The huge social media mistake I made for the last 2 yearsMay 22, 2023
Read time: 4 mins
Everyone has been saying, ‘You need to create more video content!’
But I resisted. It's much easier for me to punch out a written post with an image than to post a video. Video means having my face on camera. I have to have my hair done and look slightly respectable – and then there’s all the retakes and the editing of the videos.
So I pushed back on this idea for two years. This year I succumbed and decided to embrace video.
The result was a 661% increase in our Instagram reach and a 635% increase in our engagement. 🤩 I know, right?
I’ve just created my TikTok channel. To be honest, I don't know a lot about this platform, but I am learning every day and happy to take you on the journey with me.
Short-form video is a critical element of social media because it captures attention and engages audiences in a fast-paced, visually dynamic way.
Video has become an increasingly important component of social media, and with platforms like TikTok leading the charge, others such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube have followed suit, each introducing their own short-form video features, such as reels and shorts.
These videos are usually 15 seconds to one minute long and can be edited easily with filters, music, and special effects.
Each platform has a different time allowance for reels and shorts. They change continually, but right now these are the time frames:
• Facebook reels: Up to 60 seconds
• Instagram reels: Up to 90 seconds
• TikTok shorts: Up to three minutes when recording on the app, but up to ten minutes if you incorporate uploaded video from elsewhere.
• YouTube shorts: Up to 60 seconds long
For now, I am creating 60-second videos. This way, I can repurpose them for all the platforms. We need to find ways to repurpose so we get off the hamster wheel of continually creating content!
I encourage all Vetrehabbers to make use of video. By incorporating short-form videos into your social media strategy, you can increase engagement, build brand awareness and connect with your target audience in a fun and creative way.
As veterinary rehabilitation therapists, we have unique and share-worthy content that can greatly benefit from video. While there is no need to create videos for every platform, some video as part of your social media strategy can give you an online presence that outweighs all other forms of social media marketing.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘Where do I start?’
You just need to get started.
If you’re a reels novice, here is a video to help you. It’s only 15 minutes long and explains all the basics.
I know that it can be daunting to get in front of a camera. But that’s not the only way to create reels. You certainly don’t need to be a performer, dancing or lip-syncing! You can create educational and interesting content and put your own spin and style on it.
To get you started, here are five types of reels you can make without showing your face:
1. Motivational quotes: Take a time-lapse video of you working or of one of your patients receiving treatment. Add a quote and some nice music that will resonate with your clients. Here is an example on Instagram.
2. Definitions: Take a video of you treating or examining a patient. Put a definition of a word that is relevant to the case. Great examples are the names of conditions, such as osteoarthritis, degenerative myelopathy, elbow dysplasia, and kissing spine. If someone has an animal with this condition, they’ll pause and watch.
3. Tweet your status: You don’t need a Twitter account for this one. You can fake it on Canva. Say something meaningful that you want your audience to know. Add this, along with music, to a video. Here is an example on my Insta page. I’ve just added a tweet status template to my 120+ social media templates.
4. Behind the scenes: Film yourself getting ready for an examination, or doing a specific examination, such as a cranial drawer or a proprioception test. You could also show how you do a specific treatment, or give a tour of your practice. Add some music and explain the action in a short written or verbal description.
Here’s a great example on TikTok of how to handle the underwater treadmill.
Here is an example on Instagram of the opening of a practice.
Here is an Instagram example of a practice tour.
5. Daily vlog: How about a day in the life of a Vetrehabber? People love to see what we get up to. This gets people to like you and helps to build a personal relationship with your audience.
Here is a ‘day in the life of’ example on Instagram.
6. Case study: Show how a patient started and the huge improvement you made through treatment. Case studies are great for social proof. Anyone whose pet has the same problem will see that recovery or improvement is possible, and may well reach out to you.
Here is a case study example on Instagram.
To really get the most out of your videos, you’ll need some simple tools. Nothing complicated. I don't have time to learn how to use complicated programs, and I’m sure you don’t, either.
There are loads of useful apps and programs to help you. These are my favorites:
My tips for great, results-oriented video content
• When filming, always film in portrait view, as this is the orientation of the short-form video.
• Always write a description with a CTC (call to conversation) at the end. The goal of the post is to stimulate engagement. So ask a question that gets them to respond easily; for example, ‘Do you have a dog that suffers from elbow dysplasia? What’s his name?’
• Since the goal of Instagram is engagement, eventually you’ll want to move the conversation to your direct messages or your website.
• Be aware of the optimum zone for placing text. Keep your text in the middle of the video. Text on the top, sides, and bottom tends to get cut off on the app. (I just added safe zones templates in the bonus section of my 120+social media templates to help you with this)
• Don’t include too much text. Your audience needs to read it in the time it takes to watch the video. Small bites are best.
• When you see a cool post, save the audio so you can use it in the future.
Here is a video on how to do this.
A note about permissions
The law on using internet material can be confusing, so before you use a video from a website, check the site’s terms and conditions. Many websites feature unlicensed videos which we are free to use, but others stipulate that permission must be sought. A great place to find free videos is www.pexels.com
Check with pet owners, too. Most will be happy to let you feature their pet on your educational videos, but it’s always wise to ask first. I recommend adding a permission clause to your consent form. A simple clause with a tick box will do, where they indicate whether they are willing for photos and videos of their pet to be used for educational purposes, website, and social media.
I hope these tips have inspired you to go one step further in your use of social media for marketing. For me, the results of using short, easy-to-make videos have been quite remarkable. I am sure you will find the same!
Here are some more great resources on how to create social media templates and content:
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links and I may earn a commission for the referral. But my motivation is not the commission – I include them because they really are the best recommendations I have.