Being Festive on Social: Vet Practice Do’s and Don’ts
By Gabrielle Seltzer, Social Media Manager
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time where your clients are wrapped up in the joys of the magical holiday season. Between family get-togethers, travel, and shopping, pet parents are less likely to have their pets’ health top of mind. The good news is incorporating festive content into your social media and digital marketing can help you stay on your clients’ radar during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Join us as we explore the best ways to be festive on your vet practice’s social media outlets.
#1 Festive Profile and Cover Photos
Don’t take a great holiday photo of your staff and use it as your profile image. Unfortunately, the profile thumbnail is so teeny tiny that your brand virtually becomes unrecognizable to clients and followers.
Do use that great staff pic as a post in your timeline! If you want to spice up your profile image for the season, consider using a platform like Canva to add a holiday element to your logo. A Santa hat, mistletoe, Christmas tree, or wreath are all great ways to be festive, but also stay on brand.
Don’t treat your cover photo like a Christmas lights decoration contest. It is possible to overdo the holiday elements and drown out your true branding. For example, if your brand style is usually clean, crisp, muted photography, then you may want to think twice before using a neon-colored cartoon cover photo.
Do think of your cover photo as you might think of a lobby window to decorate. How will local pet owners recognize this photo as a holiday version of your practice? Do you have a photo of your building in the snow? Will your clinic cat enjoy wearing an ugly sweater? Do your branding colors or logo mesh well with red and green embellishment? Remember who you are as a veterinary team, and simply give that a festive flair!
#2 Know What Holidays Your Clients Celebrate
Don’t exclude major holidays if your clients celebrate them.
Do know your clientele well enough to know if a significant portion may celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza. Even those who do not personally celebrate those holidays will likely love to see inclusion in your social media content.
#3 Updating Holiday Hours
Don’t leave clients guessing when you will be open, especially in case of an emergency.
Do post about your holiday hours on social media, on your website, in your newsletter, or even on a flyer in your lobby. Help ensure clients stock up on any medications their pets may need, and help them be aware of where they should go in case of an emergency if you will be closed.
#4 Holiday Photo Contests
Do have a holiday-themed photo contest where clients can submit festive photos of their pets to you. Then you can post them on your Facebook page and allow your followers to “vote” by liking their favorite entry. This is an awesome way to be able to post cute user-generated content (aka you didn’t actually have to take the photos), as well as encourage huge organic engagement. Pet parents will likely share the photos of their own pets, and their social friends liking photos to vote equals big organic reach. Give away a prize such as a cute holiday-themed pet basket and/or any other goodies or services you may want to promote.
Don’t wait until the holiday is over to announce the winner. Unfortunately, our collective attention spans are very short, and it’s likely people will be moving onto New Year’s in their minds. Consider allowing people to vote until the 23rd so that you can announce the winner on Christmas Eve.
#5 Help Educate Clients About Holiday Pet Safety
Don’t forget to educate clients about the many pet safety dangers around the holidays.
Do become a trusted resource for all things pet health. By continually creating content and resources that help educate pet parents, you will become your clients’ most trusted resource (instead of “Dr. Google”). That is why at GeniusVets, we arm our clients with ready-to-go seasonal blog content, as well easy to schedule social media posts that can be used to help educate pet parents.
#6 Show the Magic of Giving
Do show the ways that your practice may be giving back to the community during the holidays. Hosting a donated goods drive for the local pet shelter? Awesome! Post about it on social media to not only drum up support and donations, but also to drum up those magical feelings of giving during the holidays!
Don’t forget to encourage your clients and other local pet owners to join you in the giving! It’s fabulous to post about your good deeds, but it can fall flat if it looks like your goal is to “show off.” Show OUT instead by telling your followers how they can contribute, too, spreading the goodness and good cheer as much as possible. What better way to celebrate the season?!
#7 Being Festive on Different Platforms
Don’t treat all of the platforms as if they are the same. Although your messaging may be similar for some campaigns, your strategy should be tailored to the unique features of each social channel.
Do leverage each platform to your advantage over the holidays:
- Facebook: Change your cover image to something festive, run a photo contest, and post helpful safety infographics (bonus points if you create it and add your company branding). People love sharing posts that they think will help their friends and family.
- Twitter: Take advantage of trending hashtags. Schedule your regular tweets, but also check daily to see what holiday topics are trending. When it makes sense, use that hashtag in the moment to leverage a topic that is getting a lot of attention (aka more eyeballs on your tweets).
- Instagram: Use holiday props like Santa hats, holiday dog toys, etc. to create more festive photos to post onto your grid. Look for holiday or seasonal hashtags that are trending this year; if applicable, add them to your post. Use Instagram Stories to show any behind the scenes holiday fun that may be going on at your vet practice. Feel free to send that to your Facebook story as well!
- Pinterest: Take any holiday blog or resource that is published on your website and turn it into an easy to digest image (formatted for Pinterest). Then pin that image to an appropriate board. Make sure to add the link to your blog in your pin to help drive website traffic.
We are always cooking up ideas to inspire our clients to create magical posts during any season or holiday all year long. That is why we have created a one of a kind inspiration library where clients can go to get all types of ideas, tips, and tricks to creating winning social media posts. Want the inside scoop? We are happy to set up a FREE 30-minute consultation to answer any questions you may have.
Happy holidays and happy posting!