Social Media Marketing for Veterinary Practices: Should you Outsource to an Agency?
Trying to balance the everyday management of the veterinary practices alongside social media profiles and other marketing communications can be a time-consuming, confusing and complicated ordeal.
As discussed in a previous blog post, many veterinary practices try to recruit a Social Media Manager of sorts to look after the clinic’s online presence. This candidate is often an existing employee within the clinic.
But what do you do if no one within your practice fits the bill?
Outsourcing to marketing agencies is a common practice among numerous companies in various industries. While it is less common among animal hospitals and veterinary practices, it needn’t be.
When seeking the most effective, profitable and successful management of a veterinary practice’s marketing communications, working with a marketing agency may be ideal.
However, there are a few key areas you must consider prior to engaging with a third-party agency:
1. Industry Knowledge
The social media agency must truly understand veterinary medicine and pet owners. They need to know how pet owners are motivated in order to best communicate your clinic’s message. Inquire with the agency as to what kind of research they have undertaken with your target market.
2. Shared Vision
You need to make sure that everything posted on your behalf is an honest reflection of your practice’s vision, mission and objectives. This is all a part of the process of building a consistent brand that your clients and prospective clients will appreciate.
3. Original, Customized Posts
There are many resources online that offer content and ideas for veterinary practice marketing. These calendars are generic and made freely available to all veterinarians. As such, they lack creativity. You want your clinic to stand out from the crowd. In addition, Google favors fresh and original content and will reward your practice for producing it by ensuring your website and social media profiles feature highly in their rankings – making you visible to many more potential clients.
4. Authentic Interaction
It’s important to be able to interact with your clients on social media and open up a dialogue. It is therefore important to ensure that any and all interaction on the social media platforms will be authentic and meaningful, so as best to represent your clinic and its services.
Your practice must be capable and willing to participate with the third-party firm in developing content – stories, blogs, photos, videos, etc. The most effective social media strategies produce a perfect mix of content such as advice blogs and news articles with images, stories and personal clinic information. Again, this reflects how important it will be to keep communication open and constant between your clinic and the agency.
6. Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The third-party firm must clearly understand the effect that social media content has on your website’s search engine rankings. If sharing your message with as many current and potential clients as possible is a goal, this factor is extremely important.