Social media goes way beyond the cute puppy pictures and sharing helpful articles. It has the capacity to drive business to our practices- but only if we’re leading our followers in that direction.
Here are FOUR ways you can increase your bookings:
1. Change your main page CTA button to “Book Now”
Your Page’s Call To Action (CTA) button is just below your Page’s cover photo. You can click “Add a Button” or “Edit Button.” Doing so brings up a pop-up window with options for you to choose Book Now, Contact You, Learn More, etc. Selecting “Book Now” and clicking “next” will allow you to set up appointments on Facebook and Instagram, connect another third-party scheduling tool (no veterinary ones yet) or simply add your own website address. I recommend the latter, specifically to the “book appointment” or “request appointment” link. Click “Finish” to save your changes, and consider testing the button afterward by clicking on the CTA button then “Test Button.”
2. Create a “Get Bookings” Post
Your Facebook Page gives you a free post type called “Get Bookings,” but ONLY if you’ve got the above “Book Now” Call to Action button set up for your page.
Accessing this feature is best done through Creator Studio. Click Create Post, then “Get Bookings” on the post type.
You’ll be able to add a caption as normal, but also select a new photo(s). The “Book Now” button will appear underneath. This post type is free and easy! Consider uploading a photo of your doctor or technicians with a patient, and a caption that corresponds and discusses your unique service offerings, educational reasons behind a veterinary visit, highlights a success story or simply features your practice and team. These post types take up more space in the news feed and easily direct your viewers to the appointment booking link!
3. Add Call-To-Action statements and/or direct booking links to your social posts.
Far too often, we share phenomenal photos, graphics, educational posts and best of all-- posts that tell a story-- but don’t tell the owner how THEY could have this same experience, or give them the tools to make it happen conveniently. The majority of original posts made by the clinic could end with a directive statement and/or link that facilitates booking.
While none of us yearn to be sleazy or salesy with constant barking at owners to book an appointment (see what I did there?), we have to remember that we’re using social media to help pet owners understand the value of the care we provide and to support our practice as a business. Help meet both of these goals by regularly directing your clients toward your goal, and making it easy for them to book an appointment to your practice with a clickable link! Don’t assume that your post will inspire an owner enough to a) stop scrolling b) leave Facebook c) open an internet browser d) navigate to your clinic website and e) find the information to call or book an appointment online. Save them FIVE steps and include the direct booking link.
For instance, if you’re sharing a photo of a senior pet who came in for a semi-annual wellness exam and describing the whats and whys of a senior pet exam, end the post with a statement like: “Does your senior pup need a checkup? Our doctors recommend exams for pets eight and older twice a year! Book your pet’s semi-annual wellness exam here: yourveterinaryclinic.com/book.”
Yadi came in for his first puppy checkup today! Dr. DeWilde loved cuddling this adorable face, and we also helped get Yadi off on his best paw forward by checking him from nose to tail, working with his owners and previous records to determine a preventative health plan including vaccines, heartworm, flea and tick prevention, and even checked his stool sample to make sure no creepy crawlies could come between him and his new family.
If you’ve got a new pup that needs the same love and attention, we’re here to help!
Book your appointment here: yourveterinaryclinic.com/book.
4. Ads & Boosts
Ads and boosts (a type of ads) are easy ways to drive more online bookings for as little as $1/day. Running an ad and/or a boosted post through your Facebook page will give you the ability to add the “Book Now” button into your post (and take up some more real estate in the newsfeed), target the content you choose directly toward your audience, and have your content appear in locations outside of the newsfeed (on Facebook, Instagram, and even some of Facebook’s other owned properties--other apps and sites known as the Audience Network). Ads in particular don’t require a great social media post with lots of text and can be more direct: a simple photo with the statement of “Book Your Pet’s Appointment Today” targeted to pet owners in your area will suffice. If you haven’t tried an ad, start small and experiment with a $5-10 budget for a week. You just need a great photo and your online booking URL to get started.
Similarly, if you’ve got a great post that directs owners to book (like one of the ones described above), consider giving it a little oomph by boosting that post. Don’t forget to edit your audience to target pet owners in your geographic area for best results.
Each of these booking methods can help direct more traffic into your practice and give you the opportunity to help more pets. Whether your budget is $0 or $1000, you simply need a good photo, a good story, and a link to your booking page.
Get to booking!
Caitlin DeWilde, DVM