6 Social Media Tips Brands Can Learn from Animal Rescue

My unwavering love for rescue animals is no secret, so it’s no surprise I closely follow these organizations — national and local — on social media. On an almost daily basis, I’m tagging family and friends on animal rescue Instagram posts, encouraging them to just take a peek at a particular dog or cat who should be their newest family member.

Now of course, there’s still the non-rescue animal handles – those pet stars that just absolutely make my day – like @itsdougthepug who’s garnered over 2 million followers, but more often it’s rescue-related.

@itsdougthepug Instagram

Now where is this headed you may ask?

Well over the years, I’ve noticed these furry-friend-loving organizations starting to develop both a content and channel strategy that’s quite solid, especially for nonprofits with limited social resources and budgets. For quite a few, they have seemed to have found that balance of what their fans actually want to see and what they want to share with them.

Sydney Dogs & Cats Home’s Instagram

That’s when I realized these tips could be applied to almost ANY brand.

  1. Tell a story vs. only showing your product – you can’t assume consumers will make the connection you want without sharing a story. Don’t have a heartwarming tale? That’s okay. Whatever your brand story is, work to refine it and make it compelling.
  2. Tap into trending topics – whether it’s Shark Week or the Summer Games, animal rescue organizations tend to plan out their content to capture what’s currently relevant for their audience. And whatever it is, make it authentic and creative.
  3. Have a channel strategy – most animal rescue organizations have this locked down where Facebook is their hub, Twitter is more news and event-focused and then Instagram is their gallery for videos and visual storytelling. The latter has been the fastest-growing channel for most animal rescue organizations.
  4. Content is key – Yes, they have the puppies and kittens as free talent, but animal rescue organizations invest the time into developing quality content and have been expanding into video content. And why are some making better content than brands? Because they’re super scrappy, using apps like Boomerang and Magisto for example.
  5. Push the online offline – their post call-to-action is also clear and consistent telling fans to come into shelters to meet the pets. It’s also key to show what success looks like – for brands that’s the product enjoyment shot — for animal rescue organizations it’s forever homes, such as a #happyytails series pulled from new owners’ Instagrams. Test which CTA works best for your brand and push it hard. It should always be clear to the reader what action you want them to take.
  6. Be purposeful and passionate – Now this is the most important. I’ve volunteered and met the people behind some of these animal rescue social channels and saying they’re passionate is an understatement. They truly come to work each day with purpose.
@wolfgang2242’s Instagram

Listen, I understand most of us are not promoting rescue puppies and kittens, but keep these tips in mind for your brand or clients. That same purpose is what is needed every single day in social media management. At PadillaCRT,  we understand that. To find out more about us, click here.

Also, please comment below to start a conversation! Whether it’s sharing your favorite animal rescue organization’s social handle or a brand that you think is standing out, let us know.

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