Social media updates for your veterinary practice today

September 30, 2016
Kristi Reimer Fender, News Channel Director

Kristi Reimer is editor of dvm360 magazine and news channel director for Before taking over

Hints to help you track whats changedand what hasnt.

At the recent CVC Kansas City, veterinary marketing expert Eric Garcia, owner of Simply Done Tech Solutions, gave a talk on what's new in social media for veterinary practices. Well, social media is a moving target for media groups as well as small business owners, so I thought I'd sit in and see how outdated my own thinking was when it came to Facebook, Twitter and the like. Fortunately, the situation was better than I'd thought. In case you also have a nagging feeling things are changing faster than you can keep up, I thought I'd pass along what I learned. Maybe you'll feel better too.

The good news is that Facebook is still by far the most important social media platform, even though it seems old and stodgy in the ephemeral world of social media. (How many of you are seeing posts like this: “Kristi, here's a Facebook memory from eight years ago.” Eight years? Has it really been that long?)

Eric GarciaThe upshot? If you've invested significantly in creating a presence on Facebook for your clients, you're in great shape. It's not really “cool” anymore among the young and trendy, but it's essential for businesses that want to be found when customers go to look for information about a service provider and then want to build a relationship with that business. As Garcia put it, “Millennials are trying to leave Facebook, but they can't. They always come back.”

Here's a significant update that I can't say I was sorry to hear about: Twitter is no longer considered an important marketing tool. “I am not recommending Twitter for veterinary practices anymore,” Garcia says. “There's not enough engagement from clients to justify the amount of time required.”

Garcia's comments resonate with my own research and experience. It seems like every article I read about social media states that Twitter has changed from its origins enough that people are no longer using it for those ongoing conversations like they once did. So if you haven't seen much return from Twitter, feel free to scratch it off your list. (That said, if you've built a Twitter presence that's driving business and engaging clients, continue by all means!)

That leaves Instagram (it's worth it if you make sure the images belong to you-invest in a clinic camera so you're absolutely sure), Pinterest (ditto), SnapChat (not worth it-the primary user is 16 years old: not your target market) and YouTube (the world's second-largest search engine is worth utilizing if you are video-inclined; again, use a clinic camera to make sure the videos are truly yours).

See, that wasn't so bad, was it?