Do you tweet? Does your veterinary practice have a Facebook Fan page? Blog? Surely, you have a functioning, easy-to-use website! Social media and the Internet are the marketing tools that today’s veterinary managers are using to nurture the growth of their clinics’ futures. Don’t think you have time to keep up with a Twitter page or a blog? I say you can’t afford to place these things at the bottom of your priority list.
You first have to learn about social media and begin using it on a personal level. Don’t set-up an account, play around with it ,then forget about it. Really use it. Start by following others and learning what it is they are doing and saying. Slowly become an active participant once you get the hang of things.
The magic starts to happen when you have persevered and everything starts to interconnect. The people who become Fans of your clinic on Facebook, will suddenly be more interactive with you. You can place links to your latest blog post on Facebook or Twitter, drawing even more people in to learn about your clinic and staff.
Afraid to blog because you’re not sure you can keep up with it? Start with Twitter, a form of mini-blogging, on a 140-character scale. If you can keep up with posting tweets on a regular basis, you’ll soon feel comfortable writing a blog. Have you checked out Twitter, only to be confused by some of the jargon and shorthand? Here are a few helpful hints:
- RT means “retweet”. Twitter is a conversation. When you read something you want to tell others about, simply copy & paste the entire entry, preceeded by ‘RT’ and the Twitterers ‘name’ with an @ directly in front of their name.
- @ signifies the beginning of a Twitterer’s name. Twitter builds a link to other Tweeple when you use the @symbol in front of their name.
- Using @ followed by a Twitterer’s name, at the beginning of a tweet means you are replying directly to that person, or having a direct conversation with them, that others can see.
For more Twitter hints and information, I highly recommend reading Joel Comm’s book, “Twitter Power”. Feel free to follow me: @bktassava, and @BRACpet especially if you are just starting to learn about Twitter. Other great Tweeple to follow include: @AAHAHelpingPets, @PetMD, @vetmgrrecruiter, @VetPartners, @FirstlineMag, and @HealthyPet.
I have been tweeting since November 2008, and blogging for three months. Our Facebook Fan page gained more than 300 Fans in less than a month, and I have more than 40 great clients who interact with me frequently on Twitter. Some have even been known to place their pet food orders and medication refills via tweets! The easier we make it for our clients to do business with us, the more business they will do. Get online and start connecting with your clients now to build your clinic’s future.