If you’re looking for a way to market your veterinarian practice in today’s customer-driven landscape, social media marketing is an excellent way to do it.
Vets have an endless stream of cute animals through their doors every day of the week, and we all know how much the internet loves a good cat video. Obviously, as long as their owners give permission, you could share more videos and images of different types of animals than you can shake a leash at. This is ideal content for social media because its highly appealing to audiences.
But what can social media marketing do for you? Well, it’s an ideal way to build awareness of your brand and gain interest in your practice. You’ll also be able to show off your expertise with animals and build trust with potential pet owners who might need your services. Social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website and add to your SEO efforts too. In fact, there’s really no downside as long as you don’t overdo the time spent on it and you do it well.
As part of that, your audience will expect to be able to interact with you and receive answers to their questions. Increasingly, customers are using multiple channels to contact businesses they buy from either to ask for more information or to book. It’s not enough to just have a website, phone, and email address. Now people want to be able to reach you by direct message or mentions on social platforms too.
It does take time to plan out what you’re going to say and how you’re going to manage your social sharing, but the results are well worth it. Read our social media tips for veterinarians to see what sort of content you can post, what platforms to consider, and how to fit everything in.
Key elements of a social media strategy
You’ll get more out of social media if you have a strategy and a plan before you get started. Our tips will show you how to create a strategy that works for your veterinarian practice.
You know your own practice best. You know your clients and what your marketing goals are. Social media marketing should be included as part of your overall marketing strategy, not separate from it, so when you plan your marketing, plan your social marketing at the same time.
Make sure your social media marketing goals align with your overall marketing plan.
Think about what you hope to achieve with your social media activities. We talked about some of the benefits above and those benefits may indeed be your goals for spending time on social media. You may want to raise awareness of your business and make more people aware of what you offer. Your goal might be specifically to attract new patients, or you may be focused on building brand awareness or establishing your position as an expert.
It’s also okay for your goals to change over time. As your business grows and develops, you may need to adjust your social media goals to suit.
It’s worth taking a fresh look at your marketing plan, including your social media, every quarter to ensure you’re still heading in the right direction.
The main social platforms right now are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. TikTok is also making a splash and getting some marketers a lot of attention.
Obviously, you could be active on every platform but is that worth your time? There isn’t time to do each platform justice if you do that. It’s far better to choose one or two platforms at the most, based on where you’ll find your ideal customers, and also your own preferences.
For veterinary practices, the ideal sites are the visually based ones. Cute animal videos and images do so well on the internet, it would be a shame not to take advantage of that. That, of course, does mean you getting comfortable with video creation. Luckily, you don’t need the latest gadgets or equipment worthy of a major movie. Your smartphone can shoot great videos and quality images just as well for your needs.
Think about where your customers are. If you’re not sure, ask them which platforms they use. Then start with the most popular one. You can always add a second platform when you’re used to posting on the first one.
Content is a really important part of your marketing. You need great content to entertain and engage, but also to persuade and sell.
Ideally, it’s best to create a content calendar and plan out what you want to post for around three months. This gives you a way to plan for any content that takes longer to create, and you can create content ahead of time when you need to. That gives you the opportunity to still have plenty of content to share even during your busy periods. And you’re never left staring at a blank page wondering what to write.
We have a whole section below on content creation and we promise, it’s not as hard as you might think to come up with ideas.
Your messaging is important too. It’s part of your branding. You need to work out your brand voice and tone in advance and be consistent with it when you post, whether it’s on Facebook, on your website, or in emails to clients.
Messaging is about more than just providing information. It’s about creating an emotional response in your audience and about your attitude and tone when writing. It’s about how you make your audience feel. Get this right and you can more easily attract and keep your ideal clients on social media.
Ideally, you should be looking at increased engagement over time on your social media platforms. You can keep an eye on this by looking at your reach and engagement statistics each month to make sure you’re on the right track.
You’ll also get a sense of how good your engagement is from the number of people reacting to your posts and commenting on them. If it’s crickets, you have some work to do to find out what your audience wants to see.
Think about your posts and your style and tone. Is what you’re doing working for you? Are people engaging with your content?
Not only that but are you being responsive in return? Social media is about two-way conversations, not a monologue from you to your audience. People love it when brands they like respond to their comments and answer their questions. It makes them feel part of a community.
If your engagement is down, don’t just look at what you’re posting. Look at how you are responding too.
How to easily create compelling social media content
The biggest reasons why people stop posting consistently on social media are lack of time and running out of content ideas. This section is designed to help you with that. Not only are we going to show you how you can easily generate interesting social content ideas, but we’re also going to help you manage your time better.
When looking for content ideas, start with your social media analytics and your website analytics. There really is gold in those statistics.
When you dig into your analytics, you can see your most popular posts and types of posts. This is helpful information as it tells you what topics your ideal customers are most interested in, so you can write more of what they want. It also tells you whether they prefer video over blog posts, visual content over written, short form over long form, and more.
You don’t need to wonder about what your audience likes. It’s all right there in your analytics.
In addition, you can see what people searched for when they found your website, where your traffic is coming from, and what keywords and phrases are the most used.
This information can also give you ideas for content and show you which keywords you need to use in that content.
2. Brainstorm ideas
Get your team together every month and brainstorm topic ideas. Think about how you can leverage your expertise and all your knowledge to stand out on social media.
Make a list of all the topics you can think of and then turn to your competitors. Your competitors are posting to reach the same type of audience and you should be able to gain inspiration from their blog posts and social posts. It’s also worth reading their blog comments and social media comments for more ideas. People often ask questions in the comments that you could answer with your own content.
Speaking of content, don’t assume that it always has to be written or that you can only use a topic idea once. There are many different content formats that you could create and you can repurpose your topic ideas into many different types of content. A humorous headline for a blog post could become a meme. A quote from your blog post could become a graphic. You could write your blog post, read it aloud and record it, and then film a practical ‘how to’ video on the same subject. Video scripts and transcriptions could become blog posts or ebooks. The list really is endless.
Not only does this give you more ways of using your content ideas, but providing different formats allows you to reach more of your audience. Some people prefer to read content, others prefer to listen, and yet others would rather watch a video. By offering content you can read, hear, and watch, you are also catering for anyone in your audience that has hearing loss or visual difficulties. Of course that’s the right thing to do, but it does also add to your caring image.
Answer the Public will also help you create content and so will Quora. Both sites let you see what questions people are asking, so you can create content to answer them.
Finally, user-generated content is an excellent way to fill your social media profiles. What is that? It’s any content that your audience provides for you. Encourage all those posts of cute puppies, unusual pets, and tiny kittens. Encourage people to talk about how you helped them – accompanied, of course, by pictures of cute puppies, unusual pets… you get the idea. These posts will get a lot of engagement from your audience and they’re also posts you didn’t need to create.
Ask people to post reviews and testimonials too. This user-generated content is vital as social proof that your practice is well-thought of for anyone thinking about bringing their pet to you.
Here are just some content ideas for your veterinarian practice:
- With permission, you can share photos of your clients’ pets in your practice, perhaps ‘helping’ staff members, playing, or generally being cute and entertaining.
- The same works equally well with video.
- Share your funny stories. It’s a vet practice. You know you have them. Your audience will love them too. And it’ll make your business seem very human and approachable.
- Share tips and tricks for animal care.
- Write how-to blogs or videos on what to look out for, how to trim claws, how to care for various types of pets, and more. These pieces of content establish your expertise.
- Create bios of your staff so people feel comfortable coming to see you.
- For the same reason, show people around your practice, perhaps with a video tour, as well as photos.
- Do ‘a day in the life of’ posts for each of your job titles.
- Go Live on Facebook and answer questions for people. They’ll appreciate the help. Even better, tell them you will be going live at a particular time and ask for questions in advance.
- Share cute and funny animal memes.
- Create simple graphics with funny or inspirational quotes.
We really could go on, but we hope we’ve given you plenty of ideas.
3. Craft impactful campaigns
With all the planning and idea-generating you’ve done so far, you’re now in a great position to put together some really impactful campaigns on social media.
You should, by now, know who your audience is and what they want to see. Use that to inform your planning for these campaigns.
It’s also important to take into account your messaging and your brand’s tone of voice when planning and when executing your campaigns. Be consistent whether you’re writing a social post or an email campaign.
4. Schedule your social media content in advance
As you can see, you could spend most of your life on social media very easily. It’s easy to get caught up in constantly posting and responding to comments. But obviously, you have a practice to run and you can’t afford to do that.
Instead, plan when you’re going to spend time on social media and stick to it, then the day doesn’t get away from you.
You can also make things easier for yourself by scheduling your posts and content in advance. You can then be sure that you have a steady stream of quality, engaging posts going out even when you’re asleep or on vacation. This also gives you time to write ahead and schedule ahead so that you can leave the social media during busy periods.
However, you should spend at least some time on social media to respond to comments, questions, user-generated content, and reviews. You can’t leave everything to a scheduler. Social media needs the human touch.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
With Surefire Local’s business intelligence marketing software, you can manage your social media all in one place. Not only that, but you can manage the rest of your marketing too.
You can write and schedule your content, your social media, emails, and more right from our clean and easy-to-use dashboard. It’s easy to manage new leads, ask for and respond to reviews, update your Google Business Profile and business directories instantly, and more.
There’s no need to sign onto multiple platforms or learn multiple complicated pieces of software. Just log in once and you can control everything to do with your marketing right there.
And you can download reports and statistics for easy decision-making on future marketing campaigns.
Contact our friendly team and book your demo today.