Your Facebook profile is one of the first points of contact between you and potential clients and, like your website, should reflect the standard of your practice. Your online presence sets the tone of your business, familiarizes potential clients with your standards and ethos, and contributes to clients’ overall experience of your practice.
It’s all about Customer Experience!
Customer experience has become a central concept in business, and one that vet rehab therapists would do well to become more aware of. Clients who have had good experiences with your practice become raving fans, and will do more to market your practice than any amount of advertising you might do.
Facebook gurus are finding that only 24% of small businesses see a positive return on investment when it comes to Facebook. That means that just less than a quarter of businesses are happy with the results of the time and money they spend on Facebook.
Why is this percentage so low? In my opinion it is a combination of the content they’re posting and the fact that their Facebook profiles are often incomplete.
Beef up your Profile
Potential clients can tell a lot about you from your profile. They can certainly tell how on the ball you are, and by extension, how professional and reliable you are. Consider these aspects:
- Is the page updated regularly? If not, the impression is given that your practice is not serious about what it does.
- Can potential clients find all the information they need?
- Is there a link to your website visible on your profile? Is your website functional and optimized?
Find out more by reading this blog – click here.
- Can they leave a message? How long does it take for someone to reply? Is there an automated reply?
- A well-written automatic reply can make a huge difference. Here’s an example: “Thank you for your message. I am currently busy treating a dog in the underwater treadmill. Your message is important to me, and as soon as I am done, I will reply to you.”
Here are my top tips for using Facebook:
1. Have a Purpose
Ask yourself: Why am I posting this? What do I hope to achieve? Our Facebook posts should aim to achieve one of these four goals:
- Educate and inform
Keep a good balance of the above, and you’re part way there.
2. Stand Out
Think about your educational posts, making sure they’re in line with what you do, and that they stand out.
I see loads of people posting about foods that dogs should not eat – something thousands of others may have recently posted. You need to stand out. You’ll stand out when you create your own content, or alternatively share content that is relevant to what you actually do.
Stay focused on your area of expertise. You don’t see a dentist sharing information about exercise. Focus on veterinary rehabilitation topics – the idea is for your followers to associate you with what you do. Sharing unrelated content is a sure way to dilute yourself and decrease your return on investment in Facebook.
3. Forget about Likes
Don’t get fixated by likes and followers. Social media gurus say that 90% of people nowadays don’t engage with posts, but that does not mean they’re not reading them. So don’t feel sad when you post and no one likes or comments! If someone does, however, always respond – even if it’s just with a thumbs up. Engage, engage, engage!
4. Tag Others
Always tag people and businesses on your posts, if appropriate. People love to be mentioned and will often share your post when they are. Be supportive of your local community and share information about people and businesses that are doing great things. Share the love – it will come back to you.
5. Create a Social Media Plan
Most vet rehab therapists sit down once in a while and say, “Hmm … what shall I post today?” They sit for 15 minutes trying to decide, waste another 15 minutes changing their wording five times, and eventually click “share”. That’s a lot of wasted time if you’re posting regularly.
Decide on a focus for the week or month, and then plan what specifically you’d like to convey with each post in the series. For example, you may be busy with weight control with a couple of patients, and so develop a series of posts on that topic. Identify the photos and videos you intend to use, and prepare your posts in advance.
Put a little more thought into your posts, and don’t be random, posting simply for the sake of being “out there”. Random posts usually get lost in the noise and busyness of Facebook, and are pretty much a waste of time.
6. Be Consistant
To have a recognizable online presence and begin reaping benefits, you need to post at least two to three times a week. However, rather post great content less often than post boring content often. The idea is to be there, and to be valued.
7. Don’t use Click Bait
Engagement is important, but only if it’s authentic, not forced. Facebook doesn’t promote posts that ask people to like or share, and will also hold back on feeding posts into newsfeeds that ask for people to tag others. It’s like spamming people on Facebook.
They don’t make it easy, do they? So how do you get engagement? Well, you might ask questions relevant to your clients and potential clients. Create content that helps them and at the same time asks for their experiences. Ask them what they’re struggling with. People love to share their problems! When someone shares a problem, you have a great opportunity to create a service or disseminate information to help them and many others. All of this boosts your presence and your reputation as a responsive, knowledgeable and helpful professional.
Does all of the above seem like a lot of work? It does take a bit of time and effort. But it is worth it. In all businesses, it is the relationships we develop and the customer experience we make possible that set a business apart. For vet rehab therapists, relationships and customer experience start on social media and continue through to how we treat our clients and their pets.
Facebook will set the tone. We need to maintain that positive, professional tone through high standards of care, excellent service and constantly growing knowledge.
You may have all these, but without effective social media marketing, they may mean little.
Dr Megan Kelly gives a step by step tutorial on exactly how to optimise your facebook page in the Onlinepethealth members Business Basics section. Click here to access this imformaton now!