A Veterinarian's Guide to Social Media: Do's & Don'ts (Part 2)

Social media can be an effective marketing tool, if it is used properly. Our social media team has assembled a list of three common pitfalls to avoid when promoting your practice on social media.

Don't: Overdo It

There are dozens of social networks out there, but only a handful of them are popular enough to be effective marketing tools. According to TechCrunch, the list includes: Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Instead of creating many social accounts, we recommend maintaining a limited number of accounts in the networks where your target audience spends its time. For veterinary clinics, that's most likely Facebook and Twitter. Remember, in order to successfully market using social media, you need to actively engage your audience, which means time. Help yourself by focusing your efforts where they are likely to make the most impact. It's better to have one or two accounts that are active, than any accounts that are deserted.

Don't: Forget to Create Original Content

Sharing kitten videos is an easy way to get a laugh out of your followers, but be careful not to overdo it. If you're only posting viral videos, you're missing a terrific opportunity to establish your reputation and engage with your audience. The best way to build a loyal following and establish your reputation is to post useful, original content, such as tips for caring for pets during the summer or tools to help house train a puppy. These kinds of posts are more likely to be shared and discussed, which will further help establish you as a credible source of information.

Don't: Be Afraid of Criticism

Chances are you've run into a client that was not happy about something. If this malcontent results in a negative tweet or post, don't panic! Instead, turn this criticism into an opportunity to build trust and goodwill. Make sure to respond promptly to the post by offering to contact the individual about the issue, and follow through on your commitment. Call the individual - its is easier to diffuse a situation through a live dialog than a written one. Hopefully, at the end of your conversation, you will turn your critic into a fan, and he or she will reflect this satisfaction on your social media page. Even if you don't turn the critic into a fan, the rest of your followers will see that you care about your clients and that you respond quickly to their concerns.