Facebook and Twitter Hits: What Pet Bloggers Need to Know

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Guest post by Carol Bryant

My heart beats dog indeed. The ventricles and arteries that emerge from my pulsating lifeline are Facebook and Twitter; indeed it is these two vehicles by which the superhighway of other dog lovers knows of my pursuits, passions, and all things pooch.

In attempting to expand your social media contacts, let the world know you exist, and grow who you are as well as increase a fan base (aka LIKES or Followers). With that, here are nine real things I’ve posted that were successful – i.e., were re-tweeted, Liked, Shared. I get the whole “pet parents rock,” I know what a #pawpawty hashtag is,  and that anipals are amazing.

Hit: Sometimes a picture does indeed say 1,000 words (or in Twitter’s case, 140 characters). I am a Download complete sucker for dog photos, especially ones accompanied by tongue-in-cheek sarcasm or witty quips.  The text that accompanied this photo on Twitter: “Um, did someone say bath?”

Hit: “What is your dog doing right now?” I posted this on one of my client’s Facebook business pages and it elicited over 100 responses in three days. Accompany the question with a great wall-stopping photo and bada bing, a hit it is.  (think of the things that stop you in your Facebook tracks. Replicate them, learn from them, flattery and imitation and all that jazz.)


Hit: Be real.  This past weekend, I turned to my Facebook friends for a sense of comfort and community when I witnessed car after car drive past me as I stood trying to tend to a dying cat in the street. An inconvenience I was, the cat a mere road block in the lives of one after another, busy person after “get out of my way” busy person. With tear-filled eyes, I “Facebooked” and by day’s end, I no longer had the same sense of anger at people in general I did pre-posting. Others shared their similar experiences, told me I was not alone. Solace in social media. Be real and people respond; I realized this in that moment.

Hit: Share news. I’ve begun collecting some of the most interesting, newsworthy dog-related information I can find online and sharing the news throughout the week. As someone who tries to stay current, I like having news bites consolidated for me. Be the bearer of news, good or bad, warning or food recall. Re-tweet, share and give credit. Social media is a lifeline sustained by reciprocity.

Hit: Post by the numbers. I love love love “the best 8 sites for dog lovers,” or “top 10 things your vet wishes you knew” type posts. If you write these, share these, start with a good hook and reel me in.

Hit: Timed tweets. If done right and followed up on and responded to accordingly, schedule some of your tweets. I’ve recently taken to doing this on Hootsuite. Something I write on Monday at 9 am may not be discovered by someone scrolling Tweetdeck or Hootsuite feeds on a Friday.  So I schedule the occasional timed tweet.

Hit: Shout outs on Twitter. Did someone retweet you? Do you have a column of pet peeps you follow and monitor? Keep a Word doc when someone retweets you. Then on Follow Friday (#FF) or for no occasion at all, shout them out. For example: Wagtastic Peeps: (and then @ name them here). Warm fuzzies and reciprocity rock and are remembered.

Hit: Videos. Are you a blogger who ran a photo contest? Splice and dice those photos and put them into a YouTube show set to music. It doesn’t take long, the software is relatively easy to use (i.e. Windows Movie Maker), and it makes for a fun blog post, great Facebook and Twitter fun, and visuals of pets to music, if done right, well, rock.

Hit: Know your followers and friends. I get so aggravated on Facebook walls where it’s all “I did this, I wrote that, I saw this, then I went and did this, now go post on my blog, buy my book, or follow me.” I will if I had a clue that you knew anything about me. Do we engage? Have you reached out to me? I know we are all busy; life is swamped these days. So make Word docs of fans, friends, and things about them. I keep Word docs, just like I do for business cards – I write things down on them. I get to know you, you get to know me, and that whole reciprocity thing comes into play.

Social media is a lot like a boomerang – put it out into the universe and toss it just right and watch how totally full circle it comes back to you.

About the author: Carol Bryant has traveled with dogs for over 18 years and is touted as a dog product and travel expert. A frequent media contributor, Carol has appeared on Animal Radio and Oprah Radio’s Gayle King Show, WBAL-TV, News12CT, and as a guest speaker at conferences and seminars about social media, writing, dogs and dog travel. She is also a two-time nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America.  Visit her blog at www.fidoseofreality.com and the FIDO Friendly magazine blog at www.fidofriendly.com/blog, winner of the Best Dog Blog from Dogtime Media.

 

  • http://profile.typepad.com/lindabraun Linda Braun

    LOVE this article. It really does touch on the most important tips in really connecting with your audience on social media. The only REAL way to sell your services or products is to regularly interact with those you are connected with – get involved. I’m immediately turned off if someone dives right into selling us their products/services without wanting to learn about me and allow me to feel personally connected to them. Have a great weekend and thanks again for this post! 🙂
    Linda

  • http://www.enlightened-ferret.com AmyJo

    great post. It is so true you have to interact with people. I am shy by nature but because of twitter, blog paws, and blogging I am finding that I can come out of my shell with what I have to say.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

  • http://www.fidoseofreality.com Carol Bryant

    Thanks so much. Social media is here to stay and it is easy to navigate, just proceed with caution, be you, and have fun!

  • http://PuppyInTraining.com Colby

    You are totally correct. Making real connections in social media is the key. As you mentioned in your first hit we too like posting our favorite pictures of our pups. However, I think we need to work on the witty one liners. Thanks for sharing your social media tips!

  • http://www.akaim.com Anthony Kirlew

    Carol, I was introduced to BlogPaws by Robbi Hess. I really enjoyed this article, especially the “What is your dog doing right now?” post. I work with clients in the pet space and will use that suggestion at some point.
    Best regards,
    Anthony

  • http://bunnyjeancook.blogspot.com/ Vicki Cook

    Great post Carol – what especially resonates with me is getting to know your friends/followers. I have met some of my best friends through social media, and when I finally get to see them at BlogPaws, it deepens just deepens the relationship even more.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/petsadviser PetsAdviser

    “What is your dog doing right now?” — I’m going to try this one, well, right now. Let’s see if it works.
    I’ve also found that posting a Facebook quiz works wonders, like asking “Can you guess what dog breed this is?” or “Who do you think this cat looks like?”