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The Do's and Don'ts of Social Media for Veterinary Practices

Posted in Social Media @ Feb 13th 2017 - By Erin Randalls
The Dos And Donts Of Social Media For Veterinary Practices

Getting on to social media is one thing - knowing what you can and can't post for your veterinary practice is another thing entirely!

When consulting veterinary practices, two of the most common questions I’m asked are: what can we post to social media and what should we keep off? Those are both very important questions to ask when managing any social media page but for professionals in the veterinary world, understanding the guidelines is essential for optimum results.

Managing social media pages in the veterinary field can be a blast! Pet owners enjoy communicating with others about the joys of pet ownership, laughing at the tribulations and seeking professional advice to better their furry friends. Below are some of the do’s and don’ts to managing a successful veterinary social media page.

DO share authentic photos.

The majority of veterinary clients love to see their pets online. Not only will your clients find joy in “making their pet famous,” a frequent display of real-life photos gives life and personality to your page. Many hospitals find success by featuring a pet of the month or an employee of the month to further enhance that personal connection with followers.

DON’T post without consent.

While it’s important to share real photos of clients and/or their pets, be sure to obtain consent before sharing to social media sites. Perhaps not all clients want the Internet to know that their pet is sick. To do this, we recommend a waiver for clients to sign. This could be provided at the time of taking the photo or could even be incorporated into the checkout procedure at the end of the appointment. It may not seem crucial at the time, but when sharing information on someone else’s behalf online, you should consider protecting yourself and your practice – and you don’t want to offend your clients.

DO ask questions.

Asking questions on social media pages that prompt your followers to participate is one of my favorite ways to engage with clients. Not only does a question prompt followers to connect with the practice online, it’s entertaining to see some of the responses! For example, a question posted to a Facebook page asking, “what’s your pet’s favorite place to sleep?” can result in some fun conversations amongst participants.

DON’T share client information.

As a veterinary professional, you understand the importance of client confidentiality. However, it’s important to remind social media managers to be wary of what they share online. When posting client photos, make an effort to keep descriptions vague or forgo including names. Additionally, when drafting blog content or advice, be sure to avoid direct names, or change them with a disclaimer if needed.

DO provide professional advice.

Creating a space to provide and share professional advice is one of the most important aspects of veterinary social media pages; after all, your practice is there to act as an expert for pet care and health. The best way to effectively distribute information is to start a blog offering advice regarding specific topics. Whether you post once a week or a few times a month, pick topics that are relevant to your region and are consistent with the information you provide to clients. By sharing helpful information, current and potential clients will recognize you as an industry expert.

By implementing both the personal and educational aspects of pet ownership and veterinary care into the feel of your social media presence, you have the opportunity to impact your clients beyond the exam room. If social media pages are managed efficiently, many practices will see an increase in new clients and referrals. You may surprise yourself by how the excitement of increased social media efforts can generate new enthusiasm throughout all aspects of your practice.

 

 

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