Of all the time spent online, social media makes up a third of it. And with all this scrolling and content sharing, there’s a golden opportunity for you to encourage your clients to refer their friends to you—all from the comfort of their own phone screens.
But just how can social media help you get more tails in your office? It’s simple! First, reach the right people. Second, do the right things. Here’s how.
Reach people who’ll fetch what you’re throwing.
When it comes to referrals, reaching your pet parents is the first step. After all, they’re the ones who will be referring your practice to their pet-owning friends. The second step is to reach the people who aren’t your clients—yet.
While any social media presence is good, some platforms won’t reach your clients or potential clients. So be selective. Choose social media platforms that fit the demographic of your clients and will make your potential clients want to bring their furry friends to you.
If most of your clients are between the ages of 25 and 54, Facebook may be a good option for you. Currently, 62.3% of American adults actively use a facebook account (see chart below). A recent study shows that 70% use Facebook daily (including 45% who visit the platform several times a day). Facebook is versatile: it allows you to publish ads, distribute information, and interact with your clients and potential clients.
Especially useful is Facebook’s ability to target ads at individuals according to their interests and online behavior. With millions of users liking and following pages like Dogs World, Cat Lovers, and The Pet Collective, that’s a significant number of pet owners you could be targeting right now. The important relationship between businesses and facebook cannot be overstated especially for website traffic because 1 in 5 page views in the US occur on Facebook.
Dr. Evan Antin has been called Instagram’s “hottest vet”; he’s traveled around the world and treated animals in exotic locals, taking pictures along the way. Those photos have earned him over a million followers on Instagram. Other vets, clinics, and schools have followed his lead, building Instagram followings with photos of themselves working with patients.
Taking to Instagram doesn’t have to mean becoming a globetrotter. Animal photos by themselves draw in huge crowds. Chloe “The Mini Frenchie” has over 179 thousand followers. And if your goal is to educate, infographics are a great way to mix up your posts. The key is to focus on posts that are visually appealing. Show don’t tell. Here are some good examples of infographics for Instagram. But you don’t have to stick to just infographics, who doesn’t like images of cute animals?
Twitter is a great platform for engaging with your customers in real time: answering questions, starting conversations, and generally letting your customers know that the folks at the vet are genuine people (and genuine animals)! Dr. Michael Lucroy tweets out articles, quotes, and images concerning pet care to his nearly 8 thousand followers, as does Dr. Debra Horwitz to her 2,251 (and there are more vets where that came from). Building a similar following takes time, but can be well worth the effort. It’s just one more way to pump out material to attract more attention.
LinkedIn takes a more professional approach to social media than the other platforms, showcasing the serious side of your veterinary clinic. There are over 16,000 veterinary businesses already registered on the website. The networking site increases your referrals, generates testimonials, and drives potential clients to your network.
You know how your dog loves human food?
Pets have their preferred tastes, and so do people. The type and frequency of the posts you publish can make a night-and-day difference in the response you get online. It’s important to remember that social media isn’t just for marketing your practice and that customers respond well and are drawn to content besides promotional content.
Focus on content that builds trust, engagement, and community. Include user-generated content, post at peak times, publish job openings, and use social media share buttons. Make these best practices part of your social media routine, and your clients will help you gain pets to help.
1. Post user-generated content.
Asking your followers to submit content that you then post helps boost trust in your community and shows there’s a human behind the username. You could ask your followers and clients to post pictures of their pets doing tricks, submit tips for training their pets, or even tell the story of their pet’s adoption. Whatever it is, getting your customers involved will help them feel part of their community. This will encourage them to invite their friends to join that community by becoming your clients.
2. Post at peak times.
Peak usage times for social media channels may surprise you. It varies by the day and platform, of course, but here is a summary of the best times to post in your time zone:
- Facebook peak hours: 1 PM to 4 PM
- Twitter: Monday through Thursday, 1 PM to 3 PM
- LinkedIn: Tuesday through Thursday
Posting at these times will make it more likely for your followers to see and respond to your posts. So when you tweet, “Tell your friends about us!” you’ll get a retweet and a twittering canary in your office for a checkup the next day.
3. Post job openings.
Who doesn’t want to work in a veterinary clinic? Posting about your job openings is a great way to get your followers to tell their friends about you. A natural bonus: once you hire that friend of your client’s, they’ll tell their friends to come to you, too!
4. Make it easy.
Don’t make your clients jump through hoops to tell their friends about you. Put social media share buttons on your website and maybe even in your brick-and-mortar office so that clients don’t even have to think about telling their friends how great you are.
Fetch knows that taking care of animals means everything to you. So don’t let the opportunity to care for more of them slip by! Talk to us today about how to communicate better with the clients you have and the clients you hope to bring in. Reach the right audience and follow the steps to give them a memorable social media experience. Your clients will help the reach of your care extend to more pets than you ever imagined.