The main reason I advocate for veterinarians to embrace social media is one word: marketing. I also believe that one of the tenets of marketing is great storytelling. And when it comes to narratives, veterinary medicine has hit the story-telling jackpot, because everyone loves animals.
Photos are Powerful
One of the easiest ways for us to tell digital stories effectively is through pictures. Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, I get much greater engagement (i.e. fans doing something in response to your post such as retweeting or clicking on a link) when I include a compelling picture.
On Twitter for example, a typical text-only post gets around a 10% engagement rate, while a combination text and photo post will get around 20% engagement (video is 30-40%, but we’ll get to that later). There is one more key thing I recommend to improve those engagements: I edit all of my photos.
Frankly, most of the pictures I take are bland and boring until I use some digital magic to highlight a key feature of the photo.
When I’m on the road, mobile is king and I often have only seconds to spare. Sound familiar? Using an app called Snapseed, you can edit photos professionally on the fly (free for iOS or Android).
Snapseed is an extremely powerful mobile application powered by Google that is available for most iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
Overall, Snapseed’s quality of edits are uniquely crisp and a smattering of brilliant special effect options are included.
Not ready for some of that fancy stuff? More often than not, I find myself using the basic “Tune Image” setting to make my images pop without feeling over processed or unrealistic. This option gives me tools for brightness, contrast, warmth, shadowing and sharpening. After a quick but all-important crop, the image is ready to save or share to my favorite social media platforms
#protip: I always save and then share directly from the social media app in order to avoid the automatically generated “image created with #snapseed” text.
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The beauty of Snapseed is the simple, intuitive, “cow-vet proof” swipe-based adjustments. With a few screen strokes, left to right or up and down, you will have a perfectly enhanced and cropped photo on the go. This seamless usability interface is what makes this tool a clear winner in my books compared to other alternatives.
Here are a few example images from my Instagram that got great engagement recently.
“I swear I try really hard to stay clean”
“Conference Room with a view. Pretty lucky to be speaking at such a spectacular location #banff”
No matter your chosen tool, take the time to put some extra special touches on your photos and you’ll better engage your readers and fans on social media.
About the Author
Dr. Cody Creelman is a beef cattle veterinarian and practice owner of Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Alberta, Canada. His veterinary interests include bovine pathology, large animal surgery, cow/calf and feedlot production medicine. Cody is also very passionate about veterinary mobile technology. This includes consulting on veterinary application design projects, as well as digital marketing and social media platforms. Check him out on his website, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (creelmancody), Vine, or YouTube…... he is active on them all!