Judy Gillespie is the Director of Vetanswers – an online business community for the veterinary industry. She spends her days online researching and tracking down the best bits of information to share with the Vetanswers community to help their veterinary businesses grow. See more information about contacting Judy below.
This blog post was originally published on the Vetanswers website on 21/8/2012. It has since been updated to reflect the growth in the King Arthur online community. In most instances their community had doubled in just over 12 months!
I came across this fascinating article on a flour company in the USA that is over 200 years old and is doing an awesome job on social media (A social media lesson from a 200-year-old flour company (SmartCompany)).
Yes… a flour company… the white powdery stuff you use in baking. Can you think of a more generic product?
And it got me thinking. If they can do such an amazing job developing an active, passionate, thriving community, then there’s absolutely no reason why your veterinary businesses can’t do the same!
King Arthur sells generic, white powdery stuff that, out of its packaging, is totally indistinguishable from its competitors.
You offer so much more! You help your clients with an incredibly important relationship in their life – their pet.
So I thought it would be interesting to compare what King Arthur does with their online presence with what you could do in your veterinary business.
It’s important to note that King Arthur didn’t achieve this amazing thriving community overnight – it’s taken them a few years to determine what works best and for them to build their community.
|What does King Arthur do?||What could you do?|
|They sell flour||You deal with an emotional and very important part of many client’s lives|
|They produce interesting and engaging content on ….flour!||You can create interesting and engaging content on…. pets! Dogs, cats, mice, rabbits, horses, fish, lizards, snakes, turtles, cows, sheep……|
|Their strategy is not to sell ‘flour’ but to educate the public on cooking with flour||Your strategy shouldn’t be about selling your veterinary services but educating the public on how to look after their pets|
|They market their brand by telling interesting and informative stories across multiple mediums:
||You can provide interesting, informative information on a range of animals across multiple mediums:
|King Arthur On Facebook:www.facebook.com/kingarthurflourOver 177,800 Likes||Your Facebook Page:|
|Uses Milestones to tell the story of the business
The regular posts on their timeline now include interesting information about cooking and LOTS of amazing images of gorgeous food (aka food porn).
|Use milestones to tell your story:
Your regular posts can include a range of interesting information and LOTS of gorgeous images of animals: your animals. your staff’s animals, your patients…. just generally gorgeous animals.
|King Arthur You Tube Channel:www.youtube.com/user/kingarthurflourNearly 4,000 Subscribers & over 1,000,000 video views||Your YouTube Channel:|
|‘How to’ videos on baking||‘How to’ videos: e.g.
|Educational videos on farming||You could also have educational videos on areas that impact your practice:
(I don’t think you should be afraid of educating people in things you believe in – as long as you don’t ‘preach’ people often appreciate the opinions of an expert)
|King Arthur Flour on Twitter:https://twitter.com/KingArthurFlourOver 7,500 tweets & over 19,000 followers||Your Twitter account|
|Flour Matters Page
||There are lots of educational opportunities:
||Your Facebook Page, Twitter & Blog comments is a great way to set up a community|
||There are so many videos you could make:
||There are lots of topics you could blog about:
Don’t forget to add in an awesome image each time!
And don’t forget to add that ‘Photo Release Form’ to your files.
One last thing……
Remember King Arthur sells flour…. but to them, it’s more than just flour. Check out this image I found on the internet:
So if these words can describe flour, what words would you use to describe your veterinary business? Tell us in the comments section below.
You can connect with Judy Gillespie on:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/vetanswers
Twitter – www.twitter.com/judygi