September 2, 2013
As we work tirelessly to save America’s unwanted and neglected pets, we know that community support and high-quality volunteers are the keys to keep animal shelters running. Sometimes it may seem impossible to stay on top of educating the public, fostering support and encouraging donations from the public and recruiting new volunteers. In these areas, a well-crafted social media campaign is essential for every animal shelter.
Understanding the benefits of social media is the key towards driving behavior and garnering support, according to the business experts at Forbes Magazine. Adding social media to your community awareness toolbox is essential because:
- Social media allows you to directly connect with the support system you already have. You can easily keep your volunteers and supporters informed by inviting them to join you on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
- Using social media allows you to grow your network organically. Friends can easily invite other friends, helping you garner more support. Connecting your social media accounts to your webpage will allow casual browsers to connect with you.
- Since social media connects you with people who already have an interest in animal rights, you can take advantage the human desire to help by posting a call to action for your animal shelter.
- Social media helps give a face to your our cause. You can post additional photos and short bios about all the animals in need. Encourage your supports to share these posts to help increase the likelihood for animal adoption.
- Perhaps most importantly is that using social media allows you to praise your everyday heroes. Did a family save allowance to buy some much needed supplies? Did four dogs find forever families today? Did a volunteer stay late to clean cages? Tell your Facebook fans all about it. Good news spreads like wildfire.
Of course, it takes some practice to learn how to use your new social media accounts. Be sure to keep these simple tips from the Guide Star Blog in mind when crafting your posts:
- Facebook is excellent for announcements, praising volunteers and calls to action. Use Twitter to share bits of wisdom and answer questions from supporters. Pinterest is excellent for adding all your behind-the-scenes photos.
- Be sure your posts are well written and tell stories. Fans connect with the human element of your organization.
- Be clear and concise. Tell your audience exactly what you need and how it will be utilized.