I see a lot of veterinary hospitals work hard on their social media. Veterinarians are using Twitter to share links & Facebook to announce promotions. Veterinary hospitals have Pinterest accounts with funny and cute images, but still – I get emails from veterinarians daily who are not sure why they’re not succeeding with social media.
Let’s step back for a moment, and think about some big social media moments. Are you familiar with Grumpy Cat, the perpetually grumpy looking cat whose face is on half the memes you see online?
Do you remember the YouTube video with an owner describing bacon to his dog, teasing him with the details. The owner talks to the dog throughout the video, while the pup laments the fact that he wasn’t give the bacon. That video has over 150 million – yes MILLION – views. What do these two social media sensations have in common? They involve pets.
As veterinary hospitals, we are constantly given some of the best social media content on earth – pets! Pinterest has an entire category dedicated to animals, and a YouTube search for “puppies” results in almost 5.5 million videos. Talking about pet patients is a chance to connect your clients to your social media efforts. So why are animal hospitals posting links to About.com that detail the facts about kennel cough? Why aren’t veterinarians and vet techs thinking about their patients that have had kennel cough? They could share their photos & stories instead. Isn’t that something a lot more interesting to offer to clients than a link to About.com or some other site that isn’t yours?
I find that veterinary hospitals are afraid to create their own content. When a veterinary practice manager emails me and asks how she can show an ROI for time spent on social media to her boss, I always write a similar – though personalized email back.
What do I say? I tell her she needs to start blogging about pet stories and pet health, sharing patient photos and tracking what works. “I’m not a blogger!” and “We don’t have a good camera at the practice…” are the common responses I get to my (notoriously) long email responses. For me, that’s just a fear of creating social media content, and that is why I’ve created a webinar series to help you figure it all out!
I understand the fear of diving into social media. However, when you spend your days in a hospital full of perfect social media content, you really can’t be excused to getting involved! Getting started doesn’t have to be scary. Have your clients to share their pet photos with you. Have a staff meeting and ask your co-workers to think of interesting or important patient cases to share on your blog. Start conversations with pet parents on social media. Take the extra step, and take my free online training course about veterinary social media.
There are so many ways to make your veterinary clients happy on social media. In an industry where we are the ones who could potentially find the next Grumpy Cat or bacon-loving dog, it’s definitely time for veterinary hospital’s to start standing out on social media. If you have questions about creating your own social media content, feel free to contact me.