Vet Ranch by: Suhaily Erkkila

Organization’s Background-

Doctor Matt Carriker had the idea for the Vet Ranch YouTube channel after he had amassed a large following on his Demolition Ranch channel, where he shoots large guns on his ranch. Dr. Matt combined his passion for saving animals with his video editing skills to create the Vet Ranch organization.

Vet Ranch is a Non-profit organization run by Doctor Matt Carriker, a Veterinarian who graduated from Texas A&M ’s College of veterinary medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The channel was created to raise awareness and funds for animals in need. The veterinarians involved in the organization donate their time and use viewer donated funds to treat sick and wounded animals. Vet Ranch works in collaboration with San Antonio Pets Alive (SAPA). The SAPA goes into the local San Antonio pound and rescues animals. These animals can be treated but are on the euthanasia list due to overpopulation and underfunding.

Since the first video was posted on Feb 19, 2014, the organization has grown in subscribers and doctors. The organization now has 4 doctors (Dr. Matt, Karri, Wendy, and Dave) and currently has 300,498 subscribers. The number of views and subscribers on YouTube is growing by the thousands every week. They have created a unique learning experience for viewers, but they need to find a way to maintain their momentum in growing the channel.

According to the ASPCA Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).


Figure 1: Puppy in shelter

Vet Ranch helps raise awareness to the fact that a lot of the animals on the euthanasia list are treatable animals, but shelters don’t have the funds to treat them. Their posts are altruistic in nature, their mission is to raise money and help animals.

“So this is my new project, to build Vet Ranch to be a place where homeless animals can come to be cured. Cured of treatable injury or disease that would otherwise prevent them from being adopted or result in euthanasia. I look forward to working with all of Vet Ranch’s viewers to help save as many animals as possible. All donations will go directly to the cost of treatment for the animals you see on Vet Ranch. Therefore, YOU have a direct impact on the animals, and thanks to the power of YouTube, you will see the faces of the animals that you have impacted. You can hear those purrs and see those waggy tails at the end of their recovery.” – Dr.Matt

On their website, Vet Ranch states that their goal is “We’re going to fix ’em all”. Their main goals are to help as many animals as possible and raise the money to be able to do so. They mainly use YouTube to generate donations for the cause by posting videos. They also use Facebook to share YouTube videos, post updates and sneak peeks of newly rescued animal cases. They attach the URL to their website to every post and it is also on their Facebook page so that donors can visit the website. They lack both a strategic plan and a marketing plan because they do not have a person dedicated to social media.

S.W.O.T. Analysis-


They have grown a fairly large audience from the start project to today. Dr. Matt has scaled the organization with the addition of three new doctors and they have helped over 100 animals in a two-year time period. They are the only nonprofit that takes the viewer into the operating room and teaches them about procedures. They are growing subscribers at a fast rate. The number of total subscribers is significantly lower than total views and is not growing as fast as total views. The table below demonstrates the growth on YouTube over the past two weeks.

Dates YouTube Subscribers Total YouTube View
10/28/2015 281,000 24,105,891
11/01/2015 289,890 24,559,433
11/03/2015 292,750 24,703,439
11/09/2015 296,092 25,277,839
11/10/2015 302,569 25,937,769
11/11/2015 304,411 26,154,715
11/12/2015 304,965 26,493,700
11/13/2015 305,763 26,649,656

Table 1: Rate of Growth on YouTube

Table 1 lists the rate of grown in both YouTube video views and the channels subscribers in about a two-week period. Total views are growing rapidly, but the total subscribers for the channel aren’t growing as fast.


The majority of their promotions are on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The platform with the largest follower is YouTube. There isn’t one person dedicated to posting videos so the schedule can be irregular. The irregularity of the video post can be detrimental to the growth of the organization. They don’t promote their other social media platforms in the videos. The only platform that is linked to their YouTube channel is Facebook.


Vet ranch should partner with other local businesses and cross promote their cause by taking advantage of other social media platforms to grow the YouTube channels subscribers. They can do interviews with local news sources and link articles to their Facebook page. They should also have a video in which the viewers learn more about the doctors that they are giving money to.


There are many other non-profit organizations to compete for funds like the ASPCA. Another threat could be other popular YouTube channels with more engaging content. An example of a more popular is the PewDiePie channel, it currently has 40,342,711 subscribers and 10,386,577,613 views.

Breakdown of social media use


YouTube is the main platform used for Vet Ranch, the doctors post all animal rescue videos to the Vet Ranch channel. The website is linked to all videos and viewers are encouraged to visit the site to donate. Many interactions occur on the YouTube between donors, new viewers, and the doctors. They have 305,763 Subscribers and a total of 26,649,656 views on all videos. The have a high level of engagement on YouTube videos. On YouTube, they show two types of videos, they are either surgical or non-surgical.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 1.28.43 PM   Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 6.50.12 PM

Figure 2: Surgical Video                                   Figure 3: Non-surgical video


Facebook is used to post updates, previews, and current videos. They also post animal memes and new patients that haven’t been uploaded to YouTube yet. Vet Ranch engages viewers and followers with pictures of animals that have been rescued. In some cases, they post updates and answer viewer’s questions. They have 49,862 people who have liked the Facebook page. They also have a high level of engagement on most of their Facebook posts and pictures.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 2.44.54 PM

Figure 4: Vet Ranch Facebook page

Vet Ranch Website

The Vet Ranch website provides a history of the organization, an archive of past videos, and a donation system. It lacks aesthetics and is a very basic Word Press layout. The website has no stickiness, there is nothing on the site that makes viewers want to keep coming back.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.43.27 PM                                        Figure 5: Vet Ranch Website


The Vet Ranch Twitter page is hosted by a fan of the organization that is trying to promote the work that Vet Ranch does. They share videos from the YouTube channel and also encourage donations to Vet Ranch. They have not used imagery on the Twitter feed to help capture audience attention. Vet Ranch should take ownership the Twitter page and control the media that is being distributed through this platform.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.27.44 PM

Figure 6: Vet Ranch Twitter page


The Vet Ranch Pinterest is not an actively posting platform. There are only 3 pins and 36 followers. Users not affiliated with the organization do post videos using the share link on the YouTube channel. They have no use for Pinterest; disabling the account would not hurt them because of the little engagement they currently have.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.33.30 PM

Figure 7: Vet Ranch Pinterest

Vet Ranch’s work has also been talked about on Animal Planet through a guest blog.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 3.06.40 PM

Figure 8: Guest blog on Animal planet

Target Audience:

  • Pet Owner/ Lovers willing to donate or adopt
  • Veterinarians
  • Local shelters

Vet Ranch uses three of the four social media marketing mix as defined by Tacey L. Tuten and Michael R. Solomon in Social Media Marketing. The organization provides social entertainment through their YouTube and Instagram channels. Viewers are engaged and educated through the videos posted. The organization also provides a social community within Facebook. In using Facebook, Vet Ranch has built a place for viewers to communicate with both the doctors and each other. They also provide social publishing through the YouTube Videos.

Vet Ranch does a good job of engaging viewers with YouTube videos that generate thousands of views. The videos and Facebook posts also generate thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. The organization keeps viewers interested by providing updates on previous patients and showing new cases. Viewers have the ability to comment on most of the social media platforms that Vet Ranch is a part of. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube give viewers the best chance to engage with the organization and they also give the organization a chance to build a relationship with their viewers.

What Vet Ranch is doing wrong

Vet Ranch should have one person designated to social media or have a schedule for posts. Currently, Dr. Matt and the other veterinary staff edit and post the videos. Based on their posting history they try to post a video every week, but the frequency of the posts is irregular. They also can’t respond to as many post which hurts the engagement that viewers hope to find on YouTube and Facebook. The organization has a Pinterest account with hardly any content or engagement; they should just delete it. The Twitter page is run by a fan not affiliated with Vet Ranch, which speaks to the viewer’s loyalty to the organization. A fan-run Twitter account can be dangerous because the organization does not have control over the content being posted. The two charts below demonstrate engagement on post after they have been posted to Facebook or Twitter. There is a higher level of engagement after a new video has been posted. Vet Ranch is not doing anything to maintain that momentum throughout the week.


Table 2: Graph was created with

Table 2 showcases the mentions of Vet Ranch in a week. There is a significant spike on Friday, the day they posted a video. The video should have been posted at the start of the week and they could have kept up with the momentum created by that video post. Instead, it tapers off on Saturday and doesn’t reach half of the engagement that was reached on Friday.

Time_graph                                      Table 3: Graph was created with

Table 3 demonstrates the best times to post for Vet Ranch, 3 pm to 9 pm reaches the most people and 6 am to 12 pm follows closely behind.

Benefits to implementing a social media strategy

With the implementation of a social media strategy, Vet Ranch could expand the Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube community by 5%. Below is an example on a Social Media Strategy that could benefit Vet Ranch’s social community by engaging followers and subscribers with new content. They also have the opportunity to communicate with the organization’s fans and build an authentic and trustworthy relationship.

Implement a Social Media Strategy


  • Raise funds for animal treatment
  • Raise awareness for the cause
  • Engage followers and build a strong relationship


  • Increase views for YouTube by 5% before the end of the fiscal year
  • Increase subscribers on YouTube by 5% before the end of the fiscal year
  • Increase Facebook followers by 5% before the end of the fiscal year
  • Increase Instagram followers by 5% before the end of the fiscal year

It’s important to begin with realistic objectives that can be measured and analyzed. After reaching the listed objective Vet Ranch can reverse track the social media data and adjust the strategy to improve engagement and conversion rates.


Raise funds

  • Use YouTube to promote the treatment that has been made possible through donations
  • Use Facebook to share stories of rescued animal. Create albums for specific cases and share stories through a series of images
  • Post before and after photos of patients to Instagram
  • All description should reinforce that “all treatment could not have been made possible without viewer donations”

Raise Awareness

  • Create blog for website

Examples of blog topics

  1. Importance of Spay/Neuter
  2. Importance of Animal care
  3. Underfunding at local shelter and their conditions
  4. Different types on Mange
  5. Guest Blog (A.S.P.C.A)
  • Re-post Blog to Facebook/Twitter to help spread awareness
  • Increase website traffic with link wheeling

A blog will help create content for the website, which could help improve the stickiness of the site. It will give viewers a reason to return to the site and share its content.

Engage Viewers

  • Respond to comments on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Designate a day for followers to share their pets’ stories on Facebook
  • Encourage followers to share content by using share buttons on blog post
  • Story-of- the-month. Choose a follower’s story and repost it with the title on the Facebook page
Days Platforms Objective Time of day Times per day Content
Monday Facebook




Website Blog

Increase views, subscribers, and, followers on

·       YouTube

·       Instagram

·       Facebook

·       Twitter



YouTube 1

Facebook 2

Instagram 2

Twitter 2-4

YouTube – Post new video

Facebook– share video/promote animal

Instagram- Post before and after pictures of current rescued video/ link the video in description

Twitter –share before and after photo with link for new video

Blog- write blog on website

Tuesday Facebook



Increase Facebook and Instagram followers 6am-12pm


Facebook 2

Instagram 2

Twitter 2-4

Facebook – Designated day for followers stories

Twitter- promote video and blog


Wednesday Facebook



Increase Facebook and Instagram followers 6am-12pm


Facebook 2

Instagram 2

Twitter 2-4

Facebook –repost video/ respond to comments from Monday

Instagram- share image content and link video

Twitter – promote video and blog

Thursday Facebook




Website Blog

Increase views, subscribers, and, followers on

·       YouTube

·       Instagram

·       Facebook

·       Twitter

6am-12pm Facebook 2

Instagram 3

Twitter 2-4

YouTube – Re-post new video

Facebook– share Facebook

Instagram – share image content and link video

Twitter – video/promote animal

Instagram- Post before and after pictures of current rescued video/ link the video in description

Twitter –share before and after photo with link for new video

Blog-Repost blog on website

Friday – Sunday Facebook




Website Blog

Increase funds – Promote at seasonal times 6am-12pm


Facebook 1

Instagram 1

Twitter 1

Weekend post should relate to seasonal post and posting frequency should depend on engagement

Table 4: Social Media Posting Schedule

Vet Ranch does not have a focused social media strategy and posts are not scheduled or regulated. With a plan in place, they can have a steady stream of content available to engage followers and subscribers. This plan shows goals, objectives, detailed strategies and posting schedule.








Work Cited

“Pet Statistics.” ASPCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

Smith, Connor. “Former A&M Student Utilizes YouTube to save At-risk Pets.” The

Battalion. N.p., 1 Sept. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

Tuten, Tracy L., and Michael R. Solomon. Social Media Marketing. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.

Anders, Caitlin Jill. “Dog With Massive Tumor Rescued by Amazing Vets.” Weblog post. Animal Planet. Animal Planet, 7 Oct. 2015. Web. 14 Nov. 2015. <Dog With Massive Tumor Rescued by Amazing Vets>.

Vet Ranch website:

YouTube channels and videos

Vet ranch channel:

Puppy video:

Kitten surgery video:

PewDiePie channel:



Vet Ranch by: Suhaily Erkkila

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