Social media and the animal shelter
Pet abandonment. Abuse. Neglect.
These scenarios are sadly familiar to animal shelters, which are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of mistreated animals they take in,almost on a daily basis.
Unsurprisingly, they are constantly looking for new ways to spread the message to assist our furry friends in finding new homes.
Social media is, in these times, a must-use form of outreach and communication. Most people the world over are wired to cellphones and Internet accounts.
Exploited,this social tool can assist animal shelters in moving forward with what has to be their ultimate goal-to get as many of these abandoned animals adopted as quickly as possible.
With limited resources,shelters can certainly use more publicity than they are generating. Social media can be the assistant which can give them a little boost.
Why animal shelters should consider using social media
If those who currently run animal shelters are unconvinced that they should be ip using social media, these reasons should be enough to convince them otherwise.
1. Social media is being used more and more each day, with 18% of time on the Internet on social media sites. The potential for outreach is great.
2. There is also better opportunity for communication with volunteers.
3. Advertising a shelter is relatively inexpensive. it does not cost much to tweet, post or even set up Facebook Pages.
4. It allows the integration of Ecommerce which wil reap financial benefits for shelters.
5. It helps the shelter decide on creative forms of outreach, such as online sales or article writing contests to help pets.
How animal shelters can exploit social media
Animal shelters can exploit social media in a variety of ways. The more creative they are with different forms of outreach, the more successful they will be in getting animals adopted.
1. Pet lovers may have online groups based on other interests. The love of pets is generic and cuts across many lines. Even a musician who is also a pet lover can be reached out to if the cause for animal shelters is promoted on his fan page or if he writes a song on the importance of animal welfare. Linking up with groups of varying interests via social media will serve the interests of animal shelters well
2.Join a range of social media sites. Set up a blog for your cause, which will automatically generate a web link. Use link shorteners like bitly.com, which can shorten links for micro blogging sites like Twitter, which only allow posts up to 144 characters. Of course, this would hugely benefit other sites as well. Set up pages or chats via Facebook or Twitter, dedicated solely to the shelter or pet rescue as places for an out reach or gathering of volunteers and interested parties.
3.Use social media managers like Hootsuite, Do Share for Google or Buffer which will enable posting to several groups via social media. That greatly increases outreach.
Social media can be an effective tool-animal shelters should not overlook a tremendous sourcefor outreach that will help their pets.
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