Social Media is Going to the Dogs!
A well established veterinary hospital in Toronto’s Parkdale Village has decided to adopt Social Media. They felt their current traditional marketing methods were not giving them the exposure they sought. The hospital is implementing a strategy that includes a Facebook Business Page, Twitter, and a Blog. They already have a website and a YouTube Channel, with fantastic pet “How-To” videos. Social Media will give Parkdale that needed exposure.
In a recent study, about one half of small businesses have successfully connected with new customers through social media.
- 61% of small business owners are using social media to attract new customers.
- 45% expect their social media activities to be profitable in the next 12 months.
Social media adoption by small business has doubled since 2009. Facebook has over 800 million users and 50% of them log on every day.
A Facebook Profile is about friends and family, whereas a Facebook Business Page is about interfacing and engaging with customers or potential new customers. Unlike a website, a Business Page is dynamic and it allows this veterinarian and his team to connect with their community every day and remind them of their presence. By using Social Media the veterinary hospital can interact daily with its customers and others in the community, thus spreading out the word about Parkdale Animal Hospital.
In the first couple months the Business Page has been up and running, the hospital has provided posts on:
- Tips for your pets
- Fun facts about pets
- Introduced a Patient of the Week (people love to see their pet’s photos)
- Polls and Questions – “Who is your Favourite TV Cat”
- A contest to name their newly adopted clinic cat
- A contest to win a Cat Scratching Post
- Weekly Parkdale Funny Post
These are all fantastic ways to engage with the Fans of their Page. It provides relevant and fun content for what the hospital does – providing care for your pet.
Social Media gives the hospital a vehicle to discuss “events” or share stories, like BBQ’s, school visits, and upcoming awareness events and promotions such as “Pet Dental Months”. The hospital has a “free” clinic the last Thursday of every month for pets whose owners are on social assistance. People like to hear how many pets were treated – they love the “feel good” stories. This gives the hospital increased visibility in the community and the surrounding area. A strategy that helps maintain customers and also attracts new ones.
Social Media is about consistency. Posts need to be regular and constant and interaction with the Fans of the Page is equally necessary and important. Since Parkdale Animal Hospital is in the business of veterinary medicine and not Social Media, they played to the strengths of their team and outsourced all their Social Media development, management and posts to various networks.
Social media continues to grow and should be embraced by small businesses everywhere. Being Social Media savvy means continued growth for customers and revenue.
Social Media provides the means for small businesses to increase the visibility of their products and services. It is the new way of doing business and those who adopt it effectively will be rewarded.
In this case Social Media is indeed going to the Dogs!