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Top tips for sharing your veterinary blog on social media - Part 3

Posted in Social Media @ Jun 19th 2017 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
Top Tips For Sharing Your Veterinary Blog Posts On Social Media Part 3

Sharing your veterinary blog post on social media and more.

In Part 3 we'll cover sharing your post on Google+, Instagram, Twitter, Top Tips and eBooks - as well as a very useful resource...

But first, a bit of a recap…

Part 1 – it’s all about the preparation!

Key points:

  • Writing a brilliant blog post isn’t enough – you need to promote it online
  • Images are essential – posts with images are far more likely to be clicked on and shared
  • Canva is an awesome tool to help you design and easily resize your images to suit every social media platform
  •  Scheduling allows you to share your blog post at the best time rather than just whenever you have a free moment to jump on social media
  • Share your blog post over as many different social media channels as possible – the platforms that are best for you depends on where your clients and potential clients are
  • Download our ‘Veterinary Blog Post Sharing Checklist’ to help you keep track of where and when you’ve shared your post

Part 2 – Sharing your blog post on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn

Key Points:

  • Social media platforms are all different which is why it’s not a good idea to post the same content across a number of channels – to gain the most benefit from social media you need to tailor your message to suit each platform.
  • Facebook – make use of the scheduling function and use your analytics to determine the best time to post
  • Consider also adding your blog post to Facebook Notes
  • Pinterest is all about images but setting up a board to share pet care information is easy
  • LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to schedule which is where making use of third party scheduling apps such as Buffer can help you out
  • Add your post to LinkedIn Articles via your personal page

Adding your blog post to Google+

You can have a personal Google+ Page as well as a company Google+ Page and although it’s likely that not so many of your clients are on this particular platform, you can’t ignore the fact that Google is behind it and well, Google rules the internet! Rumour has it that Google will index any new content on Google+ very quickly and I’ve noticed that Google+ links for my blog posts appear high up on search results.

Adding your blog post to both your personal and business page is self-explanatory and again very similar to Facebook. Although similar to LinkedIn, Google+ doesn’t allow you to schedule your posts so I make use of Buffer to schedule.

Posting directly to Google+ does however give you more control over the way your image looks on your post. If you just add in the link to your blog post you may need to use the little grey arrows to scroll through until you get to the correct image and you’ll notice the post only has a thumb-nail sized image.

Sharing link directly - use grey arrow to find correct image

 

Sharing post link directly - thumbnail size image only & not very obvious

Your other option is to select the camera image and upload the blog post image before adding the link and this will mean you get to see the full sized image and your followers will need to click on the hyperlink to access your blog post.

    

Blog post shared using uploaded image and then added link - much more obvious!

Sharing on Instagram

Instagram is a perfect social media platform for veterinary practices as just like Pinterest the image is everything – and throughout your day there are many opportunities to take great photos to share. However, unlike Pinterest, the life of your image is short and you’ll find most interaction takes place a few hours after posting. You can also only post to Instagram via a mobile device although you can view your Instagram account on your PC or laptop.

Instagram also doesn’t allow you to post a live link on each individual post and your bio is the only place where you can add a live link. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add your blog post image to Instagram as it can still be a great way to promote content and if your image and topic is compelling enough, users can still track the post down.

You can also get around this by changing the link in your bio every time you add a new image from a blog post, or by just directing users to your website in the comments field under the image.

Instagram images are best around 1080 x 1080 pixels and you have up 2,200 characters for your post BUT only the first couple of lines are displayed before users have to click ‘More’. Hashtags are very important on Instagram as that’s how users find the content they’re interested in and don’t be scared to add in as many as you need (up to 30).

Scheduling your post on Instagram usng Buffer

Unfortunately, you’re also not able to schedule your post directly from Instagram however you can with Buffer via your mobile device, although there are a couple of steps to the process:

  1. Open Buffer on your computer, upload your image and add in your comment remembering it’s mostly about the image but hashtags are essential
  2. Schedule your post
  3. When it’s time for your scheduled post you’ll receive an alert from Buffer on your mobile phone
  4. Make sure you have you business Instagram account open and click 'POST' on your phone
  5. Buffer then shows you what your post looks like and you can click 'Open in Instagram'
  6. Edit your image if required and click 'Next'
  7. in the 'Write a caption' spot, paste the copy that Buffer has saved to your Clipboard
  8. Click 'Share'

And then there’s Twitter!

Twitter is one of my favourite social media platforms and I always find interesting resources but I’m not sure how many of your veterinary clients are on it. If you’re a veterinary supplier it can be a great way to connect and source information.

I use a third-party app (now owned by Twitter) called TweetDeck as it allows me to do much more than is possible on Twitter itself and is especially useful when sharing blog posts as it makes scheduling posts very easy. This is even more important on Twitter as I often share Vetanswers blog posts every day for a week – yep the one blog post can be shared seven times!

Twitter is different from other social media platforms as when using TweetDeck tweets stream in real time and it’s almost impossible to see every tweet from every person you follow. So it makes sense to schedule tweets sharing your blog post at a different time on each day, spread out over seven days. You can’t schedule posts directly via Twitter but you can if you make use of apps such as TweetDeck, Hootesuite or Buffer.

Uploading image and scheduling tweet via Tweetdeck

You can also add images, Gifs and video to Twitter to help make your post more eye-catching in your followers feed.

This is how my tweet with an uploaded image looks on a twitter feed!

To squeeze even more views out of your blog post – have you considered Top Tips?

Every morning from Monday to Friday you may also have seen ‘Vetanswers Daily Top Tip….’ shared across ALL the Vetanswers social media platforms. These snippets of useful information have all come from past blog posts and all include a link to the post so you can ‘read more…’.

Every time I publish a blog post I scroll through and cut and paste sentences I think will make a compelling ‘Top tip’ and add them along with the blog post link to an excel spreadsheet which now has a list of over 1,000 Top Tips stretching back to the earliest published Vetanswers Blog Posts. Just like much of the information you publish for pet owners, the content in most of the Vetanswers blog posts doesn’t have a shelf life and so there’s no reason why I can’t keep re-sharing the useful content with our Community.

There’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing – you don’t have to share a Top Tip every day but you could share a couple a week. I schedule a week’s worth of ‘Top Tips’ once a week mostly using Buffer and simply scroll through each blog post before posting to ensure all the content and links are up to date. This is a great way to extend the life of your blog posts past their initial publication and keep reminding your clients about important pet care information.

One more thing…what about an eBook or two?

One final way to re-purpose as much of that valuable content you’ve already taken the time to write is to collect a number of related blog posts together and publish them as eBooks. After reviewing all the posts you’ve already published you might find you have a range of posts on similar topics that can be grouped together. E.g.:

  • Puppies / Kittens
  • Senior Pets
  • Nutrition
  • Overweight pets
  • Common pet illnesses

Once you re-packaged a number of posts together you’ve got yourself a brand-new resource to share in all the ways we’ve already listed!

Canva offers a range of eBook templates to make it easy for you to design a great looking resource.

A useful resource...

As you've no doubt already realised all the social media platforms use different sized images which makes life unnecessarily difficult. You can track down all the relevant sizes for each platform however to help save you time - we've done it for you! I use this handy 'cheat sheet' every time I share blog posts across the Vetanswers social media platforms. As previously mentioned if you use Canva all you need to do is:

  1. Make a copy of your orginal blog post image
  2. Change the custom dimensions according to the Cheat Sheet
  3. Tweak your layout to suit 
  4. Click download

Click here to download a copy of the 'Vetanswers social media cheat sheet'

It’s really is worth the effort

If you’ve gone to the effort of writing a veterinary blog post then it’s definitely worth the effort of sharing it on social media so it reaches more than just your local clients. You never know if a potential client could turn into a client based on your content they find online. And let’s face it – the more reliable, useful content written by veterinary professionals that can be found on the internet the better! 

Any questions or tips you'd like to add? Add them in the Comments section below.

Missed Part 1 and 2? ...

Click here to read Top tips for sharing your veterinary blog on social media - Part 1

 

Click here to read Top tips for sharing your veterinary blog on social media - Part 2

 

 

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