Are you using Facebook as well as you could be?

Posted by Mark Olcott, DVM on Nov 11, 2015 11:46:50 AM

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I’ll assume for the sake of this post that your practice has a Facebook page and that you’re spending at least some time regularly monitoring, refining, and measuring it’s performance.  If your practice doesn’t have a Facebook page, or if you do but you're ignoring it, finish reading this post and address these issues ASAP!  

One of the most common ways you can build your practice’s brand on social media is to ask your clients, employees, vendors, etc.. to “Like” you on Facebook. This is not just an online popularity contest, though that’s certainly part of it. The number of “Likes” you have is an indirect measure of quality and provides what marketers call “signaling” to potential clients: a clear but unwritten/unspoken indicator of quality.

Let’s take an example of someone who needs to find a new veterinarian.  If this person has a choice between going to two different veterinary hospitals that seem to be equal in all other ways (i.e. proximity to her home, quality of the website, recommendations from friends, etc.) but one practice has 150 “Likes” on Facebook and the other one has 2,000 “Likes”, who do you think she’s going to call first?  She rightly assumes that in order to get 2,000 “Likes”, a practice must be doing several things right, including providing great value and client service.

Here’s a really cool infographic from KISSMetrics entitled “How to get more Likes on Facebook”.

Finally, here are three simple but powerful tips I found in a recent blog post ( by the folks at BeyondIndigo, a wonderful group that helps veterinary practices develop their entire marketing ecosystem:

  • Snap a photo (with the client’s permission) to share with your followers. Cute animal photos are the low-hanging fruit everyone loves to consume, and sharing a client’s pet can promote client loyalty.
  • Case of the Week: tell your followers about a particular pet you treated that week by providing a narrative that details their pathway to health. Again, as with all content that involves a client and his/her pet, make sure to get permission before sharing anything online.
  • Images from boarding, pet daycare, or behavioral training are not only an easy way to feature these services, but they also let pet owners know you’re paying special attention to their furry family.

Remember, Facebook is not for’s for having a conversation with your followers.  Avoid the temptation to turn it into a marketing platform where you announce monthly discount programs or only talk about the importance of vaccines/labwork/dentals, etc..  The real power of social media is that it gives you a platform to share valuable and “remark-able” content that your followers will find value in AND share.  Forget that you’ve worked in and around animal hospitals for the last X years and post the kinds of things you’d want to see if you were a pet owner.  If you do that, and do it consistently over time, you’ll be amazed at the results you get!Click to edit your new post...