Social Media for Vets: How to Connect with Pet Parents & Increase Client Retention
Social media marketing is a valuable opportunity for veterinary practices to connect with potential clients, all while conveying valuable information to pet owners and building relationships with them. It’s free, there’s a limited learning curve, and it has incredible reach.
Social media for vets is relatively straightforward when you have the right strategies in place, so in this post, we’re going to look at how to connect with pet owners on social so you can attract new customers and increase client retention.
Prioritize High-Value Platforms
While you can likely reach your audience on almost any social media platform, Facebook and Instagram are the two most important platforms for vets to join. Both are frequently used by engaged and diverse audiences, and they’re your best bet for connecting with the largest share of your target audience.
Most people have a Facebook account, which is the leading social platform, and Instagram has the highest average engagement rates.
Take time to optimize your profiles for search terms like “Denver vet” or “emergency vet Orlando,” and post regularly.
Respond Quickly to Incoming Messages
Clients are increasingly likely to contact you through social media private messaging, like Instagram Direct or Facebook Messenger, thanks to their increased preference for live chat. While it can be a lot to keep up with, responding on these platforms as quickly as possible can improve client relationships both immediately and long-term.
Try to check your private messages at least twice daily; someone at the front desk may be able to do this between appointments. You can also set up automated replies on Facebook Messenger to answer quick questions like “what are your operating hours” and “do you treat feral cats.”
Collect On-Platform Reviews
On Facebook, business Pages can enable a Reviews tab, which allows users to leave testimonials about their experience with you. Take full advantage of this, enabling the “Reviews” tab under your Page’s settings. Once you do this, you’ll see the option to “share a review tab” in a link.
You can share this URL directly with clients. When they click, they’ll be prompted to leave a review for your practice, which can significantly increase the likelihood of them doing so.
The more positive reviews your business has, the better. Not only will it help you attract more positive attention on Facebook and build trust, but it will also help your visibility, too.
Feature User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is any post created by your clients. They can send you a picture through email, for example, post a review online, or share a video of their cat in your office on Instagram.
UGC should be a go-to for veterinary practices. It works as valuable social proof while nurturing a community online, showing your clients that you care about them. UGC is heavily trusted, and your clients love to see it.
Ask users to tag you in pictures on social media, or to use a branded hashtag like #RichmondVeterinaryPractice so that you can find the public posts. Get permission before sharing the UGC, and then share it to your social accounts.
If you want to encourage a large amount of UGC quickly, you can consider strategies like asking clients to share a picture of their pet (“show us those Halloween costumes!”) or even host a photo contest with a prize as an incentive.
Share Practical Information Your Clients Need
All-encompassing pet care is a lot to cover just once a year at an annual appointment, especially if you don’t know what your clients do and don’t do.
Do they know they can’t feed dogs table scraps with onions, or that certain brands of dental sticks could be dangerous? Maybe, but maybe not.
Keep your clients engaged on social media by sharing valuable, practical information that your clients need to know. This could be a reminder to check your dog’s teeth for signs of gum disease, or new information about a certain brand of cat food that’s making pets sick and under recall.
If you’re able to create valuable communities and act as a resource, you’ll have no problem connecting and maintaining relationships with new and existing clients alike on social media.