Brenda Tassava, CVPM, CVJ, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and author of Social Media for Veterinary Professionals (Lulu, 2010), shares the most common social media problems she sees—and explains how to properly promote your practice.
Accepting friend requests on your practice’s Facebook page. If you’re receiving friend requests, then you’ve set up your practice’s page as a personal profile rather than a business page. This can lead to major problems—namely the potential to get kicked off Facebook. Your clients should only be able to “like” your page. No worries, though; switching is an easy fix. Once you sign into Facebook, click on the “Account” button in the top righthand corner, then click on the “Help Center” to find instructions.
Believing social media will take up all your time. While it’s easy to spend hours looking at pictures on Facebook and stalking celebrities on Twitter, this doesn’t mean you have to be sucked into social media oblivion. Take time every Monday to plan out your posts and tweets for the week. Make a calendar strictly for social media so everyone knows the plan. Also, be sure you’re receiving e-mail notifications when people comment or post to your social media sites. This will eliminate the need to log on frequently.
Rejecting social media opportunities if you’re older than 24. Don’t confuse maturity and professionalism with being hip and cool. Social media doesn’t require a lot of technological know-how and is user-friendly. If you’re in charge of posting for the practice, make sure you know what’s going on at the practice at all times so your posts are useful and relevant to your clients.
USING ALL CAPS IN YOUR POSTS. This is the equivalent of yelling at clients. You don’t want to offend loyal pet owners when speaking with the practice’s voice, so check out other business sites to pick up on proper online etiquette.