Is the Facebook for your veterinary hospital looking a little… unhealthy? Creating Facebook posts for your animal clinic that will engage pet parents isn’t always simple task. Many veterinarians say things like, “Why is Facebook the engagement important? I’m posting good stuff! “
Let me explain… Say you have an animal clinic Facebook page with 500 “likes”, or clients following the page. If the posts your hospital’s veterinary staff is putting on Facebook aren’t getting a form of client interaction – such as comments, likes, or shares – A LOT less than 500 people will see that important post come through their Facebook feed. The amount of people seeing your vet clinic’s posts is what Facebook calls your “reach.” In some cases, your veterinary Facebook reach could be only 5-10% of your 500-strong audience. YIKES! Don’t waste your valuable time with Facebook posts that don’t engage.
1) Tell a Patient Story
Veterinary clients LOVE to know about the cases in your hospital. Get the vet techs involved in documenting cases, with the pet owner’s permission. Posting about a current case, WITH A PICTURE, can generate a lot of responses. Pet parents, like veterinarians and veterinary professionals, are very caring and thoughtful. You’ll truly be touched by how many very nice comments or words of support your Facebook will generate for your patients.
For Woodside Animal Hospital, they posted about Hans, a patient who was rescued from an abusive situation and came to Woodside for treatment. That post reached 494 people, which had reached 40% of the audience they had on Facebook at the time. That means current “likers” and potential “likers” alike saw the post. That kind of engagement can bring in new Facebook fans and new clients for your clinic, making your veterinary hospital’s Facebook very worthwhile!
2.) Ask Something
If you’ve taken my Veterinary Social Media Essentials course, you know that getting comments is a great way to boost your animal clinic’s Facebook reach. You can get Facebook comments by simply ASKING your veterinary clients questions. You could post a picture of a unique dog and ask people what breed it is, ask clients what their pet’s plans for the weekend are, or post a funny picture and ask clients to caption it. At Woodside Animal Hospital, they went with asking their audience if they could guess a puppy’s weight. They received 60 comments and reached 1,646 people on Facebook! For a small practice, that is FANTASTIC engagement!
Pet parents love to celebrate on Facebook. (Probably because you can “celebrate” from work by just liking a post. Not a difficult party to plan!) Has a veterinary technician at your practice attended a CE course on dental cleaning? CELEBRATE by telling your clients all about it. Is it National Dog Day or another pet-related holiday? CELEBRATE! Veterinarian’s birthday? Tell your clients.
Why should you celebrate on Facebook posts? You’re trying to build a community by connecting with your clients. The more involved your clients feel with your practice, the more likely they’ll be to return to your hospital for their pet’s annual care. I posted a link to my hospital’s blog when our practice owner (and my father!), Dr. David Lambert, was nominated for PetPlan Pet Insurance’s VET OF THE YEAR Award. In this case, I “boosted” the post by paying Facebook $5 to increase reach. However, of the 2,634 people the post reached, 52% were NOT PAID FOR! By spending $5, I doubled how many people saw this post. The post was a success on its own, but that $5 brought it even further. Bonus? It drove traffic to my veterinary hospital’s website, via their blog. I even tracked 2 people booking appointments after looking at the blog posts! Spending $5 was worth booking 2 exams, for sure.
Growing your Facebook audience takes time, but ensuring that current “likers” interact with your veterinary hospital’s Facebook posts can be easy. If you would like more assistance with creating great Facebook posts for your veterinary hospital, be sure to check out our 65 Vet Clinic Social Media Posts That Get Pet Owners To Comment toolkit and enroll in our online course, Veterinary Social Media Essentials.