What they didn’t teach you in veterinary school
You went to veterinary school because you wanted to work with animals–maybe not so much with humans. But it turns out, not only do you have to work with humans, but you also have to figure out how to run a business.
The good news is that veterinary social media can do a lot of the client relationship work for your veterinary practice.
Social media is your communications channel where you can help pet owners know what to expect (and what not to expect) from you and your veterinary team.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:
- How Effective Is Social Media for Veterinarians
- Set a Goal and Make a Plan: Creating a successful and inexpensive marketing strategy
- Decide Which Social Media Platforms Are the Best Fit
- Know What Pet Owners Are Looking For
- Build Relationships of Trust with Your Clients
- Mix Up Your Posting Formats
- Use Tools That Make It Easy to Post Consistently
- Schedule & Automate (more time for engagement!)
- Track Your Performance and Refine Your Strategy
- DIY Social Media or Hire a Social Media Agency
How Effective Is Social Media for Veterinarians?
74% of people use social media when making a purchasing decision.
Think of social media as part of your website–because it is. Social media is an essential piece of any small business’s digital marketing strategy and online presence.
Potential clients are more likely to make a buying decision based on your social media presence as they’re more often than not looking for a veterinarian using their mobile device.
Standing Out from the Competition
According to Today’s Veterinary Business, “an estimated 70% of veterinary practices have a Facebook page, but far fewer utilize the platform regularly or to its fullest potential. Sixty percent have branding for their Facebook page, 25% use Facebook stories, and 80% claimed a vanity URL. However, just over a third of practices verified their page, a feature essential to receive more reviews and client/follower trust as well as to access several Facebook Page features.”
As more and more people become pet owners, social media use has increased as well.
Building Relationships That Last
The more you use social media as a nurturing tool for your current clients, the more you ensure that they will return to you for your services again and again in their hour of need.
By posting frequently and sharing videos and images, you will be on pet owners’ minds when it comes time for them to give their pets some extra care.
The data is clear that it’s far easier to convince someone to follow through with necessary pet procedures when they already have a good relationship with you.
Social media is an effective way to establish trust with your clients and potential clients.
Set Realistic Goals and Make a Veterinary Social Media Strategy
What are your goals for your veterinary client relationships? Trust? Retention? Growth? Education?
Consistency Builds Trust
If building and maintaining trust is at the top of your list, plan on setting aside some time every day for social media. You can assign this task to someone else on your team, but make sure someone in your clinic engages with clients every day.
The more people see and hear about you and your team, the more likely they are to trust you.
With the right strategy and planning, it is absolutely possible to post once a day, if not multiple times per day.
Successful and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies
With a bit of investment of time and money, you’ll have a successful social media marketing strategy in play in no time!
With the right tools, you could spend an hour or two to schedule all of your posts for an entire month. Then simply make sure someone responds to comments and reacts to pet owners’ posts of their family animals.
We’ll tell you how to implement your own successful and inexpensive strategy for $100-$200 per month.
Decide Which Platforms Are the Best Fit For Your Practice
Social media marketing seems to grow extra limbs at exponential rates. There’s not only Facebook, but Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and on and on and on.
Facebook and Instagram remain the most popular social media platforms and are the platforms most of your clients and potential customers use.
If you plan on creating plenty of Instagram Reels and Facebook stories, these are easily re-used and posted on another video platform like TikTok.
Know What Pet Owners Are Looking For
When you plan out what kinds of content you’ll post on your veterinary practice accounts, consider pet owner FAQs and things you need them to know to make your job easier.
What are common concerns that many pet parents have?
How can you remind them of seasonal issues that their pets might face?
How can they care for their pet to avoid expensive procedures?
Transparency. What’s going on behind the scenes? Show off your team members and how hard they work!
Your social media posts turn into a manual for your clients to read and become familiar with what’s required of them to ensure their pets are healthy and have long lives.
Mix Up Your Posting Formats
There are lots of fun ways to post on social media platforms.
You can post a video about pet care on Instagram or Facebook stories.
You could make an instructional video for IGTV simply using your phone.
Post pictures of the “pet of the week” or a hard-working staff member to highlight them on any and all of your social media pages.
Repost valuable posts from other trustworthy accounts that your clients should know about.
Don’t think too hard–there’s always something you can post in a new way to catch people’s attention!
Use Tools That Make It Easy to Post Consistently
The most effective tools that save you time and money are those that allow you to design posts with little effort and scheduling software.
The less work you have to do, the better. So unless you simply want to hire a marketing agency to do all the work for you, it will help you keep your sanity if some of the processes are already done for you ahead of time.
For designing social media images, our go-to is Canva. It’s so easy to use!
Track Your Performance and Refine Your Social Media Strategy
Notice what posts are getting the most engagement–whether it’s likes, shares, or comments.
Once you begin to see a pattern, get rid of post types that don’t seem to be resonating with people. You can tweak the message or choose another way to dish it up–maybe change it into a video if a particular topic is important for people to hear and recognize.
DIY Your Social Media or Hire a Social Media Agency?
Do-It-Yourself Social Media is absolutely possible for veterinary professionals, and it saves you a lot of money.
It also keeps you in control of your message, and you’re able to respond to client needs in real-time.
Hiring a social media agency will cost you anywhere from $500 – $1,500 to get started. Whereas doing it yourself will be anywhere from free to $200 a month (to cover the costs of social media tools). You can also consider using platforms like Dooder, where you have access to a social media library of content specifically made for veterinarians. While you’re still responsible for posting, this saves hours on creating content.
Social media marketing for your veterinary practice is a must-have in today’s world. Thankfully it can be managed and done in a way that doesn’t detract from your most important work: taking care of amazing animals.