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3 Top Tips to Build a Community Around Your Veterinary Clinic

Posted in Social Media @ Mar 3rd 2022 - By Ian Shapland, Co-Founder VetDigital
3 Top Tips To Build A Community Around Your Veterinary Clinic

Build it and they will come….into your veterinary clinic!

A common thread from a recent online event attended by hundreds of vets from around Australia was a desire to create a community out of their clients (and potential clients).

But it’s not quite as hard as it seems… As a vet, you have a ready-made community just waiting to be formed. Your clinic is surrounded by thousands of pet owners in the local area – and a fair few of them would already be your clients. And like the makings of any good community, they are bound by a common interest – the love of their pet.

All that is needed is consistent, genuine engagement, and you will soon have a solid community built around your vet clinic. And the result? More clients through your door, day after day.

Read on to find out our top 3 tips to build your own community.

1. Be Engaging

I know it may seem like I’m stating the obvious, but to create an engaged audience, you need to be engaging. And the easiest way to be engaging is by being active online. Sharing regular content on social media, keeping your website updated and sending regular updates by email are all great ways to bring a like-minded audience together as a community.

Start conversations online to get your community involved.

This can be as easy as sharing photos of cute or unusual animals when they are in your clinic. And as an added bonus, your clients will feel special by having their pet’s pic shared online. 

Make a commitment to posting on social media consistently.

Be it everyday or twice a week, posting regular, proactive content is vital to keeping your community engaged.

Be responsive.

If someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts, make sure you respond to them in a timely fashion. They will love the engagement – and the social media gods will reward you too!

Use different ways to communicate.

While social media is the fastest and cheapest way to connect with your audience, consider using additional methods such as email or text messages to communicate with your community. Don’t discount using good old snail mail – a birthday card for their pet or a Christmas greeting is guaranteed to get opened and will create enormous good-will with your clients.

Facilitate community meet ups.

While most of your community engagement will be online, a great way to strengthen those connections is to connect in real life! Consider regular meet ups a dog parks or Christmas drinks for clients. They can bond over their common interests and build your community for you offline as well as online.

2. Inform & Educate

At the heart of building any community is providing your audience with value. Cute photos will grab attention for a while, but without also including content that provides worth, your community will dwindle. As a vet, you have bucketloads of valuable information to share – and the digital world provides a great avenue for sharing.

Get blogging.

No, not about your holiday, but about veterinary care! Blogs are a great way to build trust with your audience. They also drive traffic to your website – which is key to getting bumped up the rankings on Google. Blogs on common ailments, how to care for pets at their different life stages and advances in vet care would all be well received by animal lovers. And you can easily repurpose your blog content for social media, which gives you more bang for your buck!

Share top tips on social media.

Mixing up longer form articles on your website with bite-sized pieces of info on social media is a great strategy. You could create seasonal posts (e.g. what parts of your Christmas lunch your pet can share), or hacks on getting pets to swallow tablets or stay calm while getting their nails clipped. 

Educate on the importance of regular check-ups.

Take advantage of text messages, email and social media to help educate pet owners on why they should bring their pets to a vet regularly - and the potential implications of letting this slide. Regular appointments will not only benefit the animals but will also provide great flow-on effects for your business by keeping your appointment books consistently full.

3. Be Real

When putting your own clinic – and brand – at the heart of your community, it’s important that you add some of “yourself” to the community. A true community needs to feel connected to your clinic if they are to become a significant driver of business growth. 

Let your clients in.

Stronger connections will be made when your community feels like they know you. That doesn’t mean they need to know everything about you, but they need to have a sense of who you are as owner of the practice. Be clear about your personal values. Be open and honest if things go wrong. Share a little about yourself. By being genuine, people will see you as the person behind the practice, rather than just seeing a business.

Inject personality.

Any brand needs to stand out from their competitors, and a vet clinic isn’t any different. If your clinic was a person, what would their personality be? Quirky, fun, environmentally conscious, family-oriented? Once you’ve worked out your key personality trait, make sure this shines through in your online interactions with your community. This can be in the choice of imagery you use online, or the phrasing your use in your social media posts.

Express gratitude.

Don’t forget to let your community know they are important to you. Appreciation posts when a client thanks you are easy to do but show that you really do value your customers. Having a happy, valued community means they are very likely to share their happy thoughts about you and your vet clinic far and wide!

In a nutshell, building a community around your vet clinic means there’s no need for a hard sell to grow your client base. Keep your website updated and build a solid community through regular and engaging social media content, and you will see an increase in clinic visits. It’s pretty much guaranteed. And you’ll gain yourselves a whole swag of new clients along the way thanks to the strong brand advocates you’ve created in your community.

Does this make sense, but don’t have the time?

VetDigital is here to take the hard work out of building a community so you can concentrate on doing what you do best – looking after your patients.

For a set monthly fee we develop and implement your marketing to get a community up and running and working for you.  And we only work with one vet clinic per agreed area – guaranteed.

To find out more, visit the VetDigital website, or send me an email – ian@vetdigital.com.au

About Ian

Ian Shapland is the co-founder of VetDigital. He’s a man of many talents, with expertise heralding from 30+ years working in marketing and business development across the veterinary, dental, medical and pharmaceutical sectors. So you could say he knows a thing or two about traditional and online marketing!

A member of the Australian Veterinary Association, Ian is passionate about driving your practice’s growth by getting your brand to work for you.

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