A lot of things can be said about social media. Depending on who you ask, one can argue that it shaped how we interact and connect as a species. Social media can be the perfect channel for a veterinary practice to communicate with current and would-be customers. But more than just getting new clients, how can a veterinary practice retain customers through their social media accounts? Let's talk all about that in this article.
The Power of Social Media
In the latest study conducted by the Pew Research Center, they found out that over 72% of adults in the US say they use at least one social media site. Of this number, 81% use Youtube and 69% go to Facebook. These people use social media for at least two hours and 25 minutes a day, according to a 2021 study by DataReportal.
On the business side of things, Buffer conducted a study among marketers and found out that more than 70% of them believe marketing in social media is "somewhat effective" or "very effective." This is probably because more than half of customers (54%) go to their favorite social media platform to research products they want to buy.
It's undeniable. Businesses should learn to leverage social media to reach their audience in the modern online world. But should companies such as veterinary practices focus on client acquisition alone on social media?
Client Acquisition vs. Client Retention on Social Media
In marketing, the first thing that you do for a business is to get new clients. That's fine. That's the right thing to do. If you have a business, you have to get people coming through the door first. However, some make the mistake of focusing only on acquiring new clients. What happens is that they do get new clients, but none come back because the customers feel no reason to do so.
That is why implementing a client retention strategy well into your acquisition plan is always a wise choice. A business should have both an acquisition and retention plan in place on social media. This ensures that the brand builds a relationship with said customers as they get new clients, becoming loyal clients. The two, client acquisition and client retention, should work in any good marketing plan.
However, client acquisition is much easier to do on social media. While you may need to shell out a budget to get people to notice your brand, client retention can get more complicated.
The good news is that there are multiple ways for a veterinary practice to convert regular clients into loyal customers. We've compiled four of the best ways you can retain customers on social media for veterinarians. Do note that some of the practices we will mention might not apply to your practice, and that's fine. Let's start!
4 Ways You Can Retain Customers Through Social Media
Marrying Modern with Traditional
Some veterinary practices make the mistake of thinking just because your social media accounts are "online," then promotion for it should be done online as well. Fortunately, this is not the case. An intelligent way to turn your new clients into social media followers is by making them aware of your social media channels during their visit. One smart way to do it is by creating specialized signs with your social media handles in them. Creating custom "new welcome patient signs" with the patient's name will surely catch the owner's attention.
You can also put up signs in the lobby showcasing your latest contests and events on social media. This will make looking up your social media accounts while waiting for second nature to your visitors. Also, save your customer a few seconds of typing by ensuring you have QR codes they can quickly scan to go directly to your pages.
Customizing Their Welcome Email With Social Links
If you regularly ask your customers for their emails so you can keep in touch, maybe you should start sending them welcome emails with your social links. However, don't just put in links to your social media accounts. Instead, be creative, so they are more likely to click on the links. You can either post a picture of their lovely pet on your Facebook account and include a link on the email. You can also update them on your latest contests or promotions, so they get motivated to follow through with the click.
Post Relevant Content On Social Media
Once your customers follow you on your social media accounts, the next step is to ensure they stay. To do that, you need to be consistent in your posts. This ensures that you show up in their feeds regularly, and they don't forget about you. But posting just about anything without a plan can turn off the majority of your followers. This means you need to be a bit smart about what you post.
There are four different types of content that people love on social media. These are:
- Learning posts - You are a veterinarian, and you are the person these people go to regarding information about their pet's health. Posting pet health tips and updates is always a welcome sight for pet owners.
- Inspiration - Everybody loves a good inspirational story now and then. Don't be afraid to share stories (with the proper permissions, of course) that you find inspiring. You need your followers to see the emotions behind what you do in your veterinary practice.
- Entertainment - Many people go to social media to be entertained - so why not capitalize on that? Post funny videos, memes, or jokes regarding animals, and you are sure to get a lot of reactions from people.
- Reminders - As a standard, 80-90% of your posts on social media should be either one of the three types mentioned above. The remaining 10% should be used for posts regarding your services. Just don't forget that over-promoting your practice might not be a good idea, to be as creative as possible.
Don't Hesitate to Engage.
Social media is not a one-way street. If you want to create loyal customers from your regular clients, you need to foster a relationship with them. You can do this on social media by engaging with them. Create channels for people to talk to each other by creating polls or asking questions in your posts. Respond to comments when you can and help out those who have queries. Your customers spent time commenting or asking questions, so you should also allocate a few minutes of your time to engage with them. These few seconds and minutes will mean a lot to your followers, especially when they had a pleasant time engaging with you.
Social Media Marketing Made Easy for Veterinary Practices
Running a veterinary hospital and handling various social media accounts is not easy. Taking care of your patients always comes first, but you can't afford to bother yourself with managing your social media accounts. So what can you do?
Well, you can always get Veterinary Marketing to handle your social media presence for you. Veterinary Marketing is the leading name in offering digital marketing services to Veterinarians all over the United States. The team behind Veterinary Marketing specializes in creating personalized plans for veterinarians that work.
So if your veterinary practice needs help with social media, don't hesitate to give Veterinary Marketing a call today.