I love when veterinary professionals decide to start using Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, blogging & other social media for their animal clinics! After managing my veterinary practice’s online presence, I started SNOUT School to help veterinary hospitals along their path to succeeding with social media. What is SNOUT School? Watch this quick video to get an idea:
Whether you’re new to Facebook, Pinterest & blogging or a little more experienced, I have created (or will be creating) the sort of information you need. Even better, I will be providing a TON of free content on SNOUT School. (My dad is a veterinarian, so I guess giving stuff away for free is in my genes. If you’re a practice manager, you’ll get that veterinarian joke…)
How Can Social Media Help a Veterinary Practice?
I am often asked how spending time on Facebook or Pinterest is beneficial to a veterinary hospital. Actually, a lot of veterinary practice managers have asked me, “How much time do you waste on Facebook?” Yikes. Starting a Facebook or Pinterest for your animal clinic is not a time waster… if you use them correctly!
When utilized properly, Facebook, Pinterest and blogging for your veterinary hospital’s website can help your practice achieve a TON of different goals!
What Can A Veterinary Hospital Achieve with Social Media?
Facebook, Pinterest, blogging and other forms of social media can help your animal clinic to do so much. Veterinary hospitals used to spend thousands of dollars a year just to have simple ads in newspapers and the Yellow Pages that couldn’t do more than show their location, hours and phone number.
With social media, your veterinary hospital can educate clients about pet health, create an online community on that is loyal to your practice and connect with pet parents daily. You no longer have to wait for annual visits to discuss pet health with clients. You can establish your animal clinic’s blog, Facebook and Pinterest as the go-to source for online veterinary advice in your community, nipping “Dr. Google” issues in the bud. (And you thought social media was just about funny cat pictures, didn’t you?)
Can I Fully Outsource My Veterinary Hospital’s Social Media to Someone Else?
Plain and simple – No. You cannot outsource your social media to be managed fully to a third party if you want it to be truly successful. An outside social media manager might be able to make your Facebook, Pinterest and blogs look great, but they won’t be able to connect genuinely with your clients.
Certain things, like graphic design, social media contests and set-up of social media platforms can be outsourced to third parties. Check out some helpful social media tools here. However, someone in your practice should be involved in the general, day-to-day management of your veterinary practice’s social media, content generation and interacting with clients. Without that level of genuine connection and great content, there is no trust in the educational information you provide online nor strong loyalty to your practice.
How on Earth Am I Supposed to Find Time for Social Media!?
I realize that working in an animal hospital often requires wearing a few hats. The veterinarian might be the business owner, the receptionist ends up helping with c-sections and a veterinary technician could also be the practice manager. Although I’m aware that veterinary professionals already have a ton to do in the day, incorporating social media into your practice can easily become part of your hospital’s routine. Quick little changes, like having veterinary technicians take photos of the patients staying in hospital, can provide you endless amounts of content for Facebook, Pinterest and blogs. Getting your clients involved by holding contests or getting a custom smartphone app can help grow your veterinary hospital’s online presence with little effort.
Where Should I Start with My Animal Clinic’s Social Media?
I have created a ton of great content throughout the SNOUT School site for veterinary professionals who are just starting with social media. (Or perhaps you’re familiar with Facebook, but new to Pinterest or blogging – I’ve got info for you, too!) If you look in the sidebar (to the right side of your screen), there are navigation tools to help you find specific posts. Some great places to start your social media journey are:
You can also navigate through all of the informational blog posts, based on topic. Don’t have time for filtering through everything? If you enroll in SNOUT School, you will get email updates as new posts come. Don’t worry – I’m not going to inundate your inbox constantly! I will send you emails about once a week to let you know what’s new and useful at SNOUT School… plus some special tips that only those enrolled in SNOUT School will get.