Managing a veterinary hospital’s social media can be overwhelming. I meet so many veterinary professionals who are vet techs, inventory managers, team leaders… AND responsible for social media. Or they’re the practice owner/veterinarian… AND responsible for social media.
If you wear 9284029384982 hats at your veterinary hospital – and that’s an accurate number for a lot of veterinary professionals – you need to spend your time wisely.
You can’t know what you don’t ask!
The best way to ensure you’re being efficient on social media is to SURVEY. YOUR. CLIENTS.
You want to be where your veterinary clients actually are on social media. That makes your efforts effective! Unless you have some serious Miss Cleo skills – in addition to skills like your patent-pending Fractious Cat Towel Burrito Technique – you need to ASK your clients to find out the answer.
And you can’t just ask once. Social media changes so quickly. I engage my clients in an ongoing survey to mimic the ongoing fads and trends in social media.
Three ways to survey veterinary clients
Surveying your veterinary clients about their social media usage is easy. Just pick the method that works best for you.
1) Quick Tap Survey App
If your animal hospital has iPads, set up a survey on the Quick Tap Survey app. I use this when I need a quick response to something, as it tallies everything up for me right away.
This is a great option because it is very easy for clients to use, and it makes recording the results a total cinch. You just log into your profile on the Quick Tap site, and you can see the results in real-time.
I would recommend ALWAYS having this iPad survey in your waiting room to ensure you’re getting an idea of what social media clients are using NOW.
I love email. I think the power of email often gets overlooked by veterinary hospitals, and I just want to give email a hug.
Emailing your clients a quick survey you set up in SurveyMonkey.com is a GREAT way to reach out to them. SurveyMonkey.com makes setting up surveys super simple, plus they tally all of the results for you.
I would send this email AT LEAST twice a year to ensure you are getting up-to-date data… without being a FILL OUT MY SURVEY EVERY SECOND psycho.
I’m probably going to shock anyone who knows me and my affinity for technology, but I actually had a paper survey at my dad’s veterinary practice that is still in use! They are nearly paperless, but they still do use paper check-in and new client forms.
I have integrated a social media and communication preference survey right into that check-in sheet. Before you check off that you feed your dog Beneful – sigh – you tell me that you like Instagram and Facebook.
Why did I go old school and recommend you do? As my dad’s practice manager, I was really trying to make our social media part of our practice, as opposed to a separate entity. I think that the more you are able to do that, the better your presence becomes. Having a culture of social media in your practice helps get your team and clients on board with it.
Plus, you just get more people to fill out a survey that’s part of the paperwork they’re already working on!
Yes, we do have to go in and tally up the results. However, there’s something about doing that manually that has made me appreciate trends. For example, I am seeing Instagram become more popular right before my eyes!
So which social platforms should we use?
After you survey your veterinary clients, you might wonder how the data helps your practice pick social media platforms.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but I would recommend considering any social media platforms more than 30% of your clients are telling you they use.
For my dad’s practice, that’s Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. (They have other social media sites because I had an addiction to testing stuff out for you guys, not because we technically should).
If you’re just branching out from Facebook, pick ONE other platform that is popular. Get to know it, and use it well. You don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to be where your veterinary clients want to see you!