Social media marketing is a popular and valuable marketing avenue used by businesses everywhere today. By recognizing the importance of implementing this new marketing method into your practice, you see the need to reach your clients in ways they prefer to communicate with you. However, if you aren’t familiar with how the ever-changing social media platforms work and how to use your content to convert business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

If executed and managed properly, social media can be a powerful marketing tool for acquiring new clients for your practice. Social media is also a great marketing avenue for client retention, upselling, and connecting with clients outside of the practice. Here are some things to consider before you start posting on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.

Survey your clients

Before you make accounts for every social media platform under the sun, survey your clients. Ask them which social media platforms they prefer to spend their time on. The results from your survey will help you determine which social media platforms you should focus on and give you better ROI. Your clients will gladly follow and interact with your page on a platform they love and trust. Besides, your clients will appreciate being a part of the process by giving their feedback.

Check for existing pages or accounts

Now you know which social media platforms you want to pursue, it’s time to get your account(s) ready. Before creating a new account, check to see if your practice has an existing account. If you create a new page with an already existing account, it can interfere with getting traffic to your account and hurt your overall success on the platform. Having duplicate accounts on the same platform for your hospital can confuse your clients and harm your SEO (search engine optimization).

If there are pages set up for each doctor, see if you can contact the platform’s support center to get those pages removed. Having one Facebook or Instagram page for the practice is ideal rather than a page for each doctor. Your clients will be searching to follow your practice rather than an individual doctor. By having a page dedicated to the practice, your SEO for your practice will receive a boost and rank you higher in search engines, like Google.

Appoint a Social Media Manager

For veterinary practices to perform good medicine, everything involved with patient care is done with intention, right? The same applies when it comes to social media. Being intentional with the content you publish will be vital in creating a successful social media channel. Posting random cat videos and sharing content from other companies in a pinch won’t convert clients to do business with you. 

Practices that are successful on social media will have one person (or more) designated to manage and publish content. This person ideally should be able to consistently spend time on planning, creating, publishing, and monitoring the content posted – this includes time taking and gathering pictures and videos. Your Social Media Manager can be anyone on your team that you feel will represent your practice and convey your brand appropriately.

Set a goal

Having a goal for your social media will add more value and intention to the work dedicated to your marketing. Whether you want to generate more appointments, sell more products, increase awareness of a new service, or get more traffic to your website, make a SMART goal, create a strategy, and track your progress. Your team will buy in easier and participate more in your social media efforts if they can see a goal and purpose.

Check your website

Your website plays a big part in converting business from social media to your practice. You will need to use links to your website to direct your clients and encourage them to do business with you. For example, on a Facebook post about puppy wellness, you can tell your clients to visit your website to book an appointment with a link to your contact page. You’ll want to make it easy for people to do business with you, and your website is the best way to make that happen.

Check to see how well your website functions and how fast it loads. If clients visit your website and struggle to view or navigate your website, they will leave without a second thought of returning. Studies show that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Your website is essentially your digital storefront, which people have access to 24/7. If clients are stopping by, unable to see what you’re selling and leave, then you’re losing potential revenue.

Budget for advertising

Having a budget dedicated to advertising on social media is a must if you want your content to be seen. On Facebook, posts that are highly engaging and interactive will do well organically. However, if people aren’t engaging with your content regularly, they won’t see your content. Sadly people aren’t visiting your Facebook page every day eagerly awaiting to see what you publish next. You have to get your content in front of them. This becomes a struggle when you share important news or make an announcement because these topics aren’t always engaging to your clients, but essential for them to know. Your ad budget will come into play when you want clients to hear about announcements or when you want to add some juice to a successful post. Your posts don’t need to be sponsored or paid to be advertised daily or even weekly, but regularly paying to give your posts a “boost” is essential. Facebook offers a basic and low-cost advertising option called boosting. This option is budget-friendly and generates great results.