Q&A: Why is it important for veterinary practices to engage in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter?
"If you're doing it just to engage in Facebook and Twitter, stop. There's no point," says Dr. Dave Nicol, author of the e-book The Yellow Pages Are Dead: Marketing Your Veterinary Practice in the Digital Age. "It's much better to engage in a digital marketing strategy using social media." That means plan out your posts.
"The goal isn't to tie up your time and create more junk online," Dr. Nicol says. "It's to gain more clients and deepen relationships with existing clients." Why? Because you want clients to keep coming back to your practice. Think of your practice's Facebook and Twitter accounts as a way to collect clients and keep communication open. "The aim is to convert clicks into clients, but Facebook doesn't do that on its own. Facebook has to be a part of a bigger strategy," Dr. Nicol says. "The good news is that not all clinics are doing it and those that are participating in social media aren't doing it effectively. Which means there's a chance for you to stand out."
Dr. Nicol says he doesn't care if you have 2,000 Facebook followers. He cares if you have five new clients in the door. "I love social media, I'm into it, I get it," he says. "But you have to use social media to get new clients and new business. Then you'll see that social media is completely worth it."