The Bel-Rea Institute’s impressive Pinterest and Facebook presence recently caught my eye as a stand-out in veterinary industry social media. Located in Denver, Colorado, the Bel-Rea Institute is completely dedicated to training vet techs. Heather, who works in admissions at Bel-Rea, was kind enough to share some of her social media insights with me for SNOUT School. Heather & I chatted about Bel-Rea’s social media efforts, and what she thinks the future holds for social media and veterinary technicians. (Hint: Heather at Bel-Rea realizes that social media is now part of client service!) Check out our whole conversation to learn more about the connection between education, social media, and the veterinary industry.
Social Media is a New, Integral Part of Client Service
In talking with Heather from Bel-Rea, we found we agreed upon a common belief. What did Heather, working in admissions at a veterinary technician training institute, and I, as a veterinary practice manager, agree on? Social media is part of client service. Those training veterinary technicians, whether in a hospital or in an educational setting, have long realized how important communication skills can be. After all, as Heather noted, dogs don’t drive themselves to the veterinary hospital.
Although veterinary medicine is about caring for pets, connecting with their owners is a critical part of succeeding as a veterinary business. Extra touches, like calling an owner when their pet is out of surgery, can be modernized with new social media technologies. For example, using the Vet App, practices can now tweet patient photos to owners or post them right to the hospital Facebook page. Making this extra effort can make your animal clinic stand out from the rest.
“When you look at pet care and the expenses (it involves), clients want to know that they’ve chosen the right hospital.”
-Heather from the Bel-Rea Institute
As a vet tech, veterinarian or other veterinary professional, you should always ask yourself how you can really stand out by connecting, communicating and educating. Using social media can help you achieve all of those goals. (Need help starting? Check out SNOUT School posts about Facebook or Pinterest.)
Why does Bel-Rea Use Pinterest?
As I prepare to launch more Pinterest how-to informational posts on SNOUT School, I thought it would be interesting to ask Heather why Bel-Rea has used Pinterest since June 2012. (They have close to 5,000 Pinterest followers!) Heather explained that posting pictures to Pinterest (that are sourced to the Bel-Rea website!) is helping to drive traffic to their website. This concept of using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website is something I recently explained in a post about why your veterinary hospital needs a Pinterest account.
Even better, Heather feels Bel-Rea is getting the right kind of traffic from Pinterest. “I think Pinterest draws a little bit of an older crowd, not high school students. It draws people who are looking (for information), like projects and crafts.” Think about how this relates to your veterinary hospital. There are so many opportunities to educate with Pinterest and bring in new clients! (I can’t wait to get into using SNOUT School to detail how to start a Pinterest for your animal clinic!)
Creating Social-Media Saavy Employees for The Future
As a veterinary practice manager, I have said I would like to hire more social-media saavy veterinary professionals. (This is a huge reason behind my choice to start SNOUT School!) Heather told me that Bel-Rea currently offers an office management course for their vet tech students, and I couldn’t help but think of how that could involve social media in the future. How do you think social media will affect client service in the future? Leave a comment below!
Veterinary professionals that connect, educate and communicate well stand out in the pet care industry. Enroll in SNOUT School to learn more about how you can achieve all 3 goals with social media!
Are you doing something interesting with social media? If you work at a veterinary hospital or other aspect of the veterinary industry, please contact me to be featured in a future blog post! Sharing information from other veterinary professionals will help to enrich the entire SNOUT School community. Thanks again to Heather and the Bel-Rea Institute for taking time to contribute to this blog!