There’s a lot of pressure for veterinary practices to build a strong digital presence through their websites, social media platforms, blogs, and Google search. Social media platforms multiply like weeds and each requires a time investment. With the limited time your staff has for building a digital presence, how do you know where your hospital should invest its valuable time?

The most important step is to understand the clients you want, the clients you already have, and how social media helps you reach and serve these two groups. 

Attracting your target client

For most veterinary hospitals, the ideal client is a woman over 25 who sees her pet as a part of the family and has disposable income to spend on that pet’s care. This woman is highly likely to own a smartphone and use social media. The goal is to attract her attention via social media, establish social credibility, and win her business.

Strengthening the bond with existing clients

Current clients already have some level of connection to your practice, but you’d like to strengthen that bond, creating stickiness and value. This helps prevent clients from being attracted to another hospital, and may increase their services and spending at your hospital.

Facebook: Definitely yes!

Facebook is still the big gorilla of social media. Despite its frustrations, it still has the highest concentration of the women you’re looking to reach and is one of the best platforms for building brand loyalty. Facebook is also one of the least expensive and most highly targeted advertising platforms on the planet, and is especially strong with mobile advertising.

If you’re using Facebook, make sure to:

  • Optimize your business page with graphics, settings, and apps
  • Engage your community with your videos, posts, and interaction
  • Build social credibility with great client reviews
  • Drive fans and visitors to your website through posts and links
  • Reach non-clients through paid posts and ads

Twitter: Maybe

Twitter is best for breaking news, trending topics, conference updates, and public relations. Unless you have a Twitter fan on your team who is comfortable with hashtags and has the time to hold dynamic conversations with clients, this may not be the best social platform for you.

Google+: Yes

As a social platform for posts and interaction, Google+ has only been successful with certain niche audiences. Google search pulls in information from your Google business page, so optimize your page with graphics, photos, and correct business information, then post to Google+ once or twice per week. You won’t gain a large following, but this social platform has search-friendly benefits.

YouTube: Yes (maybe)

Video is one of the most popular types of social content and Google owns YouTube. However, this social platform is a waste of time unless you have a resource who will create short, upbeat posts, including how-to videos, videos about services, client testimonials, or just fun videos of pets being adorable.

Pinterest: Maybe

Pinterest’s demographic is very similar to your ideal veterinary client. Pinterest users tend to be educated, tech-comfy suburban women who have more disposable income. Why only maybe, then? Most Pinterest users don’t know how to optimize pins, create new pins (versus repinning), or use Pinterest in their practice flow. If you’re just repinning, we suggest you skip Pinterest if you have limited time.

Instagram: Maybe

Instagram’s demographic is younger and the format is very visual, but it is growing in popularity. Facebook owns Instagram and makes it easy to create sponsored Instagram posts and ads in Facebook. Use this if you take in-hospital photos, are willing to spend a few minutes making them look good, and want to attract a younger demographic.

LinkedIn: Sort of

Create a company page on LinkedIn, but don’t spend your limited social time there unless you have ideas and information to contribute in industry groups.

There’s always a new social platform in the news, but most are still quite small and are popular with a young crowd or a niche audience. If you focus primarily on Facebook, plus one or two more social platforms that best fit your time and resources, you’ll be fine. Help website visitors find you on social media by adding social icons and links to your website.

Still stuck selecting and managing your social media platforms? Beyond Indigo offers comprehensive digital marketing services, including social media management. Contact us for a consultation today!

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