If you asked me the 1 thing veterinary hospitals could do to boost their social media, I’d shout, “START A BLOG!” Many a veterinarian has thought I was crazy for suggesting blogging as a way to help a veterinary business. I wanted to take some time to defend the importance of blogging. I’ve compiled 3 reasons your veterinary hospital should blog, including some points provided by Dr.Jessica Vogelsang of Pawcurious.com.
1) Educate Through Storytelling
Sure, you might have some articles on your veterinary website that thoroughly describe dirofilariasis and the blood-borne parasite known as Dirofilaria immitis. But… what the heck does that mean to a client!? Veterinary businesses rely strongly on pet owners complying with recommendations. Compliance keeps both pets and your practice’s bottom line healthy. To get that compliance, it is key for veterinarians to educate.
Have you ever considered this: The Internet has given us a chance to educate veterinary clients 365 days a year, instead of just at annual, 15-minute exams. Blogging is the absolute best way to provide this education, as you can educate in a short, interesting form that clients can easily understand.
I recently asked Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, veterinarian and founder of the the popular blog, Pawcurious.com, about the importance of blogging. She noted, “There’s always a personal story to tell that can support (the pet health topics) you want to talk about.” Using a blog to story tell can allow you to educate pet parents regarding a variety of topics in a practical, relatable tone that they’ll appreciate.
2) Give Your Social Media Some Substance
I see countless veterinary hospitals posting articles from About.com and other sources on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. While the information might be just fine, what does driving traffic to these other websites do for your veterinary business? Not only that, but from what I’ve seen clients rarely interact with these posts. Social media requires social interaction, and many of these article posts just don’t get it.
For social media to be beneficial to your practice, it needs some sort of substance. Sure, “fluff” posts – or maybe I should say “fluffy” posts – are critical to keeping your audience engaged. However, it is our duty as veterinary professionals to educate our clients. Blogging, and then sharing your blogs throughout social media channels, is a great way to do this.
Clients will appreciate that the content comes from you, their trusted veterinarian, and you’ll appreciate the website traffic. (Especially if clients can request appointments on your website!)
3) Bond with Your Clients & Your Community
According to Pawcurious.com‘s Dr. Vogelsang, “Blogging is all about storytelling, and if you can do that, you can help solidify your relationship with your clients.” Through blogging and social media, veterinarians are able to connect with clients between visits. Strengthening that bond plays a big role in client retention.
Not only that, but your clients are members of your local community. When they enjoy and pass along your blog, it can do wonders for helping you stand out in your town. In a world where not many veterinary hospitals have an active, engaging blog, become that resource in your community!
4) Improve Local Search & SEO
Veterinary hospitals are constantly approached by agencies claiming they can help boost your website’s SEO, or search engine optimization. Sure, SEO is important to your practice. Making sure people can find you through Google can help you build your client base and fill your appointment schedule.
Here’s the thing: If done correctly, blogging can also assist you in standing out in local Internet searches. Search engines, like Google, love blogs. Blogs provide lots of new, fresh content for search engines. Think about it: not much changes on your veterinary hospital’s website. A blog, however, is a quick and easy way to share new website content several times a month.
Blogging might seem time consuming or scary at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With some teamwork and dedication, your veterinary practice can have a successful blog. And, trust me, the time spent blogging will be worth it the second you get your first, “Thank you for sharing that information on your blog!” comment from a loyal client.
Questions about blogging? Feel free to contact me or write a comment below!