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Facebook Promotion Tips for Animal Rescue Groups and Shelters

Love Thy Enemy

OK... maybe "Enemy" is too strong of word... but we liked the phrase.

For those of you familiar with the Bible... particularly the New Testament... you may recall that Jesus was given a hard time for the company he kept.

He had a habit of being around thieves, prostitutes, really sick people, and even... (gasp)... tax collectors. (They were really corrupt dudes back in those days.)

He preached and shared messages of hope, salvation, forgiveness, and love.

So... it made sense to be around people who were most in need of these things.

If you want to help people in financial trouble... hanging around the showroom of your local Lexus dealer will probably not put you in front of the right audience.

We have a lot of casinos in Oregon, and on the highways leading to and from them, are billboards advertising help for those with gambling problems.

That makes sense... put the message in front of those that most need to hear it.

Over and Over in this course, we ask you to step back and look at things from the public's perspective... after all, these are your potential new fans/supporters.

If a person is interested in getting a Beagle... they may search Google and/or Facebook to find out more information. They will be exposed to many "Beagle" related sites... some are breeders, some are general breed information sites, some are rescues... but which sites/pages they end up on, is anyone's guess.

People get into Animal Rescue for many reasons, but the two popular ones are "compassion" for animals... and "hatred" towards breeders/puppy mills.

Well... here we go again, "hatred" is a strong word too...

But the more we look, the more we find Rescue groups tend to hang out with their own kind... frequently just preaching to the choir.

We don't expect you to be posting on Breeder's Facebook pages...
that would be rude, and you might just get blocked.

But how many of you "frequently" hang out on non-rescue related pet pages?

Remember, potential adopters... especially those looking for specific breeds...
may not realize that breed specific rescues exist.

If you rescue Beagles... and you are not a common sight on the big Beagle Facebook pages... you are missing out on the chance that those "Beagle seekers" will find you... and/or learn about the benefits of adopting a Beagle.

Now let's revisit the Bible again for another important point.

The only time I recall Jesus getting really "upset" was in the temple... you know the story, it had been turned into a combination of a "farmer's market" and "Las Vegas".

Remember... he was upset at the Priests for what they made the temple...
i.e. he was mad at his own representatives... (his own team).

He never had this approach with the thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors, etc...
instead, he showed compassion, friendship, love, etc...

In other words... just be a resource and a positive representative of your rescue... and offer people an alternative to "purchasing" a pet.

If you make it a crusade to "bash the breeders and puppy mills" on these public, non-rescue related sites... you will be doing more harm than good.

Yes... by all means take part in any conversation that may misrepresent the quality or adoptability of "rescued" pets... but do so in a positive manner.

We try to flood our RESCUED! FB Page with story after positive story, of very cool rescued pets. We feel that people reading these, and seeing the photos will think "Hey, I want a cool rescued pet like that too!"

Bashing breeders and puppy mills... putting up countless pathetic pictures of pets in cages... laying on guilt trips for not immediately rescuing a pet from a kill shelter... these things can be a turn-off to many people.

You may choose to take these approaches on "your page"... but when posting on other public pages on Facebook... especially those that are not "rescue themed"... be positive, and represent your rescue (and your rescued pets) in a positive light.

In conclusion... (and we don't mean to put you on the spot)... but if we were to visit your Facebook page right now, and clicked on your "Liked" pages... would we find many non-rescue related pet sites? Do you frequent those sites often? Are you promoting your group in a positive manner, so the "general public" can learn about animal adoption options and the joy of bringing home a rescued pet?

Believe it or not... The creator of this website, and the RESCUED FB Page... had no idea (prior to May of 2010) that there were "breed specific" rescues...
and had never seen a petfinder site before. (He thought that Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, and shelters were the only sources for "adoptable pets")

Don't assume people know this stuff... and never underestimate how much good a "new convert" can do for your rescue... as well as for "animal rescue" in general.

Get out there... be seen... and "preach" a positive message.


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