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Social Media for Veterinarians v. Social Marketing: What’s the Difference?

social marketing for veterinarians

The term ‘Social Media’ is often confused with ‘Social Marketing’ – and while it may not seem like it, they are two different animals. For your veterinary marketing endeavors to be a success, it’s important that you understand the difference, and make both work for your practice.

Social Media v. Social Marketing  

Social Media is a means for your practice to stay connected with your online community of existing clients and interested pet owners. It is a place to converse and interact with this community by providing your fans with information (value) and keeping them engaged and bonded to your practice; usually in a fun and lighthearted way.

While social engagement is important, it is not the only benefit of Social Media. Cue, Social Marketing.

Social Marketing builds on Social Media by engaging with your online community in a way that prompts them to take financial action and to do something for you in return. After all, one of the main reasons that you have a Social Media presence is to let the world know about your practice and services, with the goal of bringing new tails through the door™.

Social Marketing is about driving measurable results for your practice. It is about having specific objectives in what you post, and taking specific actions to generate measurable business outcomes.

Mobilize Your Veterinary Social Media Efforts Into Social Marketing Success

While the specific goals will vary, Social Marketing for veterinarians is about motivating specific types of people to take specific actions that benefit your practice.

One of the best ways to encourage people to take these actions is to generate unique content.

Unique content is exactly what you’d think – content you create and share on social media. This content is particular to your brand because it comes directly from your business, which makes it uniquely yours.

There are clear benefits to creating original content for your veterinary social media posts, insofar that it is an opportunity to:

  • Build stronger and more meaningful customer relationships
  • Cultivate an online community
  • Educate and empower your clients
  • Highlight your veterinary expertise
  • Boost your site’s web traffic and SEO standing

Since digital marketing is an essential piece of today’s successful veterinary marketing, it’s necessary to prioritize and invest in social media posts for vet clinics, and that includes making the creation of unique content a priority, too. If you create exceptional content, it will be your posts, photos, and videos that people are engaging with and sharing, not other businesses’.

When marketing to your social fans and followers, you should have a defined objective and message, as well as a clearly stated call to action designed to best achieve that objective. Once you have that dialed in, you can then analyze the results in order to fine tune your next marketing effort.

In-House Content: The Best of Veterinary Social Media Posts

As the online social scene evolves in our daily lives, we’re finding that many veterinary practices are needing less help in creating a basic Social Media presence for their practice. Between the adorable pets, the multi-faceted nature of veterinary practices, and the extraordinary cases that come through your practice’s doors, there’s rarely a dull moment in veterinary medicine or veterinary social media posts. If you need a few extra ideas for in-house content, we’ve got you covered! Consider doing some of the following:

  • How-to videos and visual tutorials present an opportunity to both educate clients and highlight your knowledge and expertise. Create content that teaches your clients easily conveyable topics, like how to properly apply topical medications or how to crate train cats for transportation.
  • Showcase your services with photos and videos of your veterinary care in action. This is a great opportunity to educate clients (and potential clients!) on what you do, why you do it, and how you do it.
  • Introduce your staff to your followers! Share pictures or portraits, concise biographies, or interesting interviews – even if clients have met your veterinary team, everyone loves to find out something new about a familiar face.
  • Present your clients’ pets to social media! Snap a photo (with the client’s permission) to share with your followers. Cute animal photos are the low-hanging fruit everyone loves to consume, and sharing a client’s pet can promote client loyalty.
  • Case of the Week: tell your followers about a particular pet you treated that week by providing a narrative that details their pathway to health. Again, as with all content that involves a client and his/her pet, make sure to get permission before sharing anything online.
  • Images from boarding, pet daycare, or behavioral training are not only an easy way to feature these services, but they also let pet owners know you’re paying special attention to their furry family.
  • Behind-the-scenes photos from inside your practice are a great way to show your business’s light-hearted side. From office birthdays and potlucks, to day-to-day silliness, these informal posts let your clients know your staff on a more personal level.
  • Similarly, photos from charity involvement or community events demonstrate that your staff’s good-nature goes beyond veterinary work.
  • Trivia about pet care, fun facts, and tidbits of lesser-known info

We Are Going Beyond Generic Marketing for Veterinarians

We’ve found that the struggle is now in the creation of successful Social Marketing for veterinarians. Because of this, Beyond Indigo Pets is focusing on Social Marketing for veterinarians over Social Media. Social Marketing for veterinarians is where we shine, and where we can add the most value to your practice’s social presence and marketing efforts.

We use the advertising tools built into Social Media channels to find and reach pet owners beyond those already connected to your practice. We can put your message in front of a very targeted audience of pet owners near your hospital or practice that meet your demographics. All you have to do is choose what you want to accomplish and what action you want your audience to take (click, book, buy, etc.). From that, we’ll build a social marketing strategy to meet that objective.

The Bottom Line

Interested? Consider this:

  • Our Social Marketing and Advertising packages now offer our clients more flexibility in their advertising budgets.
  • Clients who need less help on the Social Media side, can opt for a package that is primarily or exclusively focused on Social Marketing.
  • Measurable results are a key component of Social Marketing. To answer that call, we are rolling out new Social Reporting that will give our clients more access and understanding when it comes to their Social Marketing results.

Social Marketing is how you motivate your community to action, reach new audiences, and grow your practice in measurable and repeatable ways. Talk to us about how our expertise in Social Marketing for veterinarians can help your practice.

Have questions about this veterinary industry marketing topic? Want tips on what else to look out for or how to improve your business' marketing? Come ask questions, share solutions, and join the conversation on VetMarketingTalk, a new online community designed for the veterinary industry and powered by the marketing experts at Beyond Indigo Pets. Click here to sign up today—FREE for the first 30 days, no credit card required.