Without a doubt, we’re in a social age. Facebook, Twitter, blogs and websites have opened up communication around the globe like nothing before.

Sure, these online gathering places are great fun—a way to reconnect with old friends and relax. But have you thought about how they can also greatly improve your relationships with existing clients, while bringing new clients into your practice?

Kelly Deewall, DVM, Ashland, Kan., and Marybeth Miskovic Feutz, DVM, MS, Ph.D., Diplomate American College Veterinary Internal Medicine, Princeton, Ind., say social media has taken their client relationships and education to a new level.

By following a few simple tips, they say your clinic can find great success, too.

Social Starts

Feutz, a board-certified large animal internal medicine specialist, says veterinary medicine runs in the family. Her husband, John, and his father, Jim, co-own the Princeton Veterinary Hospital in Princeton. A mixed animal practice, their clientele consists of about 80 percent small animal and 20 percent large animal clients.

Outside of their practice, the Feutzs are both involved in the Indiana Veterinary Medicine Association, with John currently serving as vice president of the organization.

Deewall is one of four veterinarians practicing at the Ashland Veterinary Center in Ashland. The clinic cares for small animals; horses; and cow-calf, stocker and feedlot operations, with the cow-calf operations comprising the majority of their clientele.

Both say social media has helped to increase the relationships with and education of their clients.

Feutz has spent much time in the blogging world and now manages two blogs daily. The first, Alarm Clock Wars (www.alarmclockwars.com), began two years ago.

“Literally, this began as a way for me to track how I was doing, getting up in the morning. I’ve always had battles with my alarm clock,” she says with a laugh. “But it’s turned into more than that. I have a blast with it. Currently, my husband and I are in the middle of a giant home renovation, and I feature what’s going on with that. But I also talk about anything and everything concerning the farm; a calf being born, anything and everything. The good and the bad.”

She began her second blog, AgriCultured (www.agricultured.org), as an agricultural advocacy project just a few months ago. Through this blog, Feutz focuses on consumers’ questions regarding livestock and food production.

“I am trying to be neutral, explaining to consumers what happens on the farm,” she says. “I see it as a way to generate positive information, as opposed to all of the negative information that is so easy to find.”

On this blog, Feutz focuses on new topics each week, including dairy, beef, pork and grain production.

“I plan for it to grow organically, and build with time,” she says. “I’d like for it to be a one-stop shopping place for all things agriculture.”

Deewall’s social media work directly ties with the veterinary practice. The clinic maintains a website (www.ashlandvetcenter.net) and a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ashlandvetcenter).