With 2023 well under way and vet practices still short staffed and busier than ever before, it’s the perfect time to look at how you can streamline some of your non-clinical (but still essential!) roles within the practice.
One of those jobs is social media management. Whether you outsource your social media or share the responsibilities amongst members of your own team, a bit of pre-planning, allocation of tasks and agreement on guidelines will go a long way to saving you time and keeping your clients happy.
1. Planning Ahead
- A social media plan that is aligned with your business and marketing objectives will make your job so much easier!
- Create a social media calendar for each month and add notable dates, promos, events, open days, birthdays and seasonal health messages.
(If you’re short on time, download my FREE 2023 Social Media Calendar for Vets here.)
- Schedule posts in advance each week.
Meta Business Suite is free and you can post content for Facebook and Instagram simultaneously. There is even an option that allows you to customise posts for each image (this is handy when you want to tag other accounts or use different hashtags.)
- Know your audience. You may choose to upload different types of content for different platforms.
2. Content Creation
- Get the team involved. I’ve met so many talented filmmakers and artists on nursing teams! This is the perfect way to have some fun and create fresh, informative and entertaining Reels and TikToks.
- Keep an eye out for photographic opportunities in reception and in the consult room. Pet pics and ‘behind-the-scenes’ content are always the best performers online! (Don’t forget to ask pet paw-rents for permission to share.)
- Set up Google Alerts for your favourite pet topics, latest news and updates.
- Get creative on Canva with access to design templates and millions of stock images. It’s very easy to use, and you can make posts and videos using your practice’s own brand colours and fonts.
3. Call To Action
Don’t forget to include a Call To Action (CTA) on posts that promote your services. This invites followers to take the next step. For example:
- Call us on …
- Book online
- Enter now
- Have you checked your pet recently?
- Questions? We’re here to help.
4. Customer Service
It’s sometimes easy to forget about customer service in the virtual world, but delivering exceptional service is just as important online as when you are speaking to a client in person or on the phone. In fact, poor customer service can be even more damaging online because it’s public and permanent!
- Set customer expectations. Clients have high expectations of service delivery, both online and off, so it is important that we remain receptive and responsive.
Some pet owners will prefer to send a Facebook message rather than book a vet consult. They may do so because it is convenient, or they expect to get an answer without having to pay, but either way you need to set boundaries. If the message is any more than a query about pricing or opening hours, encourage them to book an appointment.
- Your rest time after work is just as important. Clients will send messages at all times of the day and night, so set up an automated reply that includes your after-hours emergency contact.
- Assign a designated team member to receive notifications and to respond to comments, messages and reviews. It’s important that you respond promptly and let your followers know that you appreciate their engagement with your posts.
5. Spammers and Scammers
Spammers and trolls are everywhere, and vet social media pages are no exception.
- Use the Hidden Words function on Instagram to block repetitive spam messages. (See my recent blog for instructions.)
- Instagram spammers are now commenting on posts with increasing frequency. Delete and report them as soon as you receive a notification.
- Scammers are now adding their comments to Facebook Reviews, making it impossible to delete them. However, you can Report, Hide and Ban them from your page.
(Note: I have contacted Facebook on several occasions about these messages but they don’t seem to take any action in regard to deleting them.)
- Trolls. Just as we cop abuse from clients in clinic, disgruntled clients can also make life difficult for us online. Always take a zero tolerance to hate messages. Block and delete them as soon as you can. Unfortunately you cannot remove unfavourable reviews, however as long as you remain polite and professional in your response, others will see that you have made an effort to resolve the situation.
The social media landscape is constantly changing. New platforms will continue to arrive, offering new and exciting ways of engaging with our followers. Use the talents within your team to have some fun and generate creative ideas, and most importantly, save yourself some time by planning ahead.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any ideas or suggestions of your own. I am always inspired by the innovation and creativity shown by my clients!