bull terrier sitting up

Promoting Bull Terrier Events with Instagram Posts

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2020 Bull Terrier National Shows Come to Michigan

In 2020, the Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier national specialty shows will both be held in October at the Kern Pavillion in Frankenmuth Michigan. My local specialty club, the Bull Terrier Club of Metro Detroit, will be host club for these events. I am in charge of publicity for this event, which will include creating Bull Terrier Instagram posts.

The highlight of the Bull Terrier Club of America‘s weekend is the Silverwood Trophy competition for Best North American Bred Bull Terrier. The weekend will also include national and host club AKC specialty dog shows, performance events, seminars and even a licensed Barn Hunt Trial. The Miniature Bull Terrier Club hosts the Van Hildrikhusen Trophy as well as several AKC specialty shows and the the two clubs share the performance events.

Promoting Bull Terrier Shows Online

The Bull Terrier Club of Metro Detroit has created a Silverwood 2020 website to promote the weekend as well as a Silverwood 2020 Facebook page. We also have a club website that provides information about the breed and our local events throughout the year. In 2018 I attended a local social media workshop and created an Instagram account for the BTCMD. I do post to it occasionally and share photos of members and events to our Facebook page, but I don’t currently do a lot with hashtags or regularly scheduled posts.

Using Instagram to Promote Our Shows

This year, I plan to leverage Instagram more effectively to promote the club and these national events. As of right now I have not created a Silverwood Instagram just because I have enough trouble keeping my personal vs club ones separate, and I don’t want to throw a third option into the mix.

A Little Help From a friend

My first step was to reach out to a local Bull Terrier owner whose dog Hamlin, has an Instagram account and has managed to leverage it to become a local dog celebrity. Jason, who is a WordPress developer walked me through some tips on what to post, what hashtags to use, and suggested using the Snapseed app to edit and customize my photos. He also suggested I check out his website, which uses a plugin that connects to Instagram and displays posts on the home page.

Creating My First Custom Instagram Post

bull terrier with christmas present

I used Snapseed to create a Christmas post to my own Instagram account. It was easy to select a photo from my phone’s gallery. Then I cropped the photo, customized the colors, added a custom frame and caption bubble. All pretty easy to do right on the phone.

Catchy Phrases About Bull Terriers

Then I started my journey to develop a portfolio of Bull Terrier Instagram posts. I went through some of the educational and entertaining materials I had about Bull Terriers to come up with some key phrases that could capture the essence of the breed in my Bull Terrier Instagram posts. Phrases like “Two Year Old in a Dog Suit” and “Their antics will entertain you” and others that every Bull Terrier owner can relate to were collected into a text document for reference.

Cute Bull Terrier Pictures

Next, I went through the digital photos I had of my dogs, looking for photos that were funny, cute, or just typical of the breed. I am hoping as this project evolves I’ll be able to collect more photos in these categories from Bull Terrier club members.

Hashtags

Then I went through the Instagram feeds for both Hamlin_Detroit_bullterrier and xbullterrierfreakx which are both based in Michigan and do a lot of Bull Terrier Instagram posts. Both accounts feature liberal sprinklings of hashtags, and I checked how many mentions came up with each of the hashtags that were relevant to the posts I was planning to make. The hashtag #dogsofinstagram has over 150 million mentions, while others, like #akcbullterrier have around 10 thousand. I gathered a list that I thought was a good mix of dog and breed specific words and came up with a few of my own that referred to our club and event, like #btcmd and #silverwood2020.

Giving Canva a Whirl

bull terrier sitting up

After I had all the elements, I remembered I had a free account with Canva, an online graphic design tool. I wondered if I could use that to create a post. Canva can do a LOT of things, which can make it more difficult to do something simple. But after a few trips to “Google University” and Canva Help, I figured out how to access the templates designed for Instagram, upload photos, edit the photo. add a background and some custom text. I picked a “beefcake” photo of one of my dogs sitting up and used the phrase “Built Like a Tank.”

The Canva-Instagram Handoff

It’s easier to use a full featured graphics tool like Canva on a PC, and it’s not easy to trick Instagram into letting you upload from anything but a mobile device. So, I ended up signing into Canva on my phone and downloading my image there. It immediately appeared in my photo gallery and was easy to pop into Instagram. Then I typed in several hashtags and posted it. I’m going to copy the list of hashtags somewhere on my phone as well, so I don’t have to do so much typing, but this is all part of my learning process.

Try it Yourself!

I would love to see some other dog clubs and owners get busy on Instagram. There are lots of people and dogs on the platform, but active AKC exhibitors are under represented. Few of my friends post frequently. The hashtags that include reference to AKC and organized dog sports are way less used than the hashtags for cuteness and puppy love. Can you help close the gap with some AKC related instagram posts?

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