social Media builds on much of what we told you in article #2 in this series.
As we draw to a close, don’t forget about the importance of SEO and keywords, as we discussed in article #3 this should be in the forefront as you develop your social content.
Looking to save some time filling your content calendar? LifeLearn’s ClientEd offers proven, expert-approved content to help streamline the process so you can get back to pet care.
Next week in our bonus article, we’ll talk about optimizing your strategy and plotting all of your content into an editorial calendar to save time and benefit your practice throughout the year.

Other articles in this series:

Social Media Guide Step 1: Creating Your Veterinary Social Media Strategy for 2018
Social Media Guide Step 2: Tips and tricks for optimizing and simplifying social media
Social Media Guide Step 3: The why and how of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)