Admit it – when you have a spare moment at the veterinary hospital, you grab your phone & start browsing the Internet.
Veterinarians aren’t the only ones consuming Internet content on their phones. The Internet is getting increasingly visual, as mobile usage increases. Veterinary businesses need to keep up to stay relevant online.
As you scroll your Facebook or Twitter feed, what catches your attention? I’d be willing to bet that those long, text-based posts don’t win that moment of your free time but anything with a catchy photo does.
Why? Like you, your veterinary clients are busy. They consume their social media in quick bursts throughout the day and your practice needs to adapt to catch their eye.
SEE ALSO: The Social Media Survival Guide for Veterinary Hospitals
You can use social platforms like Instagram and Vine to integrate images and video into your social strategy, but I only recommend that if you have “mastered” your other social media platforms and have the time to dedicate to diversifying. If you plan on sticking with the basics, like Facebook, you need great graphics to help your practice succeed.
Unfortunately, your animal hospital likely doesn’t have a graphic designer on call. So what is a veterinary clinic to do? Don’t worry – you don’t have to become a Photoshop wizard.
I have 5 techy tools that veterinary professionals can use to easily create your own great images for social media.
Veterinarians have to be familiar with a wide range of species, but here’s a new one for you! PicMonkey.com is a website dedicated to making graphic design fun and easy.
If graphic design is a new adventure for you, try this site first. Right from the home page, you can easily select preset image sizes. For example, there’s an option to create a Facebook cover photo.
Want more details on Facebook image sizes? Check out my size guide on Snout School!
Once you are into the design section of PicMonkey.com, you can add filters, text, frames & symbols. One t ip: Upload your own photos by going to the overlay section, represented by a butterfly symbol on the left side of your screen. At the top, you’ll see a “Your Own” button. Click there, and you’ll be able to upload patient photos right from your computer.
The basic features of PicMonkey that I’ve described are free, although you can upgrade to a paid account. Bit of honesty – I’ve never bothered upgrading!
The biggest problem with PicMonkey is that it’s not mobile-friendly at this time. Other than that, I guarantee it will be your new favorite animal!
Ready to get more advanced with your veterinary hospital’s social media images?
Canva.com has you covered! Canva has many similar features to PicMonkey, but they kick it up a notch with beautiful templates, more font options, and built-in stock photos. Though I strongly advocate for using unique photos of your patients whenever possible, Canva’s $1.00 stock images sure make it tempting to try them out.
Want to start creating great infographics for Pinterest?
Canva makes detailed infographics much easier to create with free chart, arrow and graph images for you to use.
Even better? Having a free Canva account allows you to save and edit projects from any computer, meaning you can work on a lengthy infographic bit by bit.
Canva does offer a mobile version, but it is not easy-to-use in its current state.
When it comes to editing images on your phone, the Snapseed app is the way to go! There are many mobile apps that allow you to apply filters to photos to change colors slightly, but Snapseed goes beyond that basic feature.
Using Snapseed, you can crop images, change focus, add frames and more.
The navigation on this app is a little tricky, in my opinion, but I suggest getting it for your Apple or Android phone and just playing with the wide variety of features.
Once you master it for your personal photos, you’ll be ready to integrate it into your veterinary practice.
Need to add text to a photo when you’re on-the-go? Phonto is my favorite mobile app for that! Adding a little bit of text to an image can really help it stand out.
Available for both the iPhone and Android devices, this app boasts 50 different fonts. You can change the placement, sizing & color of text.
One tip: Add a background color behind your text, helping words to show up well on any photo you’re editing.
Short video posts are becoming a big part of social media. Platforms like Instagram and Vine allow you to create mini videos, but what if you want to post a great video to Facebook? I suggest the iPhone app, PicPlayPost.
Available for $1.99 in the iTunes store, this crafty app allows you to make a collage of images and videos, which is a fun way to bring photos to life.
Standing out on social media is an everyday challenge for most businesses, but it shouldn’t be an issue for veterinary hospitals. Why is that? With an endless supply of great patient photos to share, there’s no reason why veterinary hospitals shouldn’t be putting great image content out there! Using these techy tools will definitely help you to kick your social media graphics up a notch.
If you need any help along the way, check out SNOUTschool.com. Have more questions? Reach out on the social media platform of your choice!
About the Author
Danielle K. Lambert is a social media coach and founder of SNOUTSchool.com, the only social media tutorial site created by a veterinary professional, for veterinary professionals. Danielle bases her coaching on experience gathered as a veterinary practice manager at Quinebaug Valley Veterinary Hospital in Danielson, CT. In her spare time, she enjoys taking too many iPhone photos of her Brussels Griffon, Archer, and screaming at Tom Brady every Sunday. You can find Danielle on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (Archer, however, prefers Instagram).