This popular quote has been floating around the internet for years. Although its origin is unknown, the sentiment is spot on. The difference between using social media and a social media strategy is the difference between having access to a tool and receiving an instruction manual that details how to use that tool effectively.
For those of you who are committed to increasing the emphasis on preventive pet healthcare in the practice, social media can help to develop a stronger connection to clients and increase buy in from clients. As you try to deepen the understanding of your target audience, it is helpful to identify an approach and messaging that becomes the foundation for our social media efforts.
Partners for Healthy Pets is an excellent resource for understanding how to go about mapping out a strategy, however, there are other factors to take into consideration, such as the current social media climate.
The growth in social media has been explosive. With it has come changes in the demographics of users, platform preference and technological breakthroughs and innovations.To better leverage social media as a strategy, keeping apprised of trends is essential.
Social media gurus and research studies have identified these recent developments as impacting the use of social media:
- Ryan Holmes, founder and CEO of Hootsuite, reports that two-thirds of consumers now identify messaging apps as their preferred way to engage with businesses — ranking it above phone, email, live chat and even face-to-face interactions.
- According to Holmes, as social media moves from one-to-many to one-to-one engagement, another challenge arises: scale. Engaging clients individually, with personalized messages is nearly impossible for small business with limited budget. Messenger bots and chatbots may be the next big thing. Automated chat technologies let practices engage with your clients 24/7, ensuring the information they want is always available.
- Facebook has had a long reign at the top of the social media charts but it is estimated that it will lose 2 million users under the age of 25 this year. According to Jenn Chen, Sprout Social, the time is ripe for a new network to be built with transparent data practice usage. She suggests keeping an eye out for new channels.
- Smart Insights has not abandoned faith in Facebook despite the negative recent publicity and believes it will remain a major audience channel for quite some time.
- An internet survey by Pew Research compared results and concluded that changes in monthly activity reveal that Facebook is declining in specific demographics such as 18-24 and 25-34, but is growing rapidly overall. Instagram and Snapchat have also had significant growth.
- Stories seem to be everywhere because stories are humanizing. Business Insider reports that Instagram Stories received major updates in 2018. Instagram stories are two times more popular than Snapchat. Facebook added Stories to personal accounts, Pages, Messenger and Groups. Both WhatsApp and YouTube also invested in Story-like features.
As you digest the implications of these emerging trends in social media, be sure to consider them within the context of the social media resources available through Partners for Healthy Pets. Check out their resources to help you educate your clients about preventive pet healthcare.