By Cheyanne Flerx and Janel Hutton

The Christmas celebrations may have started earlier this year, but now is the time to lean into it and bring on the cheer! I mean afterward, we all could use a little extra cheer these days, am I right? Here are some ideas to help you spark that holiday cheer in your practice today!

Topic Ideas for the Vet Clinic Blog:

Keeping your blog up to date with helpful and educational content is still a useful tool to utilize. Here are some blog topics to get you going:

  • Top 10 Holiday Hazards
  • Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Pet
  • Dr. _____ Explains Why ____
  • Travel Tips With Pets
  • Cold Weather Tips

Video Ideas:

Video is still one of the most consumed pieces of content across multiple social media platforms. Use that knowledge to your advantage!

Try these ideas:

  • Video Idea #1: “Holiday Traditions” – Ask staff to talk about their family traditions, especially traditions that involve pets.
  • Video Idea #2: “Favorite Christmas Movie” – Show the fun side of your team and ask your staff what their favorite holiday movie is and share it on social media!
  • Video Idea #3: “Christmas Tree Safety Tips” – Show some tips on how pet owners can keep their pets safe around the Christmas tree.

Facebook Post Ideas:

  • Post Idea #1: “Cold Weather Outfit” – Do you have colder weather where you live? Well, there are definitely clients out there that LOVE to dress up their pets! Show them off! The clients will love the attention and your followers will collectively say “awwww!!!!”
  • Post Idea #2: “Photo Contest” – We love photo contests! They can take as much or as little work as you want! Check out our suggestion on how to run a Pet Photo Contest here!
  • Post Idea #3: Cold Weather Tips – Just like hot weather, people don’t realize how cold weather can affect pets. Educate your followers on how to keep their indoor and outdoor animals safe from the cold.
  • Post Idea #4: “Christmas Elf” – Hide the Elf and take pictures of the elf around the practice! Check out our ideas below.

Facebook Banner Ideas:

Here are some examples of banners you can use to spruce up your Facebook page.

  • Banner Idea #1: “Happy Holidays” – Show off your staff in holiday attire! Better yet, ask each staff member to create a holiday Bitmoji and create a collage!

  • Banner Idea #2: “Holiday Pets” – Do you have photos of pets dressed up for the holidays from past contests or followers that have shared or ASK FOR PHOTOS! Fill your graphic up with all the adorable holiday pets!

Instagram Post Ideas:

  • Post Idea #1: “Interesting Case” – Share those holiday hazard cases. There is always going to be the classic holiday disaster cases that come in. Once you get permission from the client, use a happy ending case to educate your followers on holiday hazards.
  • Post Idea #2: “New Patient” – Christmas pets are coming! So show off the flood of new patients that will be coming in this month. Have some fun with it and say how Santa delivered Fluffy.
  • Post Idea #3: “12 Days of Christmas “ – Share holiday tips each day as a way to countdown to Christmas. This can easily fill up 12 of your days in December! Pick your favorite holiday tips and make an interesting post about them!
  • Post Idea #4: “Christmas Elf” – Elf takeover of IG – check out our ideas on what your elf can do around the clinic below!

Instagram or Facebook Stories Ideas:

  • Story Idea #1: “Holiday Tips” – Share your best holidays tips in the stories each day for some holiday fun and passive education.
  • Story Idea #2: “Christmas List” – Share what each staff member wants for Christmas or their favorite Christmas toy from when they were a kid. Then add a “question” sticker and ask people to share what theirs was.
  • Story Idea #3: “Clinic Cat/Dog Wish List” – Clinic pets always have a unique personality, so if they had a wish list for Christmas, what would it be? Ask your followers what their pet’s wish list would have on it!
  • Story Idea #4: “Staff Holiday Traditions” – Not everyone has family and household traditions around the holidays. Ask your staff to share their special traditions with you, take a pic of them, video of them, or ask them to share a photo of that tradition for you to share!
  • Story Idea #5: “Ugly Sweater Day” – Dec 18th is Ugly Sweater Day! Ask your staff to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater! Extra bonus: Ask your followers to VOTE FOR THEIR FAVORITE!! Healthy competition is always a good thing. 😉

Does your clinic have an Elf on the Shelf?

Here are some ideas shared in our Facebook Group: Veterinary Social Media: A Community by Snout School from other clinics!

  • Elf ‘preg checking’ a cow toy
  • Elf looking through a microscope
  • Taking an x-ray of elf (uh-oh, what did Elf swallow?!)
  • Cleaning hospital cat cages
  • Elf playing with puppies coming in for their first vaccinations
  • Elf inside the treat containers
  • Elf reading veterinary journals
  • Elf playing/stuck with your wrap materials
  • Elf helping with a dental cleaning
  • Elf stuck in a pill bottle
  • Elf hospitalized for doing something naughty
  • Elf on the phone
  • Elf writing up health certificates
  • Elf counting pills
  • Elf having too much fun with the photocopier
  • Elf performing surgery on a stuffed animal
  • Elf watching/entertaining hospitalized patients
  • Elf getting coffee and holding up the line for coffee in the morning
  • Elf snuggling with patients

There are so many fun photos and more ideas! Want to see more? Join our group and use the “search” option to find all posts related to Elf! Have fun!

If you want more examples, check out this blog post from last year for more inspiration!

Cheyanne’s Bonus Biscuit of the Month

The end of the year is coming fast and it’s a perfect time to start preparing for 2021.

Does your clinic set up marketing goals for the practice? I encourage all practices to set up a marketing goal to help guide their marketing efforts and direct their plans. By having an overall vision for where you want your marketing to go, you will drive better conversion and compliance. A little planning goes a long way!

Take a few minutes to talk with management and/or everyone that has a hand in marketing and figure what worked this year and what you want to improve upon next year.

Write out your year goals and then break them down into quarterly and monthly goals. Remember, marketing isn’t just about getting new clients, it is about retaining existing clients too! See what services or products you can boost sales on.

From there see what you need to make those goals possible. Do you need to improve your website? Adjust your social media plan? Improve on digital communication methods? Do you need to delegate some tasks to another team member?

Determine what will make your goals a reality and find ways to make them stick!

If you need help creating a marketing goal and plan, I’ve gotchu! Check out all of my marketing planners here.

Janel’s Bonus Biscuit of the Month

The holiday season can be CRAZY, and this year is no exception. The clinic is super busy, your personal life is super busy, and then trying to create holiday magic can seem overwhelming!

Keep it simple. Create holiday traditions within your clinic so every year, it’s easier to get prepared and you don’t feel so rushed.

Some simple things you can do to create some holiday:

  • Decorate the front desk
    • Pick a point person that is creative and enjoys decorating and ask them to decorate! Keep it simple (it’s the theme here, right?) and don’t go overboard with a ton of decorations. Pick a look that can easily be reused for a few years and also easily updated. Some things we do in our clinic are decorating the front of each exam door with a giant ribbon and hang ornaments and decor from the ceiling right above the reception desk!
  • Simple social media posts
    • Don’t overwhelm yourself with ALL THE HOLIDAY SOCIAL POSTS! Pick a few themes and ideas and stick with that. What I’ve noticed is that if I use the same ideas each year, my followers expect it and engage more each year! A few of my favorite evergreen holiday posts:
      • 12 Days of Christmas Tips
      • Photo Contest
      • Change the banner
      • Showing off pets wearing sweaters during cold weather
      • Santa visits our boarding guests
    • I do these every year, and since I know what I’m going to do, it’s less stressful!
  • Do you send out holiday cards? Pick them out early, like at the beginning of November and decide who you are sending them to, stick to a budget, and ask for help.
  • Holiday Sales/Specials
    • Keep them easy to track and easy for your entire staff to understand. Make the program details clear and set start and end dates. When developing your plan, set your goals first.

    If you have any ideas or would love to show off how you and your clinic celebrate the holidays, share it in our group!! We’d love to hear about them and you might help another clinic decide on their holiday traditions!

    Happy Holidays!

Looking for more marketing resources, tips, and tricks?! Our friends at WhiskerCloud build the best custom veterinary websites (and you get a special offer!), and they have compiled a ton of helpful resources for you here. Not to mention, we have a TON of resources for you over on the Snout School blog and store. Go check them out!

About The Authors

Cheyanne Flerx

Cheyanne Flerx

Cheyanne Flerx is a veterinary assistant turned marketing maven. Cheyanne is the founder of HashWag Marketing and serves as a social media marketing consultant to veterinary professionals. 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

Janel Hutton

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.

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