How Can Social Media Help Your Animal Shelter

July 29, 2014

Social media can literally save lives at your animal shelter, especially if your shelter is a kill shelter. Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can help:
• Reunite lost pets with owners
• Save pets scheduled to be euthanized
• Bring in much needed supplies when they are most needed
• Raise money for needed health care for specific animals
• Help raise money and get volunteers during natural disasters
• Bring in funds to help save more animals
The best thing about these social media websites is that they are free to join and free to use. Your shelter can purchase ads to help promote adoption events or spay-neuter clinics, but these are not entirely necessary to effectively use social media.
Take Good Pictures
Social media is a visual medium. Just sending out a tweet that a Beagle has been found wandering down Main Street isn’t enough to grab Twitter users’ attentions and heartstrings. You need to take one or more photos of this lost beagle and post them on Instagram and Facebook, which support pictures. You can then link Twitter to these posts.
You do not need fancy camera equipment to take good pictures. It’s best to take a photo of a pet with a background that contrasts to the pet’s color. For example, black pets stand out best against pale colors. Digital cameras and smartphones take excellent pictures. You may need to get an animal’s attention with a squeaky toy or food in order to get the pet to stay still for a good shot.
Update Regularly
Social media is not a one-time only thing. You need to update your sites regularly in order to reach the maximum amount of eyeballs reading your important messages. You do not need to post every day, but once a week is the minimum you should do. Make sure you spend time not only posting requests or pictures of animals for adoption, but also answer questions sent to you from others.
If emergencies happen and no one at your shelter can post on any social media sites for at least a week, please note that on your social media sites. Apologize when you can for not doing the weekly or regular update as soon as you can. By following these netiquette tips, you will keep your followers from disliking you or stop following your shelter.

One Response to “How Can Social Media Help Your Animal Shelter”

  1. Shelters who are forced to PTS innocent animals do not need people referring to them as Kill Shelters ~ this is an antagonistic comment designed to upset people. The reason shelters are forced to put down animals is that there are too many animals and too few homes. Putting down animals is a terrible ordeal for those who are faced with it as a reality of their work. Shelters do not have enough kennel space and/or funding to keep hundreds of dogs and cats locked up for extended periods of time, besides which this is of no value to the welfare of the animal concerned and kennel stress is a very real threat to the welfare of the animal caught up with welfare system. Please amend your comments.

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