2015 Zoetis Lifelong Care Symposium (NAVC/WVC)

2015 Zoetis Lifelong Care Symposium (NAVC/WVC)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The opinions expressed in these answers are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official label recommendations and point of view of the company or companies that manufacture and/or market and of the pharmaceutical agents, products, or services mentioned.

Lifelong Care: Social Media is an Important Tool

Andrew Roark, DVM, MS

How do you manage negativity on social media?

I have two rules for this.

  1. Don't engage with irrational, illegitimate negativity. If people attack you with no basis (and I'm talking about people who have never been to your clinic), ignore it. Delete their comment and move on. If they persist, ban them from your page and return to enjoying your morning coffee. Your happiness is too important, and engaging these people just gives them credibility, draws attention, and encourages them. In the internet world, this is referred to as "feeding the trolls."
  2. If they have a legitimate complaint (even if their perception of what happened is different than yours) then embrace this opportunity to humanize your clinic and highlight the integrity with which your clinic functions. Apologize for their distress (and/or the mistake, if one was made), explain what happened, why it happened, and what you are going to do to try to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. No matter what, DON'T GET DEFENSIVE.

What type of consent do you get from clients for using photos of their pets on your Facebook page?
My golden rule is that clients should NEVER be surprised. It doesn't matter what I have in writing. I'm going to be extremely open and transparent and let the pet owners know what I'm planning and thinking. Even if people have signed waivers in the past, their memories are short. Simply ask for permission for anything you are doing with the photo of someone's pet, and then ALWAYS present these pets (and their owners) is a very positive light, and you should be fine. 

Still, documentation is important. I like having a check box on new client forms to approve use of photos of the pet by the clinic, and it never hurts to have a simple social media waiver at the front desk for people to sign. You can find these easily online, and they should be short and sweet.

Did you ever have a post that someone took offense to?  What do you do? 
I've had a few posts that people took offense to. We never know what experiences others have had, and so even something that seems very benign to us can offend someone else. When that happens, evaluate the complaint, apologize for offending, and take the post down. In the end, it's just a social media post and taking it down is usually the easiest way to resolve the issue. 


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