In this day and age, the vast majority of people have an account on at least one social media platform, and pet owners are no exception. So, if you’re wondering ‘How do I promote my pet shop, pet website, or veterinary practice?’ social media could be a powerful tool. But is it really worth it? After all, your passion lies with pets, not technology.

Whether you’re a budding influencer or just starting out on socials, online marketing is becoming essential, and developing an online presence on social media, when done well, will lead to better visibility, a larger client base, and increased revenue for your pet or vet business.

Want to know how the Veterinary Content Company can help? Check out our 3 most effective digital marketing services for pet businesses.

Why should pet businesses and vets use social media?

You might assume your potential clients don’t look online for pet products, information, or veterinary services. However, people are used to quick one-click answers to any problem or question that crops up. If they want to find the best cat food, dog treats, or toys, it’s likely they’ll be searching online. Similarly, if their pet is unwell, pet owners will often do a quick online search for their symptoms, perhaps even before contacting their veterinarian.

It’s not just the people who are in search of answers though, lots of pet lovers also use social media to share pictures of their pets, browse funny animal videos, or get their daily cuteness fix from looking at fluffy kittens or a dog in fancy dress. That’s a whole lot of pet owners browsing social media!

What are the benefits of being active on social media?

Here are some benefits of having an active social media account (or multiple) for your business:

You’ll reach more people

Gone are the days of people shopping on their local high street or using the Yellow Pages to find pet products and services, so without a digital marketing strategy, you risk being invisible as a business. With effective implementation of a varied and consistent social media content plan, you could expect to reach thousands of potential customers without having to leave your office!

You’ll be visible to people looking for your service

Many pet owners will use the internet as their first port of call to find pet products, services, and information. An important aspect of marketing for any business is to make the steps from deciding on a product to making a purchase as easy as possible, and an active social media account will facilitate that because people will already be aware of your business and what it has to offer. Therefore, when people think ‘I want to buy a new dog food’ you can be the first place that comes to mind.

You’ll reach people who didn’t realise they needed your service…until now!

Remember, you don’t only want to target existing customers with your marketing – new clients are essential for growth. Effective use of social media will showcase your brand and services to a wider audience, appearing on the news feeds of your ‘ideal customer’ who has interests that are well aligned with your business.

You can harness the power of word of mouth and multiply it!

Positive feedback, a good reputation, and word of mouth are crucial for growing a brand and a business. After all, when someone buys a product from you and tells a few friends over a cup of tea, who then make purchases, have a good experience, and tell more people, it’s easy to see how business can perpetuate. But what if the client had the power to tell more than a handful of people at a time about the amazing services you offer? Things could get big!

You can establish your brand

Establishing your brand and sharing your values will lead to more credibility and trust, which can translate into an increase in footfall, site visits, purchases, or however you measure success for your business. Choosing colour schemes, fonts, images, and a tone that feels right for you and remaining consistent will help people recognise your business more quickly and increase their subconscious awareness of your brand.

How can you get the most out of your business’s social media?

Okay, so you’re converted to the importance of using social media for your business, but you probably have questions, like ‘how do I promote my pet business on Instagram?’ or ‘how do I get more follows for my business social media accounts?’

Here are some tips to get you going:

Where to start

Decide which social media platforms will be most effective for promoting your business. If your ideal client is a pet owner, you may find TikTok and Instagram are the best places to start, rather than LinkedIn which is more directed at networking among professionals. You might find it easiest to focus on one platform initially, then add in others when you feel confident.

Post consistently

Your posts will have more visibility (or ‘reach’ as is the technical term) if you post consistently from your account. Aim to post a minimum of three times a week, but more often if you can, and engage with any comments regularly. You may find a content planner helpful for scheduling content ahead of time and helping you organise your posts.

Use a variety of content

Your engagement will be highest if you post a variety of post types. After all, people don’t want to see lots of similar-looking posts with different words – you want to catch their attention. Think carousels, reels, face-to-camera videos, and beautiful or cute images.

Get to know what works

Review your analytics regularly so that you know what types of posts get good audience engagement. Perhaps people responded well to a series about types of cat litter, or they really enjoyed a reel you created where you spoke about pet health tips, whatever it is, repeat the style of post or the topic regularly if you’re getting good engagement.

Finally, what’s the most important part of running a social media account for your business?

Finding the voice of your brand and creating unique, authentic, credible content is the most valuable thing you can do for your business’s social media. At the Veterinary Content Company, we’re qualified vets and vet nurses with years of experience in creating on-brand content written by experts in the field. If you think your pet business or vet practice could benefit, why not check out our social media content subscription?

Dr Hannah Godfrey MRCVS

Dr Hannah Godfrey MRCVS

Hannah graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. She has a passion for soft tissue surgery, ultrasound, and canine and feline dentistry, having completed additional training in these areas. She has now moved from permanent clinical veterinary work to become an Editor for a global medical communications company. She hasn't given up clinical work altogether, though, and still does regular locum shifts at her local veterinary practices.