August 5, 2010, 11:51 AM

The pet doctor makes video calls on Facebook

Video interviews boost Facebook traffic for Drs. Foster & Smith.

Lead Photo

An image from one of Drs. Foster & Smith's video chats.

For a pet supplies retailer, a good recipe for boosting Facebook traffic is having both video equipment and veterinarians on hand—along with ideas on how to address timely issues, says Gordon Magee, Internet marketing and media manager at Drs. Foster & Smith.

During a recent heat wave, for example, Magee and his staff quickly put together questions about how to mitigate the effects of soaring temperatures on canines, then grabbed one of the retailer’s three on-site veterinarians to conduct an impromptu question-and-answer video.

“Within two hours from the decision to write up questions, we had a video on Facebook and,” Magee says.

And within a few weeks, he adds, the four-and-a-half-minute video had garnered several hundred views.

Magee poses several questions in the video  to Dr. Holly Nash, who dispenses several tips ranging from giving a dog a cool, wet towel to lie on to checking to see that if its body temperature rises above what’s normal for a pooch—a maximum of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which usually requires a trip to a veterinarian.

Although the video didn’t produce a huge, viral effect with thousands of views, it’s just one of many home-grown videos that Drs. Foster & Smith has loaded onto its Facebook page and to YouTube, Magee says.

The strategy has helped the retailer maintain a steady stream of visitors to the retailer’s Facebook page, many of whom then click over to the retailer’s e-commerce site,, Magee says.

“We’re going to more of these impromptu videos,” he says. “It’s easy to do and we get a good response.”

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