The electronic age has changed the way we do business. No longer is an advertisement in the yellow pages enough to bring customers to the door.
So, for veterinarians, being a great doctor is just the beginning. To run a successful and profitable practice, they must also become savvy marketers who understand and utilize all of the modern day marketing tools and techniques.
Social media marketing is at the forefront of this change.
Put simply, social media marketing can assist veterinary practices with:
- Educating pet owners with important information on pet care
- Encouraging pet owners to visit your practice for regular check-ups
- Building strong relationships with clients, outside of the clinic’s walls
- Helping clients think of your practice as their go-to for their pets needs
However, many veterinarians find there is simply not enough time in the day to manage their practice while also keeping on top of the latest social media marketing trends and ensuring their clinic is maintaining an effective digital presence.
To add to this anxiety, ignoring the importance of online marketing can be costly.
If a search on Google overlooks your clinic, you risk being overlooked by numerous prospective clients. Worse still, veterinarians may even risk losing existing clients to more tech savvy vets who manage to grab their attention and engage with them via social media on a daily or weekly basis.
Veterinary practices tend to take on social media by choosing someone, often an existing employee, to act as the clinic’s Social Media Manager.
However, there a few mistakes that veterinarians often make when choosing the right person for the job. We take a look at the qualities and characteristics vets should be bearing in mind when selecting the right candidate.
Choosing the Right Person
Commonly, veterinary practices select the candidate based on one key trait:
- Age – is the employee young?
This arises from the presumption that youth equals someone who is digitally savvy and understands the confusing world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. This perception (and often misunderstanding) of the young employee’s social media skills often sets the employee and the entire program up for failure from the start.
It is important to realize here that maintaining personal social media accounts differs entirely from maintaining social media accounts on behalf of a business.
When using social media for business, it is vital that the company’s core objectives and mission are reflected in the postings at all times. Developing a social media strategy is also required.
So, when hiring your clinic’s Social Media Manager, you should look for someone who:
- Has a strong understanding of marketing communication and social media marketing
- Shows an interest in staying up-to-date with rapidly changing trends
- Expresses themselves very well in writing
- Understands the practice’s marketing goals, objectives, and overall brand
- And, of course, has the time in their work day to properly execute the clinic’s social media strategy.
When considering candidates, imagine yourself in this scenario:
The employee is to create a marketing newsletter sent by snail mail to all current and potential clients. This piece would be written and designed entirely by the employee in question, with graphics, photos, information and verbiage developed and distributed without review. Would you feel comfortable allowing the employee to do this?
If the answer is yes, then you may have find yourself the right social media manager for your practice.