Put your veterinary practice on YouTube. Here's why—and how

Put your veterinary practice on YouTube. Here's why—and how

Using videos as a social media tool helps you create more emotional connections with clients.
Aug 20, 2010
Editor's note: This is the 10th article in a 12-article series.

Did you know the No. 2 search engine in the world didn’t exist six years ago? And most people don’t even think of it as a search engine. What is it? YouTube. If you regularly google your practice’s name, start searching for it on YouTube. You might be surprised by what you find.

YouTube is the very definition of online social media: It’s interesting, free, and everyday people create the posts. These people turn to YouTube for entertainment, education, and, yes, even to search for topics normally reserved for googling. YouTube videos allow people to tell their stories in a different way. They add richness to stories that words or pictures alone cannot.

Your veterinary practice should not only start uploading videos to YouTube to promote your services, but also to educate clients. You can begin by creating your YouTube channel. This will give you a home page on YouTube, and allow your clients to subscribe to your channel. This makes it easy for people to easily see your new video posts. The options for creating video for your channel are almost endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Turn your client education handouts into short video clips

• Create how-to videos for your clients, as in “how to brush your pet’s teeth” or “how to give your cat a pill

• Create a video tour of your practice, narrating as you walk through each area

• If you can write a blog article about a topic, consider taking it a step further and turning it into a video article

Creating video and uploading it to the Internet is easier than ever these days. Case in point: Every five minutes, more than 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. Your practice can break into this video revolution with an investment of less than $200. There are portable, easy-to-use, high-definition video cameras available for about $150. With these digital cameras, you can simply point and shoot, plug it into your computer’s USB port, and upload your video to YouTube. Some smartphones also offer video capability. In fact, just last week, I was walking through the treatment area when one of the technicians said we were about to begin a c-section. I had my smartphone in hand and went right to work filming the activity as each puppy was delivered. Within one hour, the video was uploaded to our YouTube channel and a link was posted on our Facebook page to share with our clients.

Think of YouTube as the place on the Internet where you store all your videos. You can then link to specific videos through your practice’s website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter posts. (This bolsters your clicks and connections, and also your search engine power. The more links you create on the Internet, the more likely search engines like Google will find your site—so others can find it too.) By including video in your social media strategy, you’ll be appealing to a much broader audience and connecting in a more emotional way.

Brenda Tassava, CVPM, CVJ, is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and author of "Social Media for Veterinary Professionals." She's been a social media enthusiast since her teenage daughter introduced her to Facebook in late 2008. Tassava quickly saw the enormous potential and began learning all she could about the social media world. Today, she manages multiple Twitter and Facebook fan pages, including those for Broad Ripple Animal Clinic and Wellness Center, Bark Tutor School for Dogs, and Canine Colors. She also volunteers her time to assist in managing the VHMA and CVPM Facebook Fan pages. She will present on social media at the 2011 CVC in San Diego.

Also in this series
Article 1:
Making social media worth the time and effort
Article 2: 5 basic rules of social media
Article 3: Creating a social media strategy: Step 1—set goals
Article 4: Hush up to cut through the social-media chatter
Article 5: Join the conversation, start with Twitter and Facebook
Article 6: Converse with clients through Twitter
Article 7: 6 tips for blogging to clients
Article 8: 4 keys to Facebook for veterinary practices
Article 9: Want Facebook success? Use data to know your fans
Article 10: Put your practice on YouTube. Here's why—and how
Article 11: Mobile apps—the future is now for your practice
Article 12: Social media: You're doing it, but are you managing it?