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The Social Savvy Vet: Social Marketing Trends for 2017

A cat being filmed with a camera phoneIn the ever-changing swirl of Social Media, it’s hard to know where to focus. Our Beyond Indigo Social Marketers see 7 social marketing trends that should be important to savvy Veterinary Practices in 2017:

Treat Social Media as a valuable business asset with ROI

Social media for business has come a very long way in the last few years. To be effective, social media marketing should be considered a valuable business asset and part of your practice’s marketing strategy. Have ongoing discussions about goals, ad strategy and budget, target audience, post content and methods for increasing post engagement. If you’ve handed off your online social presence to a social media-loving staffer and thought little more about it–you’re missing a big opportunity and 2017 is the year to change that.

If you’re investing time and money in social marketing, it should be worth it! Review at least basic social marketing results regularly to monitor their effectiveness. Have someone pull numbers to see how many people saw your posts and whether people engaged with them. Get feedback on whether your post, contest or ad achieved its goal at a reasonable cost. Know your ROI and work to improve it.

Facebook is still the top social platform for veterinary practices

Facebook is still both the largest social platform and top online advertising platform. It’s growing year over year with 79% of all U.S. adults who use the Internet now on Facebook according to Pew Research Center. Continue to build and invest in your online brand presence on Facebook.

You must ‘Pay to Play’ to get results

Social media is pay-to-play for meaningful reach and impact these days – especially on mobile devices. Facebook and Google dominate the digital advertising world and are surpassing even TV advertising revenue. Without a doubt, social media is now the place to spend your ad dollars.

Not sure whether you want to pay to play? Take a look at the reach and engagement of most of the posts on your Page. You may be surprised. To reach your fans or community with your important business messages, you’ll want to allocate a portion of your marketing budget to social advertising this year to be sure you’re being seen and continue bringing new tails in the door.

Facebook continues morphing into a customer support platform

Facebook is investing heavily in their Messenger tool as more businesses provide customer support on Facebook. Make sure that someone on your staff is monitoring your Facebook comments, reviews, private messages and guest posts at least once per day and responding promptly. Today’s users expect to be able to reach out to a business via social media–and receive a prompt response. Practices who only pay attention to those who call or email them directly will miss out.

Fast-growing Instagram will work to attract businesses

Owned by Facebook, rapidly growing Instagram has been primarily geared toward individual users. In 2017, Instagram will become more business-friendly to attract more business accounts and ads. It’s a great platform for younger audiences and parents of kids.

Video needs to be part of your social strategy and content

Video dominated social media in 2016 and is expected to continue its huge growth in 2017 so be sure it is part of your social strategy. You’ll see more live video this year. If you haven’t started posting your own videos, make 2017 the year to do so. Start out small with short clips of those cute puppies that dropped by for their first exam. Create how-to videos or videos about your services and can be used not only in social media but embedded in blogs and on web pages.

Content quality is more important than ever

If you’re going to pay to play, or attempt to get noticed with organic content, it needs to be quality content. Social marketing is all about great social content that is managed well.

Beyond Indigo hopes these trends will help your practice be even more successful this year! If you are interested in social marketing, but don’t know where to start, or would like to chat about how social media can work for your practice in tandem with your other services, please give us a call!

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.