5 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Presence

When you're juggling multiple priorities, it can be hard to carve out time for nurturing your social media channels. While you're tied up managing supply orders, training new hires, and running everyday operations, it's easy for social media to fall off the radar.

We've pulled together five easy tips to help you make the most of your social media presence in the limited time you have.

1. Know Who You Want to Reach on Social Media

Chances are, your followers on social media are people who are interested in pets. But let's dig a bit deeper. By doing a little research, you can find out who is following you, which will help in targeting your messaging and engaging your audience.

For instance, are your followers:

  • Current clients?
  • Potential clients?
  • Millennials thinking about getting their first pet?

Once you understand your audience, you'll get a better idea of which social media platforms you should use to reach them. Facebook is a great starting place for your social media efforts — you can use the platform to reach a wide audience. But if you're trying to reach millennials, who own more pets than any other generation and are willing to spend more money on their pets than other generations, you'll want to check out Instagram.

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Once you've identified the channel(s) you're going to use, conduct a bit of research to make sure you understand how to get the most out of them. Want to share a link to an article about the increase in vector-borne disease prevalence in your area? Facebook makes it easy. On Instagram, you'll want to share relevant information in your post caption, as users are less likely to navigate to your profile page to click on a link.

2. Share Information That Will Interest and Help Your Followers

Before you post, think about what information is going to be relevant and useful to the user groups you've identified. Here are a few categories to help you get started:

Millennials preparing to be first-time pet owners:

  • What are the five things someone should consider before adding a pet to their family?
  • What's the best way for a new client to contact you to set up their first appointment?
  • Introduce your team and share photos of your practice — this way, new pet owners will see a familiar face (and space!) during their first visit.

Current clients:

  • Post monthly reminders about flea and tick preventives.
  • Share seasonally appropriate tips and reminders. For instance, is the Fourth of July fast approaching? Remind your clients about the risk of pets running away during fireworks and how table-surfing at a family barbecue can lead to pancreatitis.
  • Explain the importance of preventive care visits and focus on the "why" — explain how these visits, and the services you provide, can help their pets.

3. Use Videos and Images

Americans spend an average of 58 minutes a day on Facebook and 53 minutes a day on Instagram, according to data from SimilarWeb. That's a lot of posts to scroll through!

Before you share, think about what you can do to help your post break through the clutter of your followers' social media feeds. For example, social media channels prioritize the sharing of videos, and the more engagement your posts get — likes, comments, and shares — the more likely your audience is to see them.

The good news is you're surrounded by dogs, cats, and other cute pets — which is exactly the kind of content people are looking for. Before you share a photo or video of a pet, don't forget to get permission from the pet's owner. Once you have their permission, offer to tag them in your post. To do this on Instagram, you'll need to get their @handle. Pet owners will likely comment on and like your photos of their pets and may even share them. These actions will boost your engagement and help your posts reach more people.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Highlight a pet of the week
  • Share a fun fact
  • Introduce a new team member

4. Post Often and at the Right Times

You've worked hard to create the perfect video and witty caption to post on your social media channels. Make the most of it by sharing your post when your audience is online. Both Facebook and Instagram make it easy for you to find out when your followers are online.

While we're on the subject of posting, make sure to keep your account active and up-to-date. Posting two or three times a week will help you stay front of mind in your followers' feeds. Keeping your account up-to-date can also add to your credibility. An old, outdated account that hasn't been updated in a while may lead to the impression that your practice is no longer in business and give potential clients the wrong idea.

Plus, the more you post, and the more your followers engage with your posts, the more likely your posts will appear in your followers' news feeds.

5. Take Advantage of Free Tools to Automate Your Posts

It can be hard to carve out time to keep your social media channels up to date when you're juggling multiple priorities. Luckily, Facebook offers a scheduling tool for your posts, so if your audience is most active during a time when your clinic is really busy, you can schedule your posts to automatically publish. If you're looking to schedule posts on multiple social media platforms, you may want to choose a social media management tool that lets you manage your social accounts in one place.

Devoting time to maintaining your social media presence will help keep your clients engaged — and keep their pet's care top-of-mind. Nurturing this unique connection will not only brighten your clients' day but also strengthen their relationship with your clinic.

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Emma Lishness
Social Media Manager

Emma joined IDEXX in 2013 and manages the company’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. She loves exploring how social media platforms can be used to have meaningful conversations and build relationships. Emma holds an M.A. (Honours) from the University of St Andrews. When she’s not at work, Emma can be found exploring the Maine coast with her rescue beagle Sam.

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