June 30, 2020
June 30, 2020
It’s understandable that, with everything going on, you’ve probably let your Facebook page slide a little. After all, the reception team have been furloughed and nobody else really knows how to use it anyway, right?
But using social media is even more important now than ever. Social media channels are reporting a huge increase in people using the service, with silver surfers learning the ropes to catch up with their family, and more people checking in with friends online. Added to that, social media has become a quick way for people to check for news updates from small businesses like yours.
If you are not the usual social media manager, you might find it all a bit overwhelming. But the best advice is to start small, then work up. Clients really love honesty right now – none of us have all the answers, and admitting that early on is a good start.
Post an update
So why not make your first post about how the practice is coping. Let people know who is in, and who is off. Post a photo of the staff coffee room with everybody sat as far away from each other as possible. Or tell them how nervous you are to be in control of the Facebook account. Whilst you’re at it, it’s a good idea to give some information about current opening times and procedures; remind clients to ring with emergencies or if you’re offering video services, direct them with how to sign up.
Claire Simper, Social Media Manager at VetsDigital says “It’s important to remember to add a touch of your practice’s personality with all of the posts so that your clients and community can feel connected which will begin to create a bond with your practice.” VetsDigital support practices by writing and scheduling their Facebook posts ahead of time, so that there’s always quality updates. Find out more about VetsDigital .
If your clients don’t know that you offer a service, they can’t ask to use it. But social media is such that you can’t say anything once – it will get lost. Instead, drip the same message into the stream again and again – eventually it will filter through. Telling your clients about your video consultation service is one of the most important parts of getting it up and running. Just as you’d make an announcement that you had a new K-Laser or that your nurses were offering weight clinics, you need to announce the video consultation service. Don’t forget we’ve got some free graphics you can use to make it easier to create posts about your video content.
You can post about cases (make sure you’ve got permission from the owners to avoid any problems) and use them as a learning tool or as a success story. ‘Patient of the Month’ always goes down well. You can also start a series of posts drip fed over days or weeks: “Our Vets’ Favourite Animals”, “Wednesday Wisdom” or “Quick Q+As with the Vet” all work well. Alison Lambert of Onswitch even recommends a ‘Tea with the Vet’ video.
The more people that like and comment on your posts, the more they’ll get seen by both your clients and other pet owners in your area. So, creating posts designed to get engagement is important. Try asking clients to list their spirit animals, or to guess the weight of the giant breed, or to name the stray. You can also consider running a lockdown competition.
“It’s best practice to follow Facebook’s guidelines of ‘encouraging meaningful interaction’ with all of your posts. This can be achieved with a mixture of educational content which can include pet care tips or advice, plenty of lovely patient and staff photos as well as some light-hearted news or humorous updates.” says Simper.
In these busy times, take full advantage of the ability to schedule posts. This means you can sit down once a month and create all the posts, then schedule them to drip feed them in. It’s a great way to ensure that your page remains interesting and engaging without having to think about it too often.
The more posts you create, the more your practice will remain visible, but it’s essential that your posts remain interesting, engaging and useful.
“We actually find that the most successful pages opt for quality over quantity. We would suggest keeping your Facebook feed fresh and at the forefront of follower’s minds by posting at least 3-4 times per week, aiming towards every other day but only as long your content is meaningful and engaging.” Simper says.
How do you keep your clients on board and maintain that special bond between vet and pet owner when you can’t operate as normal? Our aim at VetHelpDirect is- and has always been- to keep pet owners and local vets connected. So, here are our top tips for keeping your clients happy and secure during COVID restrictions.
Ashley Barron BVMS MRCVS
This report by Channel 5 News looked into the veterinary response to COVID-19, and some of the ways that practices are coping by changing the way they work. Our CEO, Susie Samuel, was interviewed for the program about the way in which VetHelpDirect has been helping practices. Watch below:
Susie Samuel MA VetMB MRCVS