Social media. Everyone seems to have it or use it in one way, shape or form – but as veterinary professionals, do we need it?
A strong case can be made for why having a veterinary social media presence (either as a professional or practice owner) can be beneficial.
Having a platform can help ‘build your brand’ and market yourself within the veterinary community. It can also help practice owners reach out to new clients and display their services online.
However, before you start investing your time and money into a veterinary social media account, you should ask yourself a few questions.
In this article, we list the things you should consider before using social media to further your veterinary career and/or practice.
To listen to our podcast on the subject, click here.
How Would a Personal Social Media Brand Affect my Career?
The reality of social media is that once you post something – it is out there forever.
Even if you delete old content, that content has probably already been seen by hundreds of people, and possibly even screenshotted.
It is important therefore to consider the implications of this, as if you are using social media as a platform to further your career and/or practice, posting the wrong thing could be more damaging to your career than beneficial .
Even if you think your content is fine, others may not. You have absolutely no control of how clients may perceive you, and posts that might seem a-ok now – may not later.
It is therefore key to ask yourself whether having a veterinary social media platform would be beneficial – or just a future PR timebomb waiting to happen.
Would a Social Media Profile be Beneficial For my Personal Well-being?
It’s no secret that social media can be damaging for both our physical and mental health.
Oftentimes, as individuals and/or business owners, we measure our success (and self-worth) on how many people like and share our content online.
This can be highly detrimental to a person’s self esteem, and cause mental health problems in the future.
Therefore, it can be good to take a step back and ask yourself whether having a professional social media platform is worth it.
You’re not ‘vain’ or ‘weak’ because such things affect you. Be honest with yourself, and put your wellbeing first.
Do I Have the Time to Invest in my Online Presence?
At a surface level, running a social media account can seem pretty straightforward.
In reality, it takes a lot of hard work, energy and time to do well (especially if you’re using it as a means to progress in your career or practice).
If you are considering creating a veterinary social media account to build a personal brand, ask yourself this:
Could I be spending my time on something more productive?
Having an amazing veterinary social media account could be great for your career or practice, but if you don’t have a good ‘product’ to sell- who’s going to want it?
If you’re spending more time curating an account to market yourself on than actually improving your skills or practice, then ultimately what’s the point?
Therefore, if you are early in your career, perhaps it is better to invest your time into developing your professional skills before embarking on your social media journey.
Struggling with time management? Click here.
Will Posting on Social Media Have an Impact on my Relationships and/or Legal Standing?
The last main point you should consider is whether a social media platform will have implications on your relationships and/or legal standing.
If you are committed to creating a personal brand for yourself or your practice, it is wise to consider how it will be received by your colleagues.
If you are trying to take photos and create content at your work, this could be distracting for your colleagues and detract from your workplace relationships (or even come off as narcissistic).
You do not want to appear neglectful in front of your team or clients, so it is always worth thinking twice before posting at the clinic.
There is also the thorny issue of who has the right to post images at the practice in the first place. The clients you are treating are not your clients – but the practices, so you may find yourself in hot water for breaching your contract or client confidentiality.
It is also good to consider whether you’re comfortable receiving scrutiny online. where there are likes, there will also be haters. Are you ready to handle both sides of the coin?
Inevitably (and unfortunately) the internet is filled with hateful people who are happy to project that on you. Professional jealousy is not uncommon either, so if you have a thin skin, maybe content creation isn’t the path for you.
Having a veterinary social media platform can be a great way to progress both your career and practice.
Being able to connect with other professionals in the field and advertise to potential clients can be a fantastic way to propel yourself to success.
But it does carry significant costs and risks. So, before embarking on your veterinary social media journey, do take a moment to ask yourself the questions we’ve covered in this article to determine whether it’s for you.
Already have a social media platform? Why don’t you join our veterinary business success group! Our group is filled with other friendly veterinary professionals like yourself, trying to improve their professional skills and progress in their careers.