Veterinary News Network Newsletter

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Social Media Updates November 4th, 2009
In This Issue
Featured Video!
Breaking News!
Social Media and the Veterinary Practice
Featured Article
YouTube Icon
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet?  While you might think  that YouTube is just full of spoof videos, you need to check out this video on Social Media.  I promise it will blow you away and make you wonder why you haven't set up your Facebook pages, Twitter account, and a LinkedIn account.
 
Featured Article

Red light siren
 
H1N1 Found in Cat!
 
 In case you missed the email yesterday, a cat from Iowa tested positive for the H1N1 virus.  We have initial Message Points available for you at MyVNN.com
Quick Links...
 
 
 
 
Dear VNN Reporter: 

We found in our recent survey that a slight majority of respondents would prefer a News Alert that arrives every other week rather than weekly.  So, we are reformatting our Alerts so that you will receive a short News Alert every two weeks (or as needed in the case of Breaking News) and an informative newsletter on the weeks in between the Alerts.
 
This new format of our newsletter will focus on media training and social media networking.  By breaking the components of our News Alerts into two separate entities, we plan to provide information in a more succinct format, which will hopefully help you with time management.  These emails can be saved in a folder in Outlook or on your desktop for future review and reference.  In addition, we will be adding pages at the MyVNN.com website to archive this information.
 
Finally, in many instances, this format will also feature your fellow VNN reporters discussing how their practices have prospered due to techniques they are learning through our network.
 
Social media is becoming too important to ignore anymore!  Dr. Jim and I want to help you make the most out of this "new media" without adding a lot of work to your day.  If you still aren't sure about WHY you should be tweeting or setting up Facebook pages...check out Dr. Lori Teller's article below.  If you still need convincing, check out the video that we found listed in the left hand column of this email.
 
I hope you enjoy this new look!
 
Social Media and the Veterinary Practice 
 Dr Lori Teller
(Dr. Jim Humphries is traveling today.  We are happy to have VNN Reporter Dr. Lori Teller write a guest column.  Dr. Teller is a busy practitioner in Houston, TX and is active in her local and state VMAs.  She is also the President Elect for Texas VMA) 
 
Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP 
 
Facebook? Twitter? What do these have to do with practicing veterinary medicine today? Actually, quite a lot! Did you see a fascinating case today that you'd like to share with your clients? Did you come across an interesting news item that your colleagues may want to know about? Would you like to know what's going on with others in the veterinary world or animal-related groups?

All of these are possible when you use the resources available to you through Facebook and Twitter. You can set up a Facebook (FB) page for yourself or your clinic and easily post information and pictures about an interesting case.   Did you know that the fastest growing segment of Facebook is females, age 55-65?  That's a good portion of YOUR demographic!

Invite your clients to become your FB friend or a fan of your clinic and then every time you post something (which is as easy as sending an email), your item will show up in your clients' news feed (kind of like an electronic bulletin board). Now instead of sending a massive email blast to your client base, some of which are blocked as spam anyway, you just have to post something once, and it will go out to all your FB friends and fans.
 
You can even make separate lists in Facebook-one for clients and another for colleagues, so that you can post items of interest to specific groups.  If you are worried about others posting inappropriate messages, you can choose to delete those from your news feed and block the person from your FB page, so that they can't repeat the messages. At all times you can control who is your FB friend or fan.

Twitter is another great way to let people know what's going on! Because everything you write has to be 140 characters or less, everything has to be to the point. Did you just post a fascinating new article on your clinic website that others would benefit from reading?  Do you want others to know that November is Pet Cancer Awareness month or February is Pet Dental Health month or National Pet Week is in May? You can post a quick snippet on Twitter with a link to your website so others can read the article or get more information.

Use Twitter to allow your clients to see what you do.  A good example of this is @Azzore.  Dr. Terry Dew, Practice Manager Cheree Miller and their staff keep a constant stream of "tweets" going daily about their surgical procedures, rechecks and recoveries of surgery patients.  They include pictures and what type of surgery is being done.  Clients LOVE this!

You can also "follow" other interesting people on Twitter to keep up with what's going on in our profession and those that affect what we do every day. If you're concerned about animal welfare issues, you can follow HSUS and the AgAlliance to read about both sides of the issues. Or you can follow some veterinary specialists to keep up with the latest in veterinary oncology or animal behavior issues. And, of course, you can follow our own Dr. Jim Humphries and Tom Dock on PetDocsOnCall and ASVJ.

The way we reach out to our clients and colleagues evolves regularly. Nothing will take the place of face-to-face communications. Use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to enhance what you do and to increase your ability to educate others about veterinary medicine. If we don't do it, someone else will try to do it for us.
Remember, Dr. Jim and I are available if you have any questions about social media or how to get started.  You can call Dr. Jim at 719-495-2100 or email him at dr.jim@myvnn.com.  My contact information is below.
 
Our goal is to continue to provide you with the highest level of media resources and information to grow your practice through publicity and PR. 
 
Sincerely,
 

Thomas Dock
Veterinary News Network
317-281-8658