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3 social media tips for leisure and lifestyle industry marketing

16 December, 2015

Puppy reading WXV Facebook page

Earlier this month I was invited by The Veterinary Marketing Association to present a masterclass on social media marketing for in-house marketers and consultants working across the UK veterinary marketing industry.

Social media is an important marketing channel for reaching and engaging pet owners. People love talking about and sharing pictures of their pets online! With a solid social media strategy, veterinary practices can harness this and position their company as the friendly and helpful source they can trust with their treasured family pets.

We covered all the main social media platforms, the importance of blogging, how it links in an organisation’s wider PR and communications strategy and can work wonders on your search engine optimisation (SEO). I gave practical tips on how to improve Google rankings, use Facebook to engage with new and existing clients, build relationships through Twitter, set up and manage a blog and – most importantly – be strategic on social media.

But this advice doesn’t just apply to the veterinary industry. For any kind of family, leisure or lifestyle industry organisation, the opportunities for engagement through social media are huge. Pets, hobbies, sport, travel etc – they are all very visually appealing, interesting, and people LOVE talking about them, which makes them perfect for social media.

White Cross Vets on social media has had the pleasure of working closely with our client White Cross Vets on the design and development of their new website (which won the 2015 VMA Digital Award) and on some of their digital marketing campaigns.

White Cross Vets is an industry leader in terms of its digital marketing and social media presence, and the way they use social to engage clients is great.

Below are a few suggestions on how you can use social media as part of your communications strategy to reach new audiences and promote your work, using examples from White Cross Vets.

3 social media tips for leisure and lifestyle industry marketing

(1) Amplify PR campaigns

With its ability to quickly and easily reach and engage large numbers of clients, social is the perfect channel to amplify public interest PR stories, such as this campaign to ban antifreeze preparations that don’t include a bitterant – which was run by our client White Cross Vets to prevent the annual rise in antifreeze poisoning in cats that they see every year.

(2) Build local community interest groups

Hyper-targeted opportunities on platforms like Facebook mean you can build active communities around local practices or interest groups. White Cross Vets uses local Facebook groups based around its practices to promote a local offers or events. But they don’t just tell people about the offer, they tell a story. This is often accompanied by a very cute photograph, such as this adorable kitten who has been for a free health check at Gateacre.

WXV Kitten health checks on Facebook

Another key point to note here is that the offer is free. A common mistake is to try and “sell” through social media. Social isn’t about selling, it’s about engagement. You need to have appropriate conversion mechanisms built in later down the line to convert social engagement into sales.

(3) Create and share vlogs (video blogs)

The consumption of online video content has vastly increased over the past couple of years as more and more people choose to watch videos online over reading written content or watching television. Video allows you to connect and interact with your audience on a much more personal level, as you literally put a face to your organisation. It is also a lot of fun, as we found when we recently filmed some veterinary advice videos with Vanessa from White Cross Vets and some pets with filmstar quality!

Vanessa WXV filming vets

Social media masterclass

Would you like to book Jonny Ross as a social media speaker for your industry event?

Contact us today to discuss your requirements and subscribe to this blog to receive weekly tips and ideas for your social media and digital marketing campaigns.




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