Social Media Tips for Rescues

Social Media Tips For Rescue / Rehoming Centre

Over the past few years, businesses of all types and sizes have recognised the ability of social media to allow them to connect directly with their customers.

Whether you are a restaurant, an online retailer or a plumber it is highly likely that you utilise at least one of the major social media platforms to promote your business.

 

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We discovered recently when running a national competition promoting canine rescue charities, the animal welfare sector has been comparatively slow to grasp the benefits and power of social media.

In seeking support for the competition, we were amazed by the number of organisations that had either invalid email addresses or no social media presence at all.

Given that the ability of rescue organisations to rehome abandoned dogs is reliant on the extent to which people can see the dogs who need homes, they are missing one enormous trick by not fully embracing social media as an awareness raising tool.

Social media is an effective and can be a cheap strategy for charities and rescue organisations to raise awareness and funds, and to connect with supporters.

By following a few simple rules and being persistent and patient, social media can help rescue organisations find forever homes for many more dogs. The tips below are all proven to work – they work for us and our friends at Woof Woof Network and they can work for you too.

If we had to offer one piece of advice ourselves about effective use of social media it is to remember the social component. You are not operating in a vacuum, so do not forget to comment on, share, like and favourite other people’s social media posts. The more you interact with others, the more you will grow your audience.

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Here are Katie Tovey-Grindlay of Woof Woof Network’s tips for getting started on social media:

Facebook and Twitter are both really good platforms to get started on for your canine rescue charity. Both are easy to set up, get started on and free to use.

Facebook and Twitter both have help pages to help you get your account set up. Twitter help also explains some of the jargon used. It may sound a little scary to start with but once you get started you will see there isn’t anything to it.

 

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Below I have listed ten tips to help you

1. On social media (and on your website) ensure that you use good quality photos of the dogs. Photos should not be blurred and have good lighting. Photos need to be clear on which dog needs to be rehomed. The easiest way around this is to only have one dog in the photos unless of course they are dogs that need to be rehomed together.

2. Set up an email account that is purely for rehoming inquiries and ensure that it is checked on a daily basis.

3. Use your Facebook header as an advert for dogs that are in need of rehoming urgently

4. When writing posts for dogs who need rehoming or fostering, let people know how they can contact you to get more information and details e.g Do you want them to email you or send a message to your Facebook or Twitter account?

5. Ideally you should be posting on the Facebook page at least once a day and tweet several times a day. You don’t always have to post about dogs who need homes, you can let people know how they can help the charity, if you have any events coming up etc.

6. Add a FAQ to the notes on your Facebook Page so that you aren’t spending lots of time answering the same questions over and over again.

7. Once someone has rehomed one of your dogs, you could ask them to join a Facebook Group. Facebook groups are really easy to set up and manage and its a great way to give people support, keep in touch, ask questions and you can let them know the charities news and up coming events/fundraisers.

8. Use hash tags on Twitter for the area where the dog is currently based, the breed of the dog you are trying to rehome as well as #adopt or #rehome. Ideally you should use no more than three hashtags in you tweet.

9. Have a pinned tweet to your twitter account for people who are interesting in adopting or fostering one of your dogs. Include a link to your website where they can find adoption forms, foster forms and look at FAQ

10. Join in Twitter chat hours such as #woofwoofwednesday to promote your charity to pet owners, pet lovers and pet businesses.

 

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