The Veterinary Social Media Podcast

VSMP 6: Social Media Posting Frequency & Timing for Veterinary Hospitals

February 27, 2024 Cheyanne Flerx Episode 6
The Veterinary Social Media Podcast
VSMP 6: Social Media Posting Frequency & Timing for Veterinary Hospitals
Show Notes Transcript

Join us as Cheyanne discusses the often murky waters of when and how much to post, a dilemma many veterinary professionals face due to conflicting information. In this episode, we aim to provide both general guidelines and actionable steps tailored to your hospital's unique needs.

Discover the importance of aligning your social media goals with your hospital's objectives, a crucial yet often overlooked aspect. Whether you're aiming to increase brand awareness or foster client engagement, understanding your goals is paramount to crafting an effective posting schedule.

Learn valuable insights into optimizing posting times on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, leveraging audience analytics to maximize engagement. Gain practical tips on scheduling posts and establishing efficient reposting systems to alleviate the burden of social media management.

Join Cheyanne for this conversation to unlock the full potential of your veterinary hospital's social media presence. Whether you're seasoned with social media or just starting, this episode offers actionable strategies to propel your hospital toward social media success. Don't miss out—tune in now!

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Links shared may contain affiliate links. Cheyanne may receive a commission at no extra cost to you through these links. Cheyanne only recommends products shes uses and loves! 

Welcome to the Veterinary Social Media Podcast, where you learn how to navigate social media and apply it to the world of veterinary medicine. I'm your host, Cheyenne Flerks, and let's get down to business.


Welcome to today's episode I may get a wound nerdy because we are diving into an aspect of strategy for social media. And that is w when to post and how much to post. This is a question that I know a lot of veterinary professionals struggle with because there's a lot of conflicting information out there, to be honest. And when it comes to a veterinary hospital, there are some conflicting information with that as well. So today what I want to do is give you some general guidelines, but also show you how you can get. Those general guidelines to be more specific to your hospital. And also really talk about some other ways that you can get down to the nitty gritty with coming up with a good posting schedule. Now, there are a lot of things to consider when we are talking about a posting strategy, such as we are today, when it comes to figuring out how much we need to be posting. And when. But really what I want you to focus on here today and something that I feel like a lot of hospitals miss is what are your goals for your social media? And really what is your hospital's goals for social media? Because when we know that, and I talk about this quite a bit. We can open up a huge amount of information that will help us to guide our steps and really figure out how we need to proceed. If you want to hear me talk about this more. I talk about this in a, another episode on the podcast and let me pull up that number for you. It's going to be episode. Number. Number five, where I talk about why your hospital should be using social media. So definitely give that a listen. But I bring that up for a reason because when we look at general guidelines, whether it's the ones that I provide, which we'll talk about here in a few minutes, or it's ones that you see online, It can be a little confusing when you aren't sure why you're doing social media or what your goals are, but when you are sure of what your goals are, you can take those guidelines and really compare them to what you want to be doing. But with those general guidelines, they don't Take account to where your hospital's located, what services you offer and who your ideal clients are. Because when we are looking at a. The veterinary hospital in a metropolitan area or a city. Compared to a veterinary hospital in a rural area. We instantly recognized that there's a huge difference in how people come in and out of that veterinary hospital and really how the relationship with those clients vary. Now with that. There are definitely some similarities and how we can market to people with on those. General guidelines, but overall, we need to dive in deeper, use those general guidelines as a starting point. And from there really tweaked to how we're noticing the changes and observations from. For our hospitals. And go on from there. So what's that some general guidelines could be posting to a social media three to four times a week. That is something that I generally recommend to people to start off with. But if you are a new practice, you have the. Obstacle to overcome, to getting people to know and be aware of your hospital. And so you'll need to want to post a lot more and maybe put some advertising behind everything that. Put advertising behind your presence online because people just need to know about who you are and where you're located. But if you are an established practice in a small town, What you may need to focus on is posting things that will mean something to your existing clients. And get them to come back into your practice time after time, or get them to refer your practice to their friends and family. So there goes a little bit of a different strategy right there. If you're posting just three to four times a week, that's a great maintenance schedule. But if you're needing to get more traffic to come into your practice, you'll need to want to post more so that more, you get more opportunities for people to see your content. But without me getting too nerdy and. On a tangent here or more. So getting down into the nitty gritties of strategy there. Well, I want to talk about is you and your practice and helping you to determine your ideal frequency for your hospital, because I can give examples all day long, but I want to be sure that you're walking away from this episode. With some good tangible advice so that you can take it for your hospital and get 1% better every day. So with that, I have some questions for you to help you to determine this for your practice. So what I want you to do is maybe not right now, if you're driving or if you're listening to this at the practice, but these questions will be in the show notes. So don't worry about writing them down right now, but I'm going to list of some questions. I want you to take a few moments to either write down yourself, reflect on how your hospital or would respond, take these to your practice manager, go over them with them or with. With your team, take these questions to the team and see. What this would look like. But the first question I want you to reflect on is how often would you like to be posting? Now this can be, can vary if you're just the social media manager, this could be more like. How often would my practice manager, my ownership, my management, whoever. Would like me to be posting if you're the manager or the practice owner, once you to be sure that you're clarifying this for yourself so that you can either know for yourself or delegate this to a team member. Now, the next question is how often can you realistically post while keeping a consistent posting schedule without burning out? I know this is a temptation for a lot of practices because either there's that advice out there to be posting as often as you can, as many times a day. I remember this one social media manager sharing with me that they. Wanted her to be posting like six times a day for on Facebook and whether Y. While that could work for a practice. Honestly, I don't think that's sustainable if they're doing that every day of the week. Multiple times a day. It can be a lot, especially if you're still working on the floor. So. being sure that you can keep up with that flow of content. And publishing that while also creating that in a way that reflects your hospital well is where I'm talking about realistically, because if you are wanting to do video clips where every, you know, every day of the week, or trying to keep up with the theme every Tuesday that is quickly going to drain on your creativity reservoirs So be honest with your time with your energy, with your bandwidth, whether that's for you as the social media manager or the leader, the management of the team saying, Hey, this is what I want to do. Is this realistic? It's like saying, okay, I'm going to be taking on, you know, 8 surgeries this morning, but I only have. A four hour block and I have one that's a very intensive surgery. It may not work, but if you're only doing spays and neuters and you have very good systems in place, and that's all you're doing, you may be able to get those, you know, aid Spain neuters for an example, done in that four hour block. I mean, I've seen hospitals do something similar before, but without those good systems that would be close to impossible. I would think. So. Really just being honest with how much time you have to create all this. Then from there, once you to ask yourself, what is the overall goal for your social media accounts? And can you realistically reach that goal? Now? One common goal. I know a lot of practices have. Is, they want to reach as many followers as they can. And I often get feedback on them wanting To hit 10 K followers. Now. You've heard me talk about this on the podcast, or you've heard me talk about this before, but if that is your goal, I really want you to pause and evaluate what that means for you. Are you wanting the followers because you are wanting to get as many people in to your practice as possible in the hopes of the more followers you have, the more clients you get, or are you trying just to get recognized in your area having a lot of followers, or is that just a goal that you've seen someone else achieve and that you thought that would be really cool to achieve for yourself? With that though. I want you to be careful about achieving that because that will quickly discourage you or Cause you to burn out because for a veterinary hospital, lots of big lofty goal, unless you have a doctor who has a. A social media following if they're an influencer, but makes a little bit easier. But for event in our hospital, I don't always rec I actually, I don't recommend that because. Now. If you're in a big city area that may change. But generally when you're a hospital, you want to be attracting the people who are in your local community. Now. If you're attracting people from say I'm in Washington state. Okay. And I want to, you know, attract as many followers as I can, but I'm starting to attract followers from New York or from Florida. Those people aren't going to do business with me. So I though those followers are great for metrics, but they're not going to help me in the end of the day with my business or with my practice. So. Just reevaluate your, your overall goal for social media. So that you can align your actions with your goal and that you can be more successful in achieving those. So, With that. This is a big question for a lot of people I'm coming to realize, but this next question is what do you need to make this happen? So, what do you need to do to make your, your overall social media goal happen? What do you need to make your ideal posting frequency possible? That is something I really do want you to take time to think about because when you know what you need to make it happen. Then you're more likely to be able to schedule out those tasks that you need. And if you're the social media manager, Doing this on the side. Amongst your full-time position or your main position at the hospital. It's going to be a lot. More fruitful for you to be able to say, okay, I need to make a, I need to post, you know, five times a week. This month, that's about a four. You have four weeks in a month. That's about 20 posts a month. Then you can say, okay, I only have time to make 10 posts. In the next two weeks, you can easily say, K, I need to carve out time here, here, and here so that you know that you're not having to spend all of it in one chunk. And burning out, trying to keep up with that, or, you know, the posting that posts in one day and rushing, and I'm risking to make a mistake on those posts. So. With that though, this last question really depends on your bandwidth within your team. But here is, do you need support in making this happen? Now. I will say that everyone needs help. Especially if you're the social media manager, who's doing this with another M P position in place. See what you need. And that's why I ask you to really reflect on what do you need to make this happen? Because then you can say, oh, I need patient photos. But I don't have the time right now to go get photos or I don't have any photos on hand. How can I get more photos? This would be where you could go to your team. And say, Hey, I need some photos. Can you help me out? Now, if you struggle with getting photos from your team and gain them involved with social media, please check out episode number. Let me see here. Yes. So I want you to go check out number episode number four for that, because I dive in deep and give you some tangible. Tips on how you can get your team more involved and what that looks like, because it looks differently for every person and every team. But definitely give that a go because once you can unlock that help from your team or understand at least how you can get them involved with social media, it's going to free you up as a social media manager or give you more peace of mind at the management that. Your social media is. Be more of a collaborative effort with the team versus just one person managing it, or you as the manager posting things when you can. So in getting clear on those questions will not only help you to see how often you need to be posting. But really establishing those steps. To see what you need to be posting and be successful in meeting that frequency schedule for posting. Now if you or your team. Ha struggle with answering these questions or you're left feeling like you have more questions than answers. I just want you to know that you're not the only one. There are a lot of hospitals that struggle with this. And this is something that I have also have worked to overcome and been able to help other hospitals and other companies and consultants work through this as well. And so I just want you to know that if you want to really improve this for your hospital and make social media and effective tool that doesn't drain your team's resources. I would love to be able to help you. I am offering. Coaching for private coaching for hospitals now. And so if you'd love to talk with me about that and see if this would be a great fit for you, definitely reach out via email. And I would love to talk with you and see if this would be something. Your team could benefit from, but let's talk about general guidelines now, because I know that there are there's someone listening that just needs a good starting point. And so what I want you to do is take these general guidelines that I offer, or I recommend use these as a starting point and then track the results that you're getting. And then match those along the questions or the answers you got from the questions I shared Earlier. And really compare that to the progress that you're making with these guidelines. You don't give it about one to three months before we make any drastic changes. And then go from there. So with the social media platforms, what I really recommend for hospitals to start off with, or really good, get good at as with Facebook and Instagram. Now if you're really brave and want to give Tik TOK a try, definitely do that. But I generally recommend that hospitals stick to Facebook and Instagram for now. Facebook. Really depends on the age of your clients and the demographics you want to tap into. Because Facebook is definitely for the older generations. And Instagram is great for really millennials and down. So this really as far as like what platforms to use, I won't get too deep into this right now. But those are the two platforms I generally recommend that you get really good at. And if you're looking at adding a third one, but you're struggling to post regularly to Facebook and Instagram and get engagement I recommend that you just take a moment to review your current strategy, your current habits with Facebook. And Instagram and see what you could tweak to make those better before adding on another platform. And I only say that because I don't want you to add too much to your low trying to keep up with every other platform and every other business that you're not. You that you're stretching yourself too thin. So this is your permission slip to say Facebook and Instagram are your, your two platforms that you can, you can stay with. So with Facebook, I want you to be aiming to post at least three to four times a week. And that's once a day three times a week. And three to four times a week. Now, if you can't get into stories for Facebook, Try to do three to four times a day during business hours. And when I am saying when posting. You know, like three to four times a week or three to four times a day during business hours. I want you to get into the habit of posting. Within this guidelines when you are open. Because then you are starting to train people who are following you. Very actively that you are active on social media. Join your business hours. Same on the weekends. If you have someone who's messaging, you don't feel like you have to message them back. You may want to glance at it. If you have that bandwidth to see if there's an emergency, but you can set up a boundaries in place to have an automatic message an automatic reply. Pop up the safe, you have an emergency call, blood editor. So. You know, there's another permission slip. You don't have to be active on the weekends, especially if your practice is not open on the weekends. Now, when it comes to figuring out when you need to post or what time of day you need to be posting and what days of the week. This is where it could become a little bit of a trial and error situation. And when you're figuring this out, I definitely give yourself a little bit of grace and be patient with yourself because when I give you this time, this, I don't want you to take the says, I must pose at this time every time. Because I don't, I'm not in the backend of your analytics and it's going to again, look differently for your practice than what it will for another practice or for even my own business page. So. With that said, I really encourage you to play around with posting. Earlier in the day. So when I say earlier, try about six to eight, depending upon your client's lifestyle. If you work with a lot of retired pet owners, then, you know, you might want to adjust that from like eight to 10. Now, if you're working with a lot of busy moms, you know, the earlier times might be better or you might even want to try later in the evenings around dinner time. So really just take a moment to think, okay, who is going to be looking at these posts? Are they going to be. Busy. During the Workday or are they going to be more calm and, you know, relaxing? Whatever that would be. But generally I like to recommend that you post earlier in the day so that your post has all day to get attention. As far as like what days of the week? Again, like I said, I would try to keep it during business hours so that you're training people to look for your posts then instead of on the weekends. But if you really want to figure this out, especially for Facebook, because Facebook can be really awkward. With trying to figure out the best times. You can look inside Metta business suite. Now back in my day. It was when I was first starting out, it was a lot easier to find the times. I'm not gonna lie. Because you would just go in to the backend of your Facebook page and it would just say Best times to post, literally, I would say best times post. And that is since gone. When you do log into Mehta business suite. Now at the time of this recording. You can look at times that they recommend that as another thing that you can look at and kind of track and say, okay, Metta is recommending that I post I two, four and six, you know, that might not really be a great time to be posting, honestly, but I mean, You can give it a whirl and see. But you can also take a look at your audience activity. And I show you how to do this in my course. And veterinary, social media foundations, But that is really my best tips. Kind of really getting down deeper on what works for you. Like I said, figuring out how, when to post on Facebook can be kind of a fickle thing. So. Be prepared for an experiment. All right, let's talk about Instagram. Instagram. I recommend also trying to do, keep up with doing three to four times a week and keeping up with three to four stories, three to four stories a day during business hours. I feel like it's pretty easy. If you can just start off with saying, Hey, I'm going to post. Three to four times a week on Facebook and Instagram, it makes it simple for your brain. Keeps it easy for you to keep up with that habit. Especially if we're going to be sticking with this for at least three months. So when it comes to figure it out, when you should be posting on Instagram I honestly, this is why I like Instagram just to a bit better. You can use men of business week to check this out. But I really like using the Instagram app itself to check this. Cause you can just go into your backend, look at the analytics and it will actually give you a very good graph of when. People are most active and you want to be posting when people are most active, just as a general rule for social media. And here's a ninja tip. I actually like to post about 10, 15 minutes before the most active wave of traffic, just so that I can. Capture any. Traffic right before that. But with that said, I generally like to post again earlier, the better on Instagram, so that that post has all, has all day to. Really get traction. But this is why I like to look within the app specifically, because it will give me those specific details. On when they're the most active, because looking at my own personal account, I was quite surprised to see that people were really active around lunchtime, which makes sense, looking back because of my audience, but. For your hospital, that might be the same thing. And that's definitely not early in the day. So that is my recommendation is as far as Instagram goes post earlier, but also look in depth into your posting into your Instagram app on the back ends of it. Because. Metta doesn't give us great information, which kind of disheartens me. But with that, if you want to get more on a. More specific, get more specific data as far as like when your posts could go out for better. Results and really maximize your scheduling efforts, because if you didn't know, you can actually schedule your posts. I do recommend seeing if you can get a paid version of a scheduler, because that is going to really help you to figure out when you need to post and they will be able to give you a little bit more guidance on how much you need to post. Not so much with the, how much cause they want you to be posting as much as possible. But really helping you laser in on when you need to post. I personally like plan that's P L a N N or later. I really great options for alternative post schedulers that I really have enjoyed using. So definitely give those a try. I will add the links to those in the show notes as well. So that is my general guidelines for Instagram and Facebook. Now, if you are using these guidelines as a starting point for you, I know it may be tempting to want to go way more than that or way less, but I really encourage you just to trust the process. Trust my advice. And really give those guidelines, a try and see how they work after three months. Now, if you have any questions about this, definitely feel free to reach out to me in email or in my Facebook group. If you're not a part of my Facebook group, definitely join us. It's called veterinary social media managers on Facebook. I will have the link for you in the show notes as well. But with that, it's going to be a super, super critical whether you are the only person managing social media right now, or the main person. Or you have a team who is working on social media together. It's going to be really important for you to get a good system for reposting in place because that system is going to be your key to success. Just like we have. Protocols for surgery for treatments. The way that we get clients booked, we have processes in place in the hospital to keep us efficient and to have good communication. It goes the same for social media. If you don't have a good system in place, You may be feeling like you're spending a lot of energy on trying to get post out, or you are trying to play catch-up all the time and you think social media is not working because of X, Y, and Z. I can pretty much guarantee from personal experience. It's because you don't have a good system in place. So if that sounds like you, I have a course called veterinary social media foundations. That may just be the thing that you need, because in that course, I teach you. How to plan out your posts in a strategic way, how to create posts and really help you to develop a strong system. So that social media isn't running you, but really having you run the social media. I want you to be the boss over social media so that you're not chronically stressed over on trying to post that day or figure out what you need to be posting. And. Trying to get engagement and yada, yada, yada, like I don't need to add more to your plate. So. If you want to join the link for that will be in the description. Or the show notes of this episode. And I would love just to be able to partner with you and help you on that and help you just to be the social media rockstar you're meant to be so. That is it for this episode? I would really appreciate it. If you find value in the show. That you would review this. Give me your feedback so that I can make this even better. And consider following or subscribing to this and maybe even sharing it with a friend or colleague, because I'm going to get this to. As many veterinary professionals in the marketing role has as possible. So I would appreciate your support there, but if you have any questions, definitely reach out, join the group. I would love to connect with you. Until then I will catch you. later. Bye.