Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Veterinary Practices

Did you know that Millennials and Gen Z make up 57% of all pet ownership in America with 76% of all millennials owning pets? It’s no secret that both generations make up a large majority of the population using social media. If you don’t have a social media presence for your veterinary practice, you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with a huge portion of your client base.

By creating an online presence, veterinary practices can stay in front of their audience. It enables you to stay relevant and easy to find in our ever-evolving technological environment. Being online is an opportunity to beat out your competitors and strengthen your relationship with your community. 

Having social media profiles is the bridge between you and your local community for better marketing, increased sales, and consumer education opportunities. That’s why we’re going to talk you through the basics — from what platforms to be on, the marketing tactics you can deploy, and how to get started today. 

Becoming High Profile

Whether you’re on social media or not, most of the pet owners in your community are. They visit websites, do a little shopping, and download apps onto their phones, and many will enjoy getting caught up on their social media feeds with their morning coffee.

Getting online unlocks the door for your veterinary practice to access your current and potential customer’s day-to-day life.

Here are the top social media platforms to have an active profile on:

  • Facebook – The online gathering place for local communities, national organizations, hobby groups, and just about everything else.
  • Instagram – A picture and video-based platform enjoyed by celebrities, influencers, friends, and neighbors.
  • TikTok – This controversial platform is built around short videos, chasing trends, and reaching younger pet owners, like the 76% of millennials who own pets.
  • X – The platform formerly known as Twitter still offers a large and active user base that is already trained to navigate posts by catchy hashtags that help you localize and identify your content.

By cultivating a strong social media presence, you can become a daily part of your customer’s lives. If you strategically create content your audience wants to see, then they will like and follow your accounts, and your posts will be visible on their feeds.

This is exciting and can sound like a lot of work, but by following a couple of tried-and-true content strategies, you can be creating engaging content in no time. Here are 5 strategies you can use to get started:

#1 Educate Pet Owners About Important Topics

Informed pet owners are empowered to be more actively engaged in their pets’ wellness. Your social media is a great place to talk about important topics like why spaying and neutering are important, preventative vaccines, heartworm tests, pet insurance, and more.

It’s also a chance to take action on local concerns, such as heat warnings or outbreaks of parvo among the canine population. Using your platform to help educate pet owners positions you as a trusted authority, and positively impacts the community by improving the lives of pets.

#2 Demystify Vet Visits

For many pet owners, the vet’s exam room is as mysterious and daunting as their own doctor’s office. Here’s how you can create more transparency:

  • Take them behind the scenes as happy pets sit with wagging tails for their exam in front of the doctor and their smiling vet tech.
  • Show off your investment in high-quality veterinary pet boarding products and outdoor play spaces.
  • Highlight new and existing pet care products and their benefits (like using harnesses, using training treats, certain shampoos, etc.)

When patients are comfortable with their local vet, they’re more attentive with their companions’ care schedules, check-ups, and preventative medications. They’re also far more likely to recommend you to their friends and family who have pets of their own.

#3 Create a Community of Local Pet Lovers

It is a well-known and proven fact that the internet was created for cat and dog pictures. Well, maybe not, but some pet owners would disagree. Making your social media sites pet-content friendly can help you broaden your network, so you reach more potential clients.

This can include:

  • Posting photos of patients shared by their owners.
  • Responding to reviews and suggestions.
  • Sharing pet social media accounts to create local furry influencers.

You don’t want all of your posts to feel salesy, promotional, or serious. Shake things up with adorable photos of pets that visit your office, or even repost a funny dog video that came across your feed and add your own thoughts. These types of posts bring people together to share in their love for animals.

Existing customers will love seeing their companion in the spotlight and potential customers will see the kind of relationships you’re building and want their pets to get in on the action.

#4 Promote Special Events and Products

The always-on access social media offers makes it a powerful marketing tool that gets you in front of local pet owners who need professional pet health services. Whether you’re having a new patient drive, running a special on teeth cleanings, or trying to get the word out about your preferred brand of vet-approved dog food, your audience is listening.

Social media is a great way to show pet owners that your practice goes above and beyond to provide a longer, happier life for their furry friend.  

#5 Drive Traffic to Your Website and Your Front Door

Who hasn’t seen a post they want to share with a friend a week later that can no longer be found? Social media is great for outreach, but it has its limits. While great for building and connecting with the community, it doesn’t allow the same kind of access to information, products, and services that a website does.

Social media platforms are the entry point for getting users to click into your website and view your brand and products/services. Be sure that your address, phone number, and business hours are easy to find on your website, including any emergency or after-hours contact information.

Your website should serve as your digital office, hosting your blogs and videos, listing services you offer, and creating a smooth shopping experience for any online retail purchases. Making these resources easy to get to from social media moves your platform spaces one step closer to a one-stop-shop when they need care for their companion animals.

It’s Time to Get Social

Your veterinary practice can’t afford to miss the kind of exposure offered on major social media platforms. With a small investment in time and effort, social media can become a cornerstone of your veterinary practice.

Through educating pet owners, demystifying vet visits, sharing adorable pet content, promoting special events and products, and driving traffic to their websites, veterinary practices can effectively engage with their audience, strengthen their relationship with the community, and ultimately provide better care for all pets.

Choose your favorite platforms, snap some pictures, and create a community centered around your practice. The longer you wait to get started, the more opportunities you’re missing out on.

Be Equipped to Provide the Best Care for Your Clients

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