Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2019

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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34 Today's Veterinary Business Communication Look at the chart below and you'll see why Facebook has become the household name it is today. You'll also see why using it correctly to engage with pet owners and expose your veterinary practice to the widest audience possible is so important to the long-term health and success of your practice. By engaging in polling during my speaking engagements, as well as by gathering other metrics and statistics published by industry an- alysts, I can safely assume that 80 to 90 percent of all veterinary practices globally use Facebook. However, the number of practices using Facebook correctly is much lower. This divergence occurs for a va- riety of reasons, but mainly because simply having a Facebook page is not enough. Your page needs to not only be tailored toward pet owners, but it must share meaning- ful and organic content in a timely way. There's also a balance to strike between posting too much and not enough. And no, the balance isn't arbitrary. Metrics that display the visibility and reach of your posts ful- ly support the notion that there is a way to reach a wider audience with your content more consistently. Just Do It Better Before we move on, let me say this: Your Facebook reset does not require you to delete your page. The audience you've built to this point is valuable, and you've prob- ably had some level of measurable success with your content. But you should be willing to try a new approach, one that uses proven Facebook isn't just a social media platform, it's THE social media platform. Despite recent tremors that have invoked fundamental questions as to what responsibility Facebook has to monitor both users and content, Facebook users worldwide have steadily increased every year since 2008. In fact, as of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion month- ly active users. This number doesn't include all accounts, since active users are only those who have logged in to Facebook within the past 30 days. Communication SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE By Eric D. Garcia methodology to create new and lasting success on Facebook. One reason that implement- ing proven social media strategy is more important now than ever before is because organic reach, or people who see your posts with- out you having to pay Facebook, has been on a steady decline since 2014. While some of this relates to Facebook's business model and increased competition between advertisers for your newsfeed, this is also because of the exponen- tial increase in pieces of content shared across the board. Refresh- ingly, Facebook announced that that it's working to show more content from family and friends instead of from businesses, politics and news. We know it's not just a busi- ness incentive that inspires Face- book's approach. Ultimately, the company wants users to be as engaged as possible with what matters most to them. Set a Realistic Target So, if we know that organic reach is on the decline, what do we do about it? The best approach is to aim for realistic yet increasingly ambitious visibility on posts. Again, we're striking a balance. I recommend that practices try to reach from 30 percent to 45 percent of their total followers over a two- to three-week period. Most studies indicate that the percent- age of people who see organic content has dropped so significant- ly that this figure often falls into the single digits. To understand if you're hit- ting your targets, be sure to use Facebook Insights. (Learn more at http://bit.ly/2ESZi4n.) For example, if you have 1,000 total followers on your page, you would want to reach 300 to 450 people on av- erage within a two-week period. While some practices will easily exceed the target, others will come up short and need to tweak their approach. This is absolutely OK. The best strategies come from one iteration after the next and finding out what works best. I've studied hundreds of Make every post count A passive approach to Facebook won't win you any fans. You need to engage with your audience through content that is fresh, inviting and enjoyable.

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