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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35 February/March 2019 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM 1 veterinary practices and analyzed real-time metrics on posts to de- termine which strategies are most reliable and have the most impact- ful results. Keep reading if you're eager to learn which mistakes to avoid and which posts will resonate with pet owners organically and, best of all, consistently. If you're too busy to create a post, don't. It's easy to see when a post has been hurried or created just to fill space. Leave your audience curious about upcom- ing content is better than posting content that doesn't seem thought out or offer much value. Rushing content when you're too busy will create content that fails to engage. If this happens consistently, Facebook will dramatically decrease the number of people who see your content. There's simply too much being shared for you to post haphazardly. Do not post boring facts or statistics. If you read an article that's informative, you need to make that content come to life. Connect the fact with a real story from your veterinary clinic that will awe or inspire. Otherwise, posting facts or statistics won't create an emotional response and won't res- onate. When posts don't resonate, your audience doesn't engage and the post becomes hidden from the organic reach. Share photos of people and pets from within your veterinary practice. (Make sure pet owners have given signed permis- sion.) Your practice is different than any other. The nuances of your practice, from the personality of the staff to your clients and their unique and special pets, make your clinic distinctly different. Your content must reflect the uniqueness. Sharing aspects of your practice that can't be found any- where else is incredibly enjoyable. While the three tips above are helpful, let me tell you about a strategy that delivers the right mix of content so that your followers stay engaged and come back for more. The right mix of content is crucial, because even successful content can lose its allure if it be- comes repetitive. My strategy leverages three as the magic number. You should post, on average, three times a week and mix up the content as follows: Teaching Moments Educational posts can be won- derfully successful but need to be attached to a powerful narrative. Again, statistics simply shared outright will almost always fall flat. Instead, share patient stories — get written consent first — that are moving or have had a profound effect on the pet and client's life. If you want to take this a step further, you can share personalized videos or even go live. (Learn how at Trends show us that people love watching and sharing videos. If you opt for this type of content, make sure your video is no longer than three minutes and is uploaded directly to Facebook instead of shared from YouTube. While videos can be a great way to share content, a 10-minute video most likely will not meet the atten- tion spans of the majority of viewers. Fun Content Share a personal or team selfie, or snap a pic of a veterinarian engaging happily with a pet. This shows who you are and brings the day-to-day operations of the veter- inary practice to life. I recommend sharing pictures with Facebook users in the practice to increase engagement even further. You can opt for this type of content once or twice a week. Timely News Stories in the news recently have much greater traction than stale Socially Acceptable columnist Eric D. Garcia is an IT and digital consultant who works exclusively with veterinary practices and speaks at veterinary conferences around the world. Learn more at 3 topics. Don't go too heavy on this type of content, however, because you want to keep engagement strong. Heaps of news will fail to engage over time. If you share a timely news sto- ry, be sure to add an endorsement that ties it directly to your practice. It can be something like, "Our doc- tors highly recommend you watch this news story about the dangers of anesthesia-free dentistry. A lot of people in our area choose this, and it's harmful to pets." When you add an endorsement, viewers are more likely to share it and spread the message. Remember to review Facebook Insights to see what's working and what's not. Make the right adjust- ments as you analyze the metrics. Have patience when trying a new Facebook strategy because a few weeks or a couple of months might be needed to consistently boost engagement and generate the results you want. The strategy outlined above has worked for many veterinary practic- es. Even while Facebook's approach and algorithms change, some types of content, particularly if it's both thoughtful and personal, become more successful over time. 2 Share a personal or team selfie, or snap a pic of a veterinarian engaging happily with a pet. This shows who you are and brings the day-to-day operations of the veterinary practice to life. GET EVEN MORE Veterinary Business Resources ONLINE! Today's Veterinary Business is a must-read for all veterinary business professionals. The resources we provide help practitioners, managers and owners respond to some of their most challenging issues. For breaking news, a complete story archive, the Veterinary Resource Library and more, please visit .

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