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Veterinary social media tips to engage clients


More than 3.6 billion people worldwide use social media, and this number is projected to increase to 4.41 billion by 2025. About 74% of consumers rely on social media for purchasing decisions, and this percentage increases when considering Millennials and Gen-Zs. Since 76% of Millennials own pets, accounting for 31% total pet ownership, and Gen-Zs account for 11% total pet ownership, your veterinary team should not neglect these avenues to connect with clients. When used correctly, your social media accounts can increase your revenue, help you develop stronger relationships with pet owners, and save you valuable time. Keep reading to learn social media tips to help your veterinary practice engage clients.

Ensure you create a good first impression

Content abounds on social media platforms, and users will quickly navigate to another site if you don’t pique their interest. Tips to make a good first impression include:

  • Be easy to find — Use your practice name as your profile name and your practice logo as your profile photo and add a cover photo that helps your clients easily identify your brand. You can also advertise your social media sites in your reception area and examination rooms, and include site links on your invoices, emails, and other client communications.
  • Be transparent — Provide pet owners with as much detail as possible on your home page, such as operating hours, services offered, contact information, and website URL. Including the right information can help reduce phone calls to your practice, saving your office staff time.
  • Research your competition — Look at other veterinary practice sites and determine what you do and do not like to help guide what you choose to post.
  • Determine your voice — Ensure your online presence reflects your practice’s brand personality and addresses the audience you want to reach.
  • Use personal photos — Instead of stock photos, share images of your team petting or examining a patient to demonstrate your commitment to the pets in your care. Ensure you get permission from the owner to share their pet’s photo.
  • Use simple language — Avoid long, technical words unless you provide an easily understood definition, and ensure every discussion is user friendly.
  • Share user generated content (UGC) — Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic, compared with business-created content. One idea is to post an image of a positive review made by a happy client along with a caption thanking the customer—this builds trust with potential clients and promotes loyalty with existing ones.

Engage online users

Clients use social media to shop, gain knowledge, look for answers, and interact with other pet owners. Ensure your online users are engaged by:

  • Committing to quality content — Pet owners want practical, relevant, up-to-date information that compels them to return for more and suggest your site to others. Suggestions include cute pet photos and videos, pet care tips by veterinary professionals, news stories about animals, your own blog posts, recalls and special offers
  • Choosing the right person to manage your accounts — Many practices assign their social media account management to a younger, tech-savvy team member who may know how to use the platforms, but likely does not understand your business goals or have the knowledge or maturity to engage your audience. If no one in your practice can fill this role, consider hiring an agency or a freelance social media professional.
  • Conducting social media contests — Competitions are a great way to create excitement and gain followers but ensure competition entrance is simple and you state a clear deadline to prevent confusion.
  • Using social media to communicate — Most social media platforms include direct messaging or a live chat feature, which can reduce phone calls for easily answered questions. Ensure someone is dedicated to monitoring this communication and responding in a timely manner. 

Know how to use each social media platform

Every social media platform is different and requires different strategies to engage users. Let’s look at the top three social media platforms and explain how you can use each one to maximize your online presence.

Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media site, with about 2.9 billion monthly active users. Tips include:

  • Use your cover photo as a Call-To-Action (CTA) — You can use this area to promote products, raise awareness about Pet Dental Health Month, remind owners about parasite prevention—anything you feel is important. Cover photo captions on Facebook are treated like any other post, and you can link to your website in the post copy.
  • Don’t overpost — Studies show that over posting on Facebook can decrease your follower count. Aim to post at least one piece of content per day, but no more than five per day.
  • Link to your website — Include links in the post copy to your services pages, blog content, staff bios, or other appropriate pages. You can also use your action button as a “Book Now” option that links to your appointment request form. 

Twitter 

Twitter is more fast-paced and direct than Facebook, and can be a fun addition to your practice’s social media presence. Tips include:

  • Tweet frequently — Twitter moves fast, so aim for about three to five tweets per day.
  • Pin a tweet — Post an engaging tweet to pin, and include a link to your website. You can encourage booking by linking to your online appointment request form.
  • Use photos — Photographs have a higher chance of engagement on Twitter.
  • Provide relevant information — Twitter shouldn’t be about selling. Use educational tweets, pet care tips, and information about products you support so pet owners will consider your practice.
  • Retweet — Retweet good content from reputable sources to build community trust.
  • Don’t engage in Twitter 'wars' — Don’t alienate pet owners by participating in political or controversial discussions.

Instagram 

Instagram is the most visual social media platform, so your visuals and bio are extremely important. Tips include:

  • Set up your account as a business page — This allows you to set up your phone number, email, and directions to your practice as clickable buttons at the top of the page.
  • Leverage your link — Use your Instagram bio section to link to a custom landing page on your website that has different buttons for your website pages.
  • Create Instagram highlights — Use the highlight section to create a mini website, so potential clients can learn about your practice and your services.
  • Post daily — Aim to post at least once a day to keep pet owners interested and engaged.

Using social media is necessary to stay relevant in our fast-paced world. Following these tips should help you create an exceptional social media presence that will keep your current and potential clients engaged.

About the author

Jenny Alonge received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Mississippi State University in 2002. She then went to Louisiana State University where she completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery. After her internship, she joined an equine ambulatory service in northern Virginia where she practiced for almost 17 years. Alonge later decided to make a career change in favor of more creative pursuits and accepted a job as a veterinary copywriter for Rumpus Writing and Editing in April 2021. She adopted two unruly kittens, Olive and Pops, in February 2022.

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