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Owning is always better than renting when it comes to your veterinary content

Posted in Social Media @ Mar 4th 2021 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
Owning Is Always Better Than Renting When It Comes To Your Veterinary Content V2

Social media can be an awesome way to connect with and attract new veterinary clients to your business - as long as it's not the only way.

Facebook's recent decision to shut down news Pages (& many non-news FB Pages) was a tough reminder that not only do you NOT own your Business Facebook Page, but you have very little control over it.

We're all renters....

I always think of a Facebook Business Page (and all social media!) as being like a rental property - you can add your own furniture and invite people over to visit, but you can't remove walls or repaint. Your landlord can tell you to leave, change the locks - and even keep all of your 'possessions' if they feel you've broken their laws. And even worse - there's often no way to get in contact with them to explain your side of the story.

Actually the further I go with this analogy the more I realise that you have far less rights as a Facebook Business Page 'owner' than you do if you were renting a house! 

Home Owner = Investment + Control

However, your website and database is a completely different story as your website is like the home that you own.

It's an investment that you have complete control over. You can choose to re-decorate, rip down walls, build an extension and invite over as many people to stay as you like. You own it and you're responsible for it's upkeep and maintenance.

Although I still firmly believe that having a regular presence on social media is very important for almost every business - and definitely every veterinary practice - you shouldn't be spending too much time on your rental property that could disappear on a whim, and neglecting your real investment which is your website.

What does this mean?

This means all of the resources and content you create should live on your website and be shared with your database of contacts via regular newsletters and emails. And then of course, you can share it all on your social media accounts as well.

Now is the time to reassess. How much control do you really have?

Now is a great time to reassess how you share information, connect with, and educate clients, potential clients and your community. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What role does social media play in your connection with and education of your clients?
  • Are you relying too much on something you have no control over?
  • What would happen if you were locked out of your social media accounts or they disappeared tomorrow?

Key points to consider...

1. You need to own the channels where your key content lives

Your key content needs to live on assets you own. It’s that simple.

This means, your:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Database - emails, eNews

On all of these assets, you own the content and the place where the content lives. You're not at the whim of the traditional media or social media owners. 

2. Consider how effective your SEO is 

Now is the time to review how well you're producing content that improves the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your website. If your social media accounts disappeared, your clients might turn to Google to find you which is where and why your SEO matters.

If you're not sure what SEO is all about or the steps you need to take to improve it, you can read more here: The Ultimate Guide to SEO in 2021 (HubSpot)

3. Know who your audience is and where they are

Your audience is probably made up of clients, potential clients and those who are generally interested in animals. They are likely to be on different platforms and enjoy a range of content from cute photos of your patients to educational information along with more localised warnings e.g. ticks. 

Each social media platform works best with different types of content but one blog post on the importance of managing a pet's weight can be easily modified to suit other platforms with the key content nice and safe, under your control on your website.

4. Content is what really matters

Even if you do get kicked off Facebook - for a short time or a long time - creating engaging, useful, understandable content is really what matters.

Engaging content can easily be deployed on different platforms which then reduces your reliance on one individual channel.

So even if one channel does disappear, your great content will still see you through!

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