It's that time again! February. The season of Valentine's Day romance, my beloved Mardi Gras, and of course, National Pet Dental Health Month! Dental month is a health aspect that no pet owner can deny- not when it's literally breathing down their neck, courtesy of their own tartar-laden furball. Now it's your job to educate that owner about what dental disease is, what health impacts it can have on their four-legged friend, and what your clinic can do about it. Here are my top ten tips to accomplish those goals using your clinic's social media platforms.
10. Update your cover photo. Take this opportunity to share a picture of your staff demonstrating how to brush teeth on an agreeable pet or advertise your dental month events and promos. Try designing a cover in Canva or PicMonkey, and don't forget to leave space in the left hand corner for your profile picture.
9. Blog about the importance of dental health. The interwebs are teeming with pet dental products and recommendations. However, your clients want to hear why YOU think dental health is important, and what products and care YOU recommend. Draft a short blog piece for your website, and be sure to share it to all your social media channels.
*Tip: Most experts recommend a 1500-1700 word limit for blog posts!
8. Run a Facebook Ad promoting your dental special. For as little as $1 a day, you can target your dental month special to your exact demographic and as close as a 3 mile radius from your business. A great way to fill up those dental days! Get started by clicking the "Ads Manager" button on the left hand side of your Facebook page, and then "Create Ad" in the upper right hand corner on the next page.
7. Share AVMA/AAHA/other trusted resource's posts about dental health. Sharing resources from nationally recognized and trusted resources not only reinforces your recommendations, but also provides quality content that demonstrates your commitment to staying current and relevant.
6. Post a picture of the clinic pet or your own personal pet enjoying a dental chew or treat, and explain why you trust that particular product. Heck, I even tried one of those chews right along with my pup and blogged about it for my clinic. It ended up being the most-read blog our clinic ever had! Don't judge- it was a slow month and I only sampled it for the pic :-)
5. Before and after pictures of dental cleanings are always great! Be sure to get the owner permission after the procedure and try to take the same angle/lighting. Use PicMonkey to create side-by-side collages! Side note: Can you believe the hunk of calculus I had to deal with on this Pug?
4. Provide access to trusted resources, such as the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)'s list of approved products or the AVMA's how-to video on brushing teeth. Create a Pinterest board of helpful infographics, links and photos to serve as a resource your clients can use year round, not just during the dental month craze. Need a few ideas? Check out my Dental Month Pinterest board here.
3. Ask fun fact questions to get your clients interested and involved. Try asking "How many baby teeth does a kitten have? We'll post the answer at 6 pm so check back to see if you're correct!" You can even take it a step further and offer a prize (maybe a free bag of dental chews) for the first correct answer, or select a random winner. Ask the winner to bring in their pet when they come pick up their dental-themed prize, and post a picture! See how one content idea can create another?
2. Educate EVERY. DAY. You already educate your owners about dental health every day in the exam room, now take an opportunity to do it online. Posting resources is great, but your clients care about your clinic for a reason- YOU! Try recording a a 30-second video demonstrating how to brush a pet's teeth or or snap pictures of a dental cleaning in progress, of one of your vets evaluating a dental x-ray, or of your front desk recommending a dental product to a client. The message will hit home much sooner with a personal touch.
1. Show off those pearly whites! Reward the clients who are doing a great job with their pet's dental care- either after a dental cleaning or simply by following through with your home care recommendations- snap a picture of a pet going home with their post-dental kit or after an appointment going home with a bag of your dental diet. Don't forget to commend the owners in the comment for doing such a great job-- it will inspire others to take the same great care!
*Pro Tip: If your clinic is using Twitter and/or Instagram, come up with a consistent hashtag and ask your clients to post their own pics (e.g. #BrentwoodPetSmiles or #PawsPlusPearlyWhites)
Be sure to follow along on my Facebook this month. I'll be sharing lots of resources, some dental month-themed social media freebies for your clinic, and showcasing what other clinics around the country are doing! Have great idea pr promotion go over well? I'd love to see it and share. In the meantime, go print out a February calendar and get to planning your month!