Written By: Shanon Midford- Community Veterinary Partners: Marketing Manager
In today’s world, if you aren’t actively on social media you could be missing out on a large potential audience. One of the greatest things that social media has done is break down walls between companies and their clients. In September of this year, Facebook reported an average of 864 million daily active users and Twitter reported 284 million monthly active users. Your clients are on social media and you should be too! Here are some tips for implementing an effective social media presence online.
Creating or Re-Launching Your Page:
If you don’t have a social media page for your hospital you definitely should. Or, if you do but it hasn’t been posted to very often, it’s time to re-launch! Before creating or re-launching your page make sure to assign someone in your hospital to oversee it as well as a backup. A social media page is great way to communicate with clients but you can create a bad experience by having an outdated page or worse, unanswered client questions. I’ve seen many veterinary hospital pages that haven’t been posted to in 6 months to a year. If no one is going to manage the page, the clients won’t want to follow it. Make sure notifications from the page go to both of the page managers and that it is checked twice a day.
Posting To Your Page:
A good idea is to come up with a weekly schedule for posts. Posting should be relevant and of interest to your clients. You don’t want to post too often which can annoy the client causing them to unfollow your page.
A good balance is to post about three times a week and have a variety of post types.
- Promotions or Events: Post about any specials, promotions or events that are currently going on at the hospital.
- Holidays and Days of Observance: Highlight a holiday or pet specific day. You can find a list of these here:
- Client photos: Take photos when your clients come in and if they give permission post them to the page. Clients love seeing their pets or pets they know online.
- Pets up for adoption: Highlight a pet at a local shelter that is up for adoption to help spread the word and support your local shelters.
- New improvements at the hospital: If you are improving things at the hospital let you clients know about it! If you have a new ultrasound machine, take a photo of the staff using it on an animal.
- Local community events: If there is a community event that a local shelter is having let your clients know about it. Doing this will encourage the shelters to highlight events that your hospital is having.
Let Your Clients Know About Your Pages:
Once your page is up and running it’s time to let your clients know! Email your clients and invite them to like and follow your pages. Most email programs will even allow you to even include a button to your pages so the clients can click through. Also, add a link to your website and even include a sign in your hospital.
Responding to Comments, Client Messages and Reviews:
As your hospital’s social media presence grows, you will see existing clients as well as potential clients commenting with questions about services and events. You will also receive comments thanking you and your staff for great service. With efficient monitoring of your pages, you can reply to these clients within a few hours (That is why it’s important to check twice a day). Even a simple ‘Like’ on a client’s comment or commenting back with something like “It was great seeing Fluffy today!” makes them feel valued and cared about.
While positive comments are very common, you will sometimes get negative comments or reviews on your page. Read our blog about how to respond to these HERE.