By Cheyanne Flerx and Janel Hutton
Spring is in the air, and that means pet owners will be buying items to get their gardens ready. As we know, some of those items can be toxic to our furry friends. March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, which provides us with an excellent opportunity to educate veterinary clients on things that can be harmful to their pets. Pair that with some St. Paddy’s day posts, and you’ve got all you need to rock your veterinary hospital’s Facebook, Instagram, and blog in March. Here are some easy online marketing ideas for your veterinary clinic:
For the Clinic Blog:
This is a great time to write blog posts that educate your clients on things that could harm their pets and what to do if their pet does ingest a toxic item. You could focus on creating a top 10 toxic foods or chemical list, educate clients on dangers in the garden, or teach clients to identify toxic plants. Here are two examples of blog posts from Janel’s hospital:
Turn your poison prevention focused blog posts into videos! Have one of your doctors or technicians highlight the top 5 common toxicities that your hospital encounters regularly and how your clients can avoid their pet getting into that situation.
Go live on Instagram or Facebook to show your clients what to avoid and share tips on how pet owners can keep those poisonous items out of their pet’s reach.
Ensure your videos get engagement (comments) by asking questions. Simple things to answer – like “true or false” – work best.
Post idea #1: Create a shareable infographic that shows the common garden hazards that pet owners should be aware of using Canva.com. (Get our other favorite social media tools here).
Post Idea #2: Have fun with spring and engage your clients in a quick and easy photo contest to help spruce up your Facebook cover photo. You could even extend this to your Facebook profile picture too!
Post Idea #4: “We’re so lucky to have (staff member name)”. Showcase your team in a series of posts about why you’re lucky to have them. Bonus points if you link to your website’s “About Us” page for people to learn more.
If you have a clinic blog about toxicity, make it your bio link on Instagram. This way, you can drive traffic to your website when you make posts about toxicity.
Post Idea #1: Post a picture of one of your staff members posing with a toxic item and briefly education your followers on why their pet should avoid that item. Add a call-to-action to encourage them to click the link in your bio for more info from your blog.
Post Idea #2: Share a story of one of your patients who came in for toxicity and follow their journey. You can easily share this patient’s experience in your Instagram Story to update your audience.
PRO TIP: Post a picture of your patient and share a blurb about their story in the caption, then direct your followers to follow your Instagram Stories to get an update on the patient.
Post Idea #3: This idea can be easily used for both Instagram or Facebook, but behind the scenes photos are great for content on Instagram! For St. Patrick’s Day, take a picture of your staff wearing their festive scrubs and highlight the staff by saying “We are so lucky to have (staff member name).” Get traffic to your website by changing your bio link to your about page, and encourage people to go learn more about your team there on each Instagram post.
Cheyanne’s Bonus Biscuit of the Month
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to put together a photo slideshow that has great animation, then you’ll want to check out Ripl. This app is available on mobile and a desktop. It is free to use, or you can pay for the premium version. I love this app for when I want to create a video, but only have photos to help tell a story. You can see how I use Ripl on our Instagram page.
Janel’s Bonus Biscuit of the Month
Change your banner this month! The winter holidays are over, and spring is just around the corner! Give your FB a brand new look! Either turn it green or spring themed! My favorite way to create FB banners is using Canva! They have templates in the exact size you need.
Want to get creative with your banner? Create a slideshow! FB now allows you to create a slideshow for your banner! Highlight specials, staff, pets or anything you want. Create the slide show using the Canva template. To add it to your banner, click Change Cover and then Create Slideshow! FB also allows us to create videos for our slideshow. This is one a bit more tricky.
Keep in mind your cover video should be at least 820 x 312 pixels and between 20 and 90 seconds. You can create a video in Powerpoint, then save it as a video. Videos do not show up in the FB mobile app, so choose a cover photo for the video that your mobile users will see.
Be creative and have fun!
About The Authors
Cheyanne Flerx is a veterinary assistant turned marketing maven. Cheyanne works at Woodside Animal Hospital, in Port Orchard, WA as the Marketing Manager. She has a passion for empowering other VetMed professionals, who share a passion for marketing, who strive for a real career in marketing.
Janel Hutton works at Animal Medical Center of Wyoming in Gillette, WY as a Digital Media Manager. She has a passion for pets and photography, so naturally, that took her from a veterinary assistant to a social media maven. Janel believes the connection between pet owners and veterinary clinics is valuable and is a powerful tool in marketing your veterinary clinic. She also loves to geek out on new trends in social media and VetMed.