One week after this photo was posted by Calgary Humane Society, Tova the shepherd was adopted.
And I wonder: is it easier to be a hero if everybody’s watching? Do dogs that get that extra notice from a lot of people get adopted more quickly? Or to put it another way, do we want to help more, if we know the thing we’re doing will be noticed for the good deed that it is?
This picture says to me, Here are all the good people who will sleep easier at night knowing Tova is home.
Calgary Humane Society’s Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Shandell Van Hell seemed to know this intuitively when she posed shelter staff and volunteers around Tova:
"It wasn't hard to get everyone gathered -- I just sent an all staff email asking staff to join us for a photograph with Tova for our website and social media avenues. At that point, staff would have done pretty much anything I asked of them if it meant getting Tova adopted!"
She shot the photo purposely leaving a nice clean background (the brick wall) where she could drop in giant text afterwards. And who wouldn’t love that group picture? It shows the staff of a shelter that looks fun and welcoming. The precise opposite of the “territorial” shelter. The picture went up on the Calgary Humane Society Facebook page.
By involving as many people as possible in this photo, she gives Tova’s social media marketing campaign an added boost: if there are thirty people in a photo, that’s thirty people who might post this picture to their Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest page or blog (I know I did!). That’s the chance for thirty more exposures to their friends. (This group picture was shared 247 times).
The next time you’re thinking of using social media marketing for a particular long-term dog or cat, try this:
- Provoke the hero instinct in potential adopters, and get a crowd that looks like they’d do anything for your dog or cat;
- Compose the photo with a clean background, enough space to drop in great big text;
- More people in the photo means more posting and sharing across social media platforms;
- Put your dog or cat front and center!;
- Make the textual message, above, as simple, straightforward, “in the moment” as possible. No bummers.
I can’t tell you how happy I am for Tova. Shepherds form a very special, strong bond with their owners and I hate the thought of a shepherd without a person to love and be loyal to. Shantell, you and CHS are AMAZING.
Do you know a shelter that’s doing it brilliantly with an innovative or unique approach to social media marketing for their homeless pets? Let us know!: firstname.lastname@example.org