(This post was originally published on Nov. 22, 2013, and has been updated to be even better!)
You’re likely familiar with the more popular social media platforms – like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – but what about the others? There are a number of social networks to choose from, and they each have their own unique style of posting, communicating, and sharing with your community.
So how do you use these popular social media platforms, whether for personal use or for your veterinary practice? We’ve got a few tips and tricks (and a nifty cheat sheet) to get you going:

Facebook

  • Connecting with family and friends is a two-way street on Facebook: a request must be sent by one user and accepted by the other.
  • Pages, on the other hand, are much more accessible and can be “liked” and followed freely.
  • Users have the ability to comment, share, or react to posts, status updates, photos, and more.
  • Hashtags can be used on Facebook, but this doesn’t necessarily boost your posts.

Twitter

  • Messages are sent in the form of tweets, which are limited to 140 characters – so you need to get straight to the point!
  • It’s great for short discussions, in-the-moment messages, relaying breaking news, and sharing opinions.
  • Users can retweet, reply to, quote, or “like” your messages.
  • Twitter doesn’t have anything comparable to a Facebook page, however – your company account will act exactly like a personal account.
  • Use hashtags to link your tweets to trending topics and make them easier for users to find.
  • With a “Follow” button, rather than a friend request, Twitter is a great way to reach out to people or organizations you might not know on a personal basis.

Instagram

  • Instagram is primarily a photo-sharing platform – you can easily edit photos with creative filters and share them instantly with your Instagram followers.
  • You can choose to share your Instagram posts with other social media networks as well, including Facebook.
  • Using different filters might make the pictures you post on your Facebook page pop. Test them out to see if this is something that would add value to your photo posts.
  • You can also upload photos and videos to your Instagram Story, which will disappear after 24 hours. This is a great way to share the daily happenings in your clinic.

YouTube

  • YouTube is far and away the leader in online video viewing and sharing. It allows users to upload and share videos, whether professional or non-professional.
  • It’s also owned by Google, so it’s no surprise that it also functions as a highly ranked search engine.
  • Videos are known to generate traffic, so consider creating videos of your practice – whether it’s your people, your services, your events, or anything else you’re involved in – or creating how-to or did you know videos that people will find helpful.

Pinterest

  • Pinterest is designed to be an online corkboard. When you find an image, recipe, how-to tip, or more, you can “pin” it to a board you’ve created. Other users can see and “repin” these to their boards.
  • You could use Pinterest to pin photos that you use on your website, with links to your site in the description. Or, you could pin photos of your practice and staff to show your personality. You could even pin short previews of your blog posts!

Snapchat

  • Send and receive photos from other people – but they’ll only be visible for 10 seconds or less.
  • You can also upload photos to your Snapchat Story, which users can view for up to 24 hours.
  • Ask your followers to send you photos of their pets, and you’ll be able to share them to your Snapchat story.

What’s your favorite social media platform? If it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, be sure to connect with us!

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