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Pethealth is partly sponsored by Ceva Animal Health

Recent Blog Posts

Social media for vets – an experiment described!

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 11:41:07 AM EST by Cam Day

How creative use of social media can increase web traffic by a factor of 8


What’s the value of social media for veterinarians? Maybe I am a bit geeky but I love playing with technology and with websites everything is measurable.

Recently I performed two ‘twitter experiments’ to share pet behaviour remedies. Both experiments were along the theme of a ‘Twitter essay in 10 parts’.

Because Twitter is based around posts of 140 characters or less it was an interesting and even humorous challenge.

The first essay was entitled ‘A Short 10 Point Essay on Dog Separation Anxiety’

The second was ‘A Ten Step Essay to Remedy Cat Soiling’

You can see the Twitter Essays here:-

The results were interesting because we achieved an 8-fold increase in web traffic in seconds.

Here’s the process we followed in case you want to have fun with your own social media.


Step 1 Search for a hashtag (#)that hasn’t be used yet  which simply describes the essay. In this case #SEPANX and #CATSPRAY. (See discussion if you don’t know what this means.)

Step 2  Prepare the sequential Tweets offline and add the hashtag to each one.

Step 3 Add hyperlinks to more information on your web.

Step 4  Edit the tweet and links so it fits into 140 characters. (That’s hard.)

Step 5  Determine how many are browsing your site.

Step 6  Send the Tweets

Step 7  Then review the result by looking at how many are browsing and looking at your Tweets.

It took about 30 minutes to write each essay and 5 minutes to send the tweets.


For both experiments the number online on our site was much the same at about 20 each time.

For the separation anxiety essay the number climbed to a maximum of 95 within 5 minutes and maintained that level for about 15 minutes.

For the soiling essay the number increased to 148 in 5 minutes and because we wanted to see if we could break through 150 we sent an additional tweet which then climbed the responders to 168.

The level was maintained for at least 20 minutes.


Our site gives us the ability to see not only how many people are online but what people are looking at while they are browsing. So it’s easy to see people are looking at the information we tweeted. Therefore it’s easy to measure the effects of such experiments immediately.

The use of Hashtags may require description. Hashtags are like user-created keywords. They allow users of social media to create searchable conversations. More information

In most social media software packages, you can search for hashtags to follow conversations or topics. Nobody ‘owns’ a hashtag. They are just something people use.

For example if you google #CATSOIL you will come across some of our tweets. If you search for #CATSOIL in Twitter or Tweetdeck you are likely to see all or our tweets.

So, hashtags are useful if a person misses some of your conversation. By clicking on a hashtag anyone can see all topics relating to that conversation.

The first essay on separation anxiety  increased traffic from 20 online browsers to 95 in about 5 minutes.  That level was maintained for about 15 minutes and we could see that users were accessing more than just the information tweeted. That is, they were investigating deeper into our site.

The second essay on cat soiling remedies increased traffic from 19 to 148, also in about 5 minutes.

We wanted to break through the 150 barrier so, one additional tweet was sent. That then pushed that number to 168 within 60 seconds.  That level was maintained for more than 20 minutes.

The business people amongst you will ask ‘did that put money in the bank’

Sadly the answer is NO at least not directly as far as we could ascertain.


This experiment shows that creative use of social media can increase web traffic by a factor of 8 within minutes and is an effective, simple brand awareness technique but not necessarily an income-generating technique.

But, a single essay gives short lived results.

It illustrates why some business operators employ staff to do nothing other than run their social medial campaigns.

Presumably sensible information sent by social media on a regular basis will not only build brand awareness but also income.

It’s all a numbers game.

Thanks for your time and keep misbehaving.




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