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How to Drive Great Social Conversations and Win Clients

August 11th, 2014 | Vets and Pets

“There’s only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde.

50% of veterinary clients today maintain a social presence over different platforms. So if 50% of your target audience is on social, then social is where you need to be. Your socially active target audience carries with it thousands of friends; this community of socially connected people share their thoughts, their opinions, as well as referrals for products and services they endorse. This is why social media is a prime, low-cost platform which can be ideal for building a robust online reputation for veterinary practices. It is where you can engage with your clients and prospects in a way which makes you look good both online and offline.

Social Conversations are Viral

The reason why social conversations go viral is because they spread from person to person; the conversation is shared till it eventually becomes a community dialogue. In a lot of instances, humor or unconventional characterization fuels these conversations – now you know why Grumpy Cat or LOL cats have such a huge audience. The world of social marketing is all about word-of-mouth endorsements – people like a brand, they talk about it, they share it, and they actively endorse it among their contacts and in their circles to create a viral sharing buzz.

Word-of-mouth or viral marketing is hardly new and advertisers have been using it for ages. However, social simply created a more engaging and visible way of achieving the same goal but with stellar results. The advantage with social is that conversations take place in real time and in a highly interactive space which means your veterinary practice brand stands to gain from explosive online exposure if handled properly.

Are People Talking about You?  

The Social environment is highly active and vibrant which makes it perfect for engaging with potential customers. Leading brands, in particular the ones that are most successful over social media understand this; their social campaigns focus on increasing brand awareness by driving conversations about their products and services. The more people talk about you, the better.

Related5 Social-Media Blunders Your Veterinary Practice can do Without

So the Socially Smart question is – how can veterinary practices drive conversation over social media?

Fostering conversations over social should be viewed as a means of meeting and exceeding clients expectations. Not only does this lead to higher engagement, but it also leads to more effective marketing. To drive efficient and effective conversations you need to be mindful of the following;

  • Find out where your potential audience is most active
  • Understand what your audience wants
  • Craft messages to address these needs
  • Ensure your audiences understands your message
  • Make sure you are receptive and responsive to your audience
  • Ensure that you are in a position to exert some control over how communication flows
  • Connect your content and themes to other relevant and significant conversations to add value and provide your readers with a little something extra

Create Awesome Content and Compelling Marketing Messages

The key to creating truly engaging social conversations lies in creating content and crafting messages which are highly relevant to your audience. Your content should address a need or want as opposed to simply selling. Remember, the needs and interests of your community should always come first. The second aspect of creating a social media buzz revolves around the “appeal” factor. Give you audience a reason to share your items and they will. Thirdly, social community is all about give and take – you need to give first.

Great content is one of the best conversation starters over social. Keep in mind that conversations over social shouldn’t be initiated with a focus on gaining more “likes.” On the contrary, your focus should be about creating content that your audience cares about and will actually share with their family and friends – your content should be able to drive as many conversations as possible. Start using embeds and on-site social share plugins.

Once your audience starts influencing or advocating on behalf of your veterinary practice brand, it is akin to them personally endorsing your brand to their overlapping community members. These members in turn will be more inclined to pay attention to one of their own and further help spread the word –  this is how a viral social buzz is created.

Related – Did you know social signals can impact search rankings?  Find out everything there is to know about Social SEO for your Practice. 

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