Social Media: Itís not how you say it Ė itís what you say!


Posted in: Articles

Posted on: 14 November 2013

The internet is certainly no stranger to social media advice. You can find ebooks, blogs, articles, webinars, and more, all talking about how to harness the ‘magic’ and ‘power’ of social media. 
You’ll even find guidance here at VetVoice, designed and tailored to meet the needs of the veterinary profession!

The original classic, marketing advice, of course, is the old ‘it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!’ gem. And there is a lot of truth in the saying. Even weak marketing messages are effective with enough money and horsepower behind them. 
(And if you have those kinds of resources, congratulations, by the way!)

But vet practices aren’t famous for having loads of money to throw at social media until something sticks and works. So the actual ‘message’ (yes, the point you’re trying to get out) suddenly becomes very much more important.

People and practices that are looking to make a splash (or even a wave!) in social media have a big hurdle to jump. Once you’ve decided where (Twitter? Facebook? Website?) and who (your staff? External experts?) you’ve just got to decide what to put out there. 

Certainly there’s a wealth of resources out there. From pet advice to funny cat pictures, the internet is very much your friend. But how do you decide what goes up? How do you make your clinic different from the other four thousand in the UK? How do you get those potential clients to believe what you say, walk through your door, and become your clients?

The answer?

1. Decide what you want to tell people.

2. Say what you’ve decided to say.

3. Tell people that you’ve said something.

 

In an extremely simple nutshell, this is the basics of branding.

(“Brand? We already have a logo!” comes the common response. The truth is, yes, a ‘brand’ is a name, or logo, or picture that represents your image. But it’s deeper than that. Your brand relies on your reputation - what people think and say about your practice, whether positive or negative. A good brand has a good reputation, and a bad brand has a bad reputation. )

The classic mistake that some vet practices make is deciding that they want to market to everyone. They don’t care who comes in, they just want people to come through the door with their pets. 
And of course, as the old saying goes, ‘trying to please everyone, pleases nobody’.

No matter how snappy and original your marketing and social media team is, they work best when targeted. Have you thought about your goals and your message recently?  The biggest megaphone in the world doesn’t work if you don’t put anything in it.

Marketing advice will always tell you to find your Unique Selling Point. The most unique thing about you is yourself! What kind of medicine do you like to practice? What kind of patients do you like to see? What kind of owners do you work best with?

Have an opinion! You will never manage to attract every client in your area so you might as well try attracting the ones who are interested in practices like yours.

In today’s social media, the most successful businesses are the ones that feature a personality. That doesn’t mean you need to be Richard Branson or Lord Sugar! But love them or hate them, you always know exactly where these guys stand.

 

So that’s your first big job with social media.

1. Decide what you want to tell people.

2. Say what you’ve decided to say.

3. Tell people that you’ve said something.

 

And that’s when you can go nuts on social media. Remember – it’s not just how you say it – it’s what you say!

 

Written & researched by our newest recruit "STIN"

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