Written by:Judy Brown, Carlin Guidi, and Mallory Pearson
Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) in San Diego, CA, is one of the biggest events for social media marketers that attracts people from all over the globe. Every year GeniusVets sends key team members to learn the latest and greatest strategies that our clients will benefit from.
2023 was the 10-year anniversary of the conference, and although in-person attendance was down, the online community was active and engaging! Some of the people from countries that did attend were from as far away as Australia and as close as Mexico. In between listening to the esteemed speakers, we took the opportunity to network and learn what is working in other industries and how we can relate it to our veterinary community.
Our team compiled invaluable information on how to take veterinary social media to the next level.
Here are our top takeaways for veterinary practices to keep in mind:
1 – Content is King but Community is the Queen!
It starts with building your community. The people that share your same values want to feel like they belong. Building loyalty requires providing value and creating a sense of community where your followers feel appreciated and heard by someone that they trust. You can build trust by asking questions of your community, showing that you need their input. Embody your values with proactive customer service–keep people informed before they even become customers.
Grow your community with content that matters using the 4 value pillars:
In turn, casual viewers will become loyal followers. A small but engaged following is better than a large unengaged one. Connect with your online community and encourage them to interact with your practice.
2 – What platforms matter most, and how to use them successfully
There are many different social platforms, and it can be time-consuming to be active on them all. Know your goals to hone your strategy: is it growth, awareness, sales, or something else?
If you are looking to grow a following, TikTok and Instagram Reels can help with that. Watch for trends, either with trending audio or video creation styling. Use these quick clips to showcase your practice personality and make you relatable. Use trending sounds to educate, examples would be “Michael Scott_NOOOOOOOO - The Office” or the Yes/No challenge with “son original - Franceska Fournier”. Post consistently and don’t get discouraged if videos don’t do well–just move on and keep going! When videos gain traction, reverse engineer what you did to replicate the success. TikTok and Instagram Reels can use the same videos, but not all audio is available on both platforms. Before you use one platform’s trending audio, make sure it is available on the other. You can also treat Instagram highlights like subpages on a website. These highlights are a great spot to show off all the services you provide, such as how to schedule an appointment, or featured staff bios and pets.
Facebook isn’t dead! Facebook still has the highest number of active users. While you will not see the organic reach you would see when you use Tik Tok and Instagram Reels, Facebook is a great resource if you are looking to grow your business and community. Facebook/Instagram ads have proven to be more beneficial to smaller businesses. Post non-visual content like blogs and direct them back to your website. This is also a great way to reuse content! Keep the copy short, as anything that falls below the "fold" rarely gets seen, and include your CTA close to the top. Groups are a great way to build your community. Don't have time to start one? Join one to find people that share your values and interests!
LinkedIn is growing more and more in its active users. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn is about community, but LinkedIn’s audience leans on the professional side. Your profile builds trust, and more people are looking for LinkedIn profiles when determining who they will use for services. Having a presence on LinkedIn will greatly increase your chances of building your personal network. You can post jobs, but your network, who may not all be in the veterinary profession, also have trusted connections. This is the social platform that should focus on the individual's personal profile and extend to your website’s message, rolling up into your business profiles.
Users are able to customize what they see in their feed by clicking on the bell on a person/organization's profile. Liking posts, following, and connecting with like-minded people will create a newsfeed that is catered more to the user best-suited for your community. Don't forget to add your content to LinkedIn! Posting from the business profile won't get as much engagement as posting or sharing from a personal profile. Use this as a way to connect to your peers, employees/employer, and potential clients.
Pro-tip: Have your own branded hashtag!
Youtube is all about community. Potential clients aren’t subscribing just because they enjoyed the video they just viewed–they’re subscribing because of all the potential videos you promise to come. Include CTAs in your video that direct viewers to the videos you plan to post in the future, and guide potential clients to your website. You can pin comments on each video where you ask questions or include links and affiliate codes. Need to come up with new video ideas? Try using AI - ask ChatGPT to give you “25 Youtube video title ideas” relevant to your practice!
3 – Video Content
Before we dive into the videos, let's talk about video quality. You don’t need to have fancy equipment, as videos that have lower production value are watched and shared more because people view these as more authentic. BUT keep in mind there are some quality checks you want to make. If you have audio, the sound should be clear, even if you have subtitles. Use a microphone and dampen any echoes by laying towels or blankets on the floor or any hard surface. Any text overlay should allow enough time to be read. If you are moving with your camera, try to stay as steady as possible. Invest in a tripod or a tripod with a stabilizer. You should always have high-quality content in your videos. Plan a framework for your videos, regardless of their length. For example: Hook - Intro - Core Content - CTA
Short Form Videos
You can take long-form videos and make them shorts, or vice versa. This needs to be planned ahead of the script. You will need 2 different shots, one horizontal (long form) and one vertical (short form). Schedule content frequently to build your community. Sometimes an unplanned video will attract more views than one that is planned, and you can throw those in occasionally to help take off the pressure to be "constantly on” and for people to see the real (authentic) you. Do research on trends, your competition’s content, and what is getting a lot of views, so you can create your own versions!
Long Form Videos
Start with a title and make it catchy! And don’t forget the importance of a great thumbnail. Make filming easy on yourself by clarifying your video’s framework: focus on the confusion point, lay it out, and articulate the problem. Did you know - AI has video editors! Or you can use a service like Fiverr to save you time with editing and add cool features. Your long-form video strategy should be quality over quantity. When you are sharing long-term videos to Youtube, use timestamps throughout the video to separate your footage into chapters. I.e., if you post a video about the process of microchipping, you might mark different points throughout the video, such as "what is a microchip?" and “when should your pet be microchipped?" These “chapters" make it easy for viewers to know whether their questions will be answered in your video, and it will optimize your footage for search engines.
4 – Using AI
AI (Artificial Intelligence), when used correctly, can help with developing content and strategies. It can't completely do all the work for you, but it can create efficiencies for you and your team. When using ChatGPT - keep it all in one thread! Identify your core values, voice/tone, your brand language (if you have one), your ideal target audience, their characteristics, and your goals. Include what your products and services are and what makes you different or stand out from competitors. Use specific names! Identify traits of non-ideal clients. When using AI for research or generating ideas, focus on quality over quantity! Make sure that your questions are clear. The more positivity you put into ChatGPT, the friendlier its responses are.
We will continue to learn and be your expert resource for growing your social media presence, because our focus is on providing a smarter connection between pet owners and veterinarians through high-quality content.
If you are interested in learning more, reach out to our Marketing Consultants, follow us on social media, and join our Facebook group, it's about to get a whole new look!!