More than Just Facebook: Secondary Social Media Platforms for Veterinary Marketing
In the ever-changing world of social media and veterinary marketing, it can be tough to get a handle on everything that you need to manage. Sure, we’ve all heard of Facebook – but what about all those Twitters and Snapchats? There are many more social media platforms than just Facebook, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. While these platforms might not have the granular control over ad targeting that Facebook does, they each serve a particular niche and can be great compliment to Facebook, especially when reaching younger demographics.
Let’s look a bit more closely at three additional social media platforms and how to best use them to reach your intended audience with the content they crave.
The Vets of Instagram
Instagram launched quite a few years after Facebook – in 2010 to be exact – and was designed to eschew the text-heavy Facebook posts of the day in favor of a more visual media. As you can probably guess, it has been (and remains) phenomenally successful and paved the way for the shift to the picture and video content we so frequently enjoy on social media today. Facebook actually bought Instagram for a cool $300 million, two years after it launched. Not a bad payday for 2 years work, eh?
Given this partnership, Instagram and Facebook work closely together. You should absolutely tie your Instagram and Facebook pages together at your earliest opportunity. This will allow you to employ the same ad targeting you use on Facebook to reach a more visual audience. Keep in mind, though, that Instagram ads are primarily visual and cannot include direct links to content.
For this reason, Instagram ads are best used to raise brand awareness and to keep your name in front of prospective clients and affiliated with interesting content. While you can use the text field to encourage viewers to click the link in your Instagram bio, your best bet is throwing a few dollars behind that adorable photo of that puppy after his dental exam.
Twitter has had an interesting past, full of failed buyouts and shifting strategy. Twitter was founded in 2006, making it almost the oldest of the bunch, outside of Facebook and not counting good ol’ MySpace – and no, you shouldn’t go anywhere near MySpace in 2017, in case you’re wondering.
Twitter was created to create content that is both easy to discover and digest, which is one of the reasons it was responsible for the hashtag and instituted a strict character limit per-post of 140 characters (which recently doubled to 280). This allows quick, direct thoughts that can be perused much faster and made more quickly.
How can you take advantage of this, you ask? Twitter is great at letting you rapidly share nifty tidbits of info with your followers. If you’re having an Open House, why not tweet fun photos as they’re taken? If you’re staffing an event or attending something, tweet at the event itself (by prefacing your post with @) or find a relevant hashtag (prefaced with #) to include in your post.
It’s worth the use of characters, we can assure you, and is an incredible (and free) way to get your posts discovered. Lastly, it’s very important to post any and all blog content to Twitter, since Google tends to notice your blog links more quickly when it discovers them via Twitter posts.
It’s no secret that Google powers the internet. You also might be aware that Facebook and Google aren’t on the best of terms with each other, given the constantly-waging war for the same user’s eyeballs and search share.
While Google – and ranking in Google search – is entirely its own discipline, Google still has plenty of social utility. While Google+ is tough to consider a success by any stretch of the imagination, Google has recently overhauled its use as a social platform through a renewed focus on targeted posts via Google Business.
Your Google Business page is important for a host of reasons. This is where any user will probably interact with your brand if they search for you on Google. Think of this as your landing page on the internet – you want clear imagery, virtual tours of your practice, a clear and updated Maps listing, and accurate links to your website and other related social media.
You also want to regularly make business posts pointing interested users to website content such as blogs or service overview pages. One of these posts at a time is visible on your Google Business landing page and makes a great, quick way to convert business or reach more people with your in-house information.
Other Secondary Social Media Platforms for Veterinary Marketing
While there are other platforms – LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest come to mind – these tend not to be used as frequently by your target groups. However, each has their purpose.
- Pinterest is still used (and can be a great catalogue of photo content) by DIY types, but it appears to be waning in popularity these days, especially after a failed attempt at resonating with a more male-skewed demographic.
- Snapchat can be great for raising mobile-only brand awareness among younger people – but let’s be real, 18-21 year olds aren’t paying the bills at your practice.
- LinkedIn can be a great way of reaching applicants if your practice has a job opening but doesn’t do a great job in reaching prospective clients. However, if you are a referral hospital, this platform could be worth a closer look.
While the bulk of your social media efforts should still be squarely focused on Facebook – especially when it comes to spending your ad dollars – these other platforms can still provide a great channel for reaching your current and prospective clients if leveraged correctly.
Make sure you reach your Instagram audience with visual-only, brand awareness ads. Tweet links to your most recent blogs and make frequent, targeted tweets during events. And, finally, make sure your Google Business page is up to date, replete with great visuals, and that you’re posting relevant links to your content on a weekly basis.
If you’d like to learn more about all that social media can offer your veterinary marketing strategy, please contact us for a free digital marketing wellness check.