For those of you who are still sitting on the fence and wondering whether social media can really help animals in shelters and rescues, take a look at this article about how social media is boosting adoptions for K-W Humane Society. To be fair, this is not an improvement that the Humane Society stumbled upon accidentally. K-W Humane Society, according to the article “decided last fall to create the full-time position of adoption co-ordinator to market cats.”
A wise decision on the part of the Humane Society. Just look at the results: “Cat adoptions increased 67 per cent from January to March of this year. A total of 300 cats were adopted compared with 200 in the same period the year before.” That’s a pretty impressive improvement. And lots of saved lives.
Each pet available for adoption at the society gets a personalized Facebook write-up or a video featuring the pet for Facebook and YouTube. Many of the animals featured have been long-term residents at the shelter, being overlooked by potential adopters for various reasons. But some personalized attention for the pets by the shelter staff helps to bring the shy pets out of their shells. And their stories posted on social media makes them even more adoptable and desirable as a pet.
Facebook and YouTube are good choices in social media outlets. They are easily two of the most popular social media sites and they lend themselves very well to photos (Facebook) and videos (Facebook and YouTube) of adoptable animals. These are the two sites I would recommend in a situation like K-W Humane Society’s. They can and obviously have reached a large number of people quickly through these channels.
One caveat I would offer. I don’t know whether or not K-W Humane Society has permission to use the music they have included in their videos or not. I’m not suggesting that they are doing anything wrong. However, if you decide to follow their example and create YouTube videos, be aware that music is copyrighted and cannot be used without permission from the artist. Doing so is a copyright infringement that can land you in a lot of trouble. So be sure you have the proper permissions to use any music or images that you include in your video.