Dear Dr. Noah Lot – The Case Against TikTok
Dear Dr. Noah Lot,
Should our veterinary practice be on TikTok? It looks like all the cool kids are doing it.
Sheila – Lead Technician, Emergency & Specialty Practice
No, your veterinary practice does not need to be on TikTok. While the video-based social networking app continues to gain popularity beyond just the Gen-Z population, it might not be the best platform for your veterinary practice, yet, for two key reasons.
1. TikTok Doesn’t Align with Veterinary Medicine
While zoos and animal shelters are popular on TikTok, veterinary medicine is different, as your team is dealing with life and death situations daily. Additionally, with the safety protocols put in place due to the pandemic, seeing funny videos of your staff while clients are waiting for hours in their cars with their sick or ill patients can create backlash and frustration amongst pet owners.
2. Your Target Audience Isn’t on TikTok
Think about your current clients and target audience. Are they on TikTok? And if so, do they use it to learn about brands, services, and/or their pet’s health? Or are they using it purely for entertainment? Just because a social network is popular, it might not be the best channel to promote your practice. An old marketing adage is “go where your audience is,” which might mean remaining and actively engaging on current social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.
Lastly, the strategy has to be at the core of your practice’s social media marketing. Creating content on the newest and hottest social network isn’t necessarily going to increase caseload, enhance brand awareness or help with recruitment.
Give it time, and see how TikTok continues to evolve, and carefully think about how your team can effectively tell your practice’s story through short-form video.
However, if you decide to launch a TikTok account, please don’t do dance routines with your patients or team members but use this powerful visual platform to inform, inspire, or educate your audience. For example, create a video on where to park for curbside services, how to complete forms online, or how to help pets recover at home after surgery. However, if you don’t have the time to commit to creating a strategy and developing content ideas ahead of time, then it is best to stick to your practice’s current social media strategy. If you don’t have one, connect with my friends at BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group.
As always with social media marketing, keep in mind your messaging, strategy, goals, and audience.
Dr. Noah Lot