Friday, November 29, 2013


Conquer Your Fear of Veterinary Social Media Marketing
Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference 2012
Phillip Barnes
NorthStar VETS, Robbinsville, NJ
Objectives of the Presentation
Find solutions to the top 5 fears:
1.  How will I handle negative feedback?
2.  How do I properly use social media?
3.  What resources do I need to dedicate to using this medium?
4.  What will I say?
5.  How will I know my return on investment?
How to socialize your veterinary practice.
Overview of the Issue
Many veterinarians, practice owners, and veterinary marketers are hesitant to jump into social media due to a fear of the unknown. How do we get started? How will we manage it? Will it work? The answers to these questions can be answered simply and will empower practices to begin using these tools with confidence.
1. Handle Negative Feedback
a.  Reviews are everywhere online, from Citysearch to Yelp to Google. Some are anonymous while others are not.
b.  Know what is being said about your practice and your veterinarians through regular Google searches.
c.  Anecdotally, negative reviews are a very small percentage of total online comments.
d.  Address a negative post or review tactfully.
i.  Acknowledge that you've heard their concern.
ii.  Express your interest in hearing their story or making things right for them.
iii.  Offer to speak with them offline (provide your phone number and/or email address).
iv.  Allow others to come to your rescue and handle negative feedback if they choose.
v.  Do not whitewash your page. Leave negative posts unless they are abusive or offensive.
2. Learn How to Properly Use Social Media
a.  Whether you outsource, delegate, or own your social media efforts, educate yourself on what's out there and how it works (Google "Twitter training").
b.  Use each social networking site's own help section.
c.  Ask someone to show you.
3. Dedicate Adequate Resources to Using This Medium
a.  Time
i.  Carve time out for yourself to manage social media.
ii.  Delegate to a team member you trust (have a social media policy).
iii.  Outsource to a marketing company with experience helping veterinary practices that will work with you personally.
iv.  Use automation tools, like SocialOomph, to manage your time.
b.  Money
i.  Increase your marketing budget to allow for social media.
ii.  Shift funds from other efforts, such as newspaper ads, into social media.
iii.  You may consider employees' time spent on managing social media as part of its cost.
4. Decide What to Say
a.  What's new at your practice?
b.  What relevant topics are trending now?
c.  What's in the news (extreme weather, recalls, pet holidays, pet issues, upcoming events, industry news)?
d.  Ask questions, post polls, and host discussions.
e.  Reward them for connecting with you via contests, prizes, and offers.
f.  Spotlight clients or other pet-related businesses (like groomers).
5. Know Your Return on Investment
a.  Set clear goals
b.  Track your results
c.  Know these 6 important campaign metrics
i.  Cost of campaign
ii.  Number of new patients
iii.  Cost per new patient (cost of campaign divided by number of new patients)
iv.  Revenue
v.  Average revenue (total revenue divided by number of new patients)
vi.  Return on investment (total revenue divided by cost of campaign, expressed as a percent)
vii.  Example:
a)  Technician spends 8 hours per month on social media at $12 per hour
b)  Cost of campaign: $96
c)  Number of new patients: 2
d)  Money spent to acquire each new patient: $48
e)  Total revenue: $180
f)  Average revenue: $90
g)  Return on investment: 188%
Socialize Your Veterinary Practice
 Strengthen your relationships with your clients.
 Bring "word-of-mouth" online to help grow your practice.
 Improve your opportunities to educate pet owners and increase compliance.
 Be where your (potential) clients already are.
 Control your own business marketing.
Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

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