Find your niche in the social media community you want.
Social media is much more than just putting information out there for your customers. It’s equally useful for creating a community with like-minded businesses, and building a positive reputation that can help with your hiring needs, says Tannetje’ Crocker, DVM, an emergency veterinarian and social media consultant.
Crocker’s suggests this approach to building a social media network so that potential future employees can find you—and will like what they see:
Find and follow.
“Whoever manages your social media account needs to be following other veterinary hospitals that you believe in and feel strongly about,” says Crocker. “This will help you find your niche.”
Read, share, comment.
Read what people are posting on the accounts you’re following, share things that you believe in, and comment positively on other people’s posts. You might say, for instance, “Thank you for sharing, this is an awesome story.” Or give shout-outs for positive actions that others are taking. For example, says Crocker, “We had a local rescue that recently saved a pet in a horrific situation, and our hospitals shouted them out by saying, ‘That was amazing! You guys are great!’ And then they in turn shouted us out too. You need to form those relationships online, because the more connections you have, the more people you’ll reach.” How do you form those relationships? Start with hashtags.
Use hashtags to connect.
Search on a social media platform for #vethospital or #vettech or #vetmed and #[your location] … being sure to put a space between the hashtags. This will allow you to find places nearby you that are already doing what you want to do on social media, says Crocker—and then you can connect with them. “Most of us encourage and support each other, share each other’s content, like it and so on. If you do that, too, it will help with your reach and your gain.”
Go to that hashtag and like 30 posts.
Once you find hashtags in your niche, go to them and like posts with that hashtag, Crocker suggests. “That way you can curate your feed to show other hospitals doing good things.” For example, go to Facebook, search for #vettechsrock and like 30 posts. Then you will start seeing similar posts. “That’s how you build and create a community online,” she says. “You’ll reach people who also think that veterinary technicians rock, which is going to include a ton of veterinary technicians. See how it all plays out?”
New to social media and wondering how to make a hashtag? Or even what one is? Hashtags turn phrases into clickable links in your social media posts. To make one, just write a pound sign (#) followed by a phrase written as one word (no spaces or punctuation), then add it to a post on the social media platform of your choice.
For example, if your Miami practice has a TikTok account, you could post a short video with the caption: I’m loving my job! #miami #VetTechsofTiktok (the capitals are optional but can help with readability). It’s okay to use numbers, but don’t include any punctuation or special characters such as $, & or %, or the hyperlink won’t form. You can search for a hashtag using the search bar at the top of any social media page.