Should I use Facebook to connect my local Young Vet Network?

Posted on February 24, 2016 by James Mullarkey

There are lots of Young Vet Network (YVN) meetings all over the UK and new ones popping up all the time. Organisers of these meetings want an easy and effective way of keeping in contact with their colleagues.

Many YVN organisers do this through Facebook groups or pages as most young vets are already using Facebook and are familiar with it. Organisers are already friends with vets in their area making it easy to recruit to their meetings.

If you’re setting up a meeting in your area should you go for a Facebook group or page or are there other options?

Facebook groups

Groups allow a variety of privacy options which mean you can make them public, private and even invisible and invite only. You can control who can join and view content in a way you can’t with a Facebook page. Posts in a group will appear in each members feed just as they do on pages.

More information on Facebook groups:

Facebook pages

Pages are often used by companies and organisations to promote themselves to stakeholders. The privacy options are more limited than groups – you can’t control who can view the content or who might ‘like’ your page. Pages work as promotional tools rather than a collaborative space although as an admin you could post items to the page and people can then add comments. If someone likes your page they will see your page updates on their wall.

More information on Facebook groups:

Discussion groups

If you don’t want to use Facebook then you might consider a discussion group – Yahoo groups and Google groups are some of the most popular. These groups are mostly used as forums with email distribution lists which allow group members to send a message to all other group members. It’s very easy to set up and manage. These can work well but don’t have the advantage of being on an existing social network like Facebook or LinkedIn where many of your potential network members already have accounts.

LinkedIn groups

Another option is to create a LinkedIn group. LinkedIn is a career focused network and so tends to be more serious and business like.

A quick look at the followers of the BVA LinkedIn company page shows that over half are in senior or management positions. On Facebook over 80% of the BVA page likes are from people under 35 so anecdotally, Facebook seems to have more of the younger vets which might attend your meetings.

More information of LinkedIn groups:

Get in touch

There are many ways of connecting vets for your YVN meetings which have different advantages and disadvantages and it’s best to consider these before deciding what to go for.

If you would like to talk more about them you can get in touch with us here at BVA and we can help you work through the options.

James Mullarkey

Written by James Mullarkey

BVA Head of Digital

James is responsible for the BVA digital estate including the BVA website, Vets.tv, social media channels and digital link ups with the Veterinary Record, In Practice, Vet Record Careers, Veterinary Record Open and Veterinary Record Case Reports websites.

Connect with James on LinkedIn