How to convert pet owner engagement on social media into business at your veterinary practice.

A strong social media strategy will help you to build an audience of local pet owners and boost your engagement levels. This is great, but actually converting that engagement to real life, paying clients often requires a bit more thought and effort. So, if you’re ready to maximise the business your practice is generating from your social media channels, here are some of our top tips.

Create a community

When working on building your audience, it is important to focus on who you are attracting. After all, there’s very little point appealing to people who live halfway across the world and don’t like animals (yes apparently, they do exist!)

So make sure you’re focusing on building a community of local pet owners as well as local people with pet-related businesses, including trainers, groomers, pet sitters, and dog walkers.

When it comes to creating a community, every local connection matters.

Encourage reviews

Reviews, testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations are extremely powerful and encouraging your clients to share their experiences with their friends and family will help you to expand your awareness and reach new pet owners.

Just remember to always thank people publicly for leaving a review or recommending your services as this will demonstrate your commitment to nurturing your community.

Enable online booking and other self service options for pet owners

The social media generation likes having things at their fingertips and removing barriers that could prevent what us marketing folk call ‘conversions’ is key.

Enabling online booking, registrations, repeat food or medication orders and a live chat function could be the thing that encourages someone to register their pet with your practice rather than a competitor.

When you’ve put the effort into enabling online booking, make sure that you are promoting it properly so clients know they can use it. This includes sharing direct links to relevant pages on your social media and incorporating them into your calls-to-action (CTAs).

Host competitions

It’s no secret that most people like a freebie, which means that people are generally very responsive to competitions hosted by businesses they are interested in.

When running a competition on Instagram or Facebook, ensure that all prizes can be collected from your practice by the winners because this will provide you with the perfect opportunity to initiate an in-person relationship.

Be active in your local community

Your practice should sit at the heart of your local community, so use this as an opportunity to be actively involved in every way possible. There are numerous approaches you could take here, including being present at local events and arranging visits with local schools and colleges.

Your social channels also provide plenty of opportunities to be an active voice in your community, so always share relevant local information that your local audience will find valuable. Another approach is to feature local pet-related businesses and pet owners on your social channels, which can provide a wealth of benefits for both you and the people you feature.

Importantly, each of these steps should feel authentic and organic, with a focus on keeping your local audience up to date with relevant information that benefits them and their pets. This will allow you to build awareness of your practice within your local area in ways that feel easy and natural rather than forced or awkward.