Everyone talks about the need to have a social media presence but some businesses find themselves spinning their wheels while trying to find a formula that works for them. Businesses of any size can benefit from an effective social media marketing plan, but first it is important to tailor any messages to the appropriate audience. Use the following suggestions to improve your social media efforts, increasing engagement and boosting conversions.
1. Learn How It Works
Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will take more than a few hours to learn how suitable channels work and how they may best suit your business needs. Invest the time to explore some of the free and paid resources online to create a practical social media marketing strategy. Discuss your unique requirements with a ViziSites Internet Marketing Consultant to make the most out of your social media platforms.
2. Listen & Act
Social media platforms are now being used as an extension of customer service departments. Customers are voicing their complaints and concerns, in addition to writing up candid reviews on platforms. Veterinary practices and hospitals can use the information to improve wait times, find new niches and provide recognition for employees going above and beyond. Taking the time to respond directly to customers online can demonstrate the type of attention to be expected by the business and improve customer relations.
3. Automate the Process
Automation helps make it easier to ensure that communications and offers are sent out as scheduled. Free and paid plans from Hootsuite can get business owners started and make efforts more efficient. Plan posts in advance to allow time for responding and engaging with followers. Avoid coming across as overly promotional and look for ways to interest and educate an audience to grow a following.
4. Engage Your Audience
Leveraging social media means more than posting a few times a day. Active engagement is key to getting audiences involved and building online relationships. Engagement helps open the lines of communication, allowing businesses to interact with prospects directly. Establishing an authentic sense of empathy is important for both online and offline relationships.
This playful example from CoastView Veterinary Hospital creates a game with pet owners. They are offered a chance to spell their pets’ names using only emojis. Pet names are spelled with emojis ranging from mushrooms, to saxophones and apples.
Light-hearted posts and games can increase engagement and be shared with others in their circle, potentially allowing new visitors to take part in the activity and follow a business. Social media efforts should not only be focused on pushing veterinary services or products in un-spammy ways, but to create authentic connections with leads and customers.
5. Prioritize Platforms
It doesn’t make sense to keep posting on platforms that audiences aren’t on. Spend more time on those channels that show the most engagement from an audience. Some businesses find success with some of the most popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Remember that the type and format of posts may need to be tailored to the selected platform.
6. Analyze Results
There are multiple ways to stay informed and improve your social media efforts. Using the analytics provided by a specific social media platform, as well as through HootSuite, can make it easier to track which posts are performing well. Likes, shares and comments are some of the indicators that a post is connecting with an audience. Paying to boost such posts can also increase exposure of a business to new leads. This should be done with posts performing well organically to see the best results. Vet practice owners and small businesses can use regular analysis to hone their strategy and learn which types of posts work best with a target audience.
How to Get Started
Small business owners are generally busy with handling the daily operations of an organization. However, time should be set aside daily to understand the opportunities offered with a social media presence and to learn how competitors may be engaging with their customers online. Learning the fundamentals about popular platforms and starting with a basic social media plan can get veterinary managers and owners new customers while retaining the old. Contact a ViziSites Internet Marketing Consultant for more details on which ideas and techniques would best suit your practice as you ramp up your efforts today.