By Cheyanne Flerx and Janel Hutton
The heat is rising and you feel the pressure to crank out content that will educate pet owners on the dangers the heat can bring. Or you have veterinary clients calling in last minute as they are getting ready to leave for vacation, but realize they didn’t get their pet ready for boarding by updating their vaccines earlier.
Cue the facepalm. But being the epic social media marketing manager you are, you can create engaging and educational content that will help owners to recognize the importance of these summer occurrences. Keep scrolling to get inspired to create content for July.
For the Clinic Blog:
Here are some ideas of titles for blog posts for your website.
- “Top Ten Pet Travel Tips”
- “International Travel With Your Pet: What You Need To Know Before You Buy Your Ticket”
- “Too Hot For You, Too Hot For Your Pets”
- “Top 5 Summer Pet Safety Tips”
- “Getting Your Pet Ready For Summer Fun: Travel Tips and More!”
- “Pet Travel Tips”
- Have one of your veterinarians talk about the dangers of heatstroke in pets, you can go live on Facebook or pre-record it.
- Make fun and engaging video with your entire staff to educate on the dangers of heat. Involve most of the clinic by creating a parody or skit. Let’s go, viral baby!
- Do you have a boarding facility or pet hotel at your clinic? Take a video of your boarders having fun during exercise time. What is more awesome than slow-mo a puppy chasing a ball at your clinic!?
- For National Ice Cream Day: Take this time to highlight a low-stress handling visit. You can fill an ice cream cone with some squeeze cheese or peanut butter and hold it for a patient while they are getting their vaccines updated or their toenails trimmed…. or you can just treat a special patient for a cute moment.
- Heat Awareness Posts SCREAM infographic!! Make an infographic with heat awareness topics, heat stroke, hot pavement, keeping hydrated, sunburns, etc. Look on Pinterest for some inspiration but don’t just share someone else infographic. Make your own and BRAND IT for your clinic and watch the shares skyrocket! (Bonus Tip: Canva offers an infographic template!)
- Get Dramatic! HEAT KILLS! Share a post about how hot it gets in a car. People respond very well to emotion in posts, so make sure people can connect to this post. Make it so people will want to share it, by keeping it simple. Relate it to your community by using current conditions around you. In your caption include information relating to the local weather report. If you need a reliable resource for heat safety, visit this article from the AVMA.
- Use In-Clinic Cases: It’s a reality and unfortunate, but a case will come in due to the hot temperatures. Either with burned foot pads, severe sunburn, heat exhaustion, etc. Treat the situation with compassion and ask the owner if it’s ok if you share their pet’s story to bring awareness to the problem.
- Travel Information: Educate your audience about the difference between a health certificate and a vaccination certificate. Encourage your audience to plan before they travel so they don’t get stuck somewhere without the proper paperwork.
- Take a picture of a staff member sitting in a car panting or with a thermometer showing how hot it is outside. In the caption share some quick facts about heatstroke and how quick temperatures can rise in the interior of a car.
- In your Instagram story, share quick facts about heat safety. PRO TIP: Save these slides to your Highlights reel to repurpose the content later on.
- Does your clinic do health certificates? Take a picture of a health certificate and educate clients on the requirements to obtain a certificate in the caption.
- If your clinic offers massage therapy, highlight it during “Everybody Deserves a Massage Week” (July 14-20). This is a great time to host a giveaway to not only boost your followers but drive traffic to your website through your link in your Instagram bio. Do an Instagram live or record a pet in a massage session and highlight the benefits of massage therapy.
Cheyanne’s Bonus Biscuit of the Month
We’ve all been there. You take THE perfect picture of a patient who is wiggly and won’t stay still only to discover your co-worker accidentally photobombed your picture. UGH! Well, I have a tool that will help save your photo and your content.
Let me introduce you to an app called, TouchRetouch. TouchRetouch allows you to remove any object that is obstructing your photo’s perfection. The photobomber can be erased from the background within seconds! Same can be applied to an object, like a garbage can or a syringe.
Janel’s Bonus Biscuit of the Month
Giving your followers and clients the sense of empowerment will help your page flourish and create a community behind your practice. Think of it as giving your followers an AWESOME HIGH FIVE every time they help you or your page in any way.
Let me give you some examples:
Meet Susan! Susan’s love of her life is her little Shih-Tzu named Toby. She brings Toby everywhere with her and gives him the best of the best. Susan’s biggest pet peeve is when people leave their pets in a car when it’s hot outside. She just doesn’t understand how anyone in their right mind would do such a thing but never knows what steps to take to help spread the word on how to keep pets safe.
Susan also loves being on social media and she loves to share information. One day she sees your post on heat awareness in her newsfeed and it clearly says, “PLEASE SHARE TO HELP PETS FROM THIS PAINFUL DEATH” (well, it doesn’t have to be that dramatic, but you get the picture). Susan thinks, “shut the front door”, this is exactly what I’ve been telling people! Instantly, Susan clicks the share button and tells her friends to share. Susan feels like a hero. Susan is helping pets throughout her community. Susan also learns some more important information on who to contact if she finds a pet in distressed or has symptoms of heat stroke. The world is a safer place for Susan and Toby. Susan can’t wait to see your next mind blowing post!
Now I know this a bit dramatic, but online, everything seems to be a little more dramatic than real life! When you see that Susan has shared your post (if her settings aren’t completely private, duh) and has also commented on your post, give her a shout out! “Thank you, Susan, for helping us spread awareness!” She will feel all warm inside that YOU, YOUR CLINIC gave her a HIGH FIVE! Guess who’s sharing again!
I’ll give ya another example that’s not as dramatic.
Meet Kyle! Kyle has a Great Dane named Twinkles. YES, Twinkles, this is my story and I’ll tell it how I want! Twinkles has been coming to your clinic starting when he was a tiny baby to now, a giant lap dog! He’s about 5 years old and has had a few visits to the vet. He’s eaten a few dishrags, had to get those taken out. He got stung by a bee, you should have seen his nose! HUGE! Twinkles has also his annual getting into the holiday dinner “on the counter party”. Hello, Thanksgiving midnight emergency.
Kyle has spent a pretty penny at your clinic that he never intended to, but he is so thankful for you saving his precious Twinkles so many times, he just can’t thank you enough. Every time you ask to take Twinkles picture at the clinic for social media, Kyle’s heart swells! He just loves the fact that you guys love his Twinkles as much as he does.
Every time he comments on a post or shares a picture of Twinkles in the comments, you either love/like his post or even “say thank you!”
Kyle is on one of his communities private group pages and someone is looking for a veterinary clinic. Kyle can’t WAIT to brag about you guys! He is giving his best review of your clinic and you didn’t even have to ask for it!
Let’s say someone else on this post decides to bash your clinic cause…well, they didn’t wake up on the right side of the bed that day. Here comes Kyle to the rescue!! Kyle replies saying he’s never had that experience at your clinic and he knows if they would talk to you, that the situation would be resolved cause guess what…YOU ARE THE BEST!
(HOT TIP: If you have staff on these private community groups and you see a client defending you or giving you great reviews, THANK THEM! Send them a card or even a little gift card to your clinic or the local coffee shop as a Thank You!)
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.