Facebook Promotion Tips for Animal Rescue Groups and Shelters
Attracting More (Local) Fans
Much of the advice, up until
now, has been how to reach your existing fans.
We touched a little on the fact
that "begging" for fans to "Like" your page, doesn't
work. It builds up your "number" but if those new fans don't
interact with your page on a regular basis, they will soon stop seeing your
posts in their newsfeed.
So how do you get new fans?
Time to share one of our
biggest pet peeves.
We often see brand new rescue
groups, show up on our page, and place one of those "We are new, please
visit our page and 'Like' us..." types of posts.
Frequently, we also see new
groups complain about not having enough supporters ($$$), not having enough
fosters, and not having enough volunteers.
If you are a new rescue, start
Building a fan base of local
facebook fans, means you have fans that will not only interact with your
page, but potentially show up to your events... offer to foster pets...
volunteer their time... and support your fundraisers.
Trying to build your fan base
by posting FIRST on national "rescue related" facebook pages, will
not give you the type of fans that will help with your day-to-day operations.
Many animal shelters do a much better job at this, than animal rescue groups.
Maybe it is because there is a physical building associated with most
shelters, while many rescues use a network of foster homes. Hard to say.
(We have been amazed when we
see shelters put out a call for help... i.e. we need "kitty litter"
and see many, many fans offering to help out and bring some in... This
happens because they have a large group of Local FB fans.)
But "how" do you
attract local fans? Simple... post on local, pet related Facebook pages.
(Hint... we didn't say "rescue" related).
Time for another story...
One of the ways we find new
Rescues/Shelters to add to our Animal Rescue Directory, is to look
at the left hand side of their page, and see what pages one group has
Clicking on "See All"
brings up a box that lets you scroll through
all of the pages that group has "Liked".
By doing this, we DO find many
new groups to add to our directory,
but we have also discovered a disturbing trend.
Many groups either do not
"Like" very many pages... or don't realize they can post on other
pages as "their page"... or only "Like" other rescue
Local pet related pages are
OFTEN missing from a group's "Liked" page list.
When you post links on other
local Facebook pages, potential adopters, volunteers, fosters, and supporters
learn about your group.
THESE fans will be some of your
biggest supporters. They will answer the call for help, they will stop by
your events to say hi, they will be "on the lookout" for friends
who are looking for pets... they are a goldmine.
Yet many groups don't even try
to find them.
If you are looking to build a
strong, local fan base... you should be "Liking" and occasionally
posting on... all your local veterinarian FB pages... any store in town that sells
pet supplies/food... any dog/cat related page... if you are a rescue, post on
the shelters pages... if you are shelter, post on local rescues pages.
It is free advertising, it
helps you find pet owners (and potential pet owners) in your own backyard...
and should be a top priority.
"Local" does not
necessarily mean "your own town". After all, if you are the only
"breed specific" rescue for 100 miles, posting on pages of
businesses/groups farther away from you, also makes a lot of sense.
How you post on these pages,
will also determine your success. You can start by using an
announcement/invitation type of post... such as this:
We are XYZ
Rescue, dedicated to helping find homes for dogs and cats in the greater
Denver area. If you are a Colorado animal lover and have pets
(or may want one in the future), we invite you to visit our FB page and learn
more about what we do.
As you can see... there was no
"begging" for likes. The post was geared at recruiting
"quality" fans... i.e. those who share a common interest with your
Have you heard the term
"slow and steady wins the race"?
It applies here too. Don't just
post on local pages once, and then leave. Take part in conversations... scan
these pages on a regular basis... and be a community resource to others.
After all, you are (or should be) the animal rescue professional in your
area. Let your community become familiar with what you do... and who you are.
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