Is Social Media More than Cute Cats and Dogs?
Having a preteen in the house means I’m bombarded by the after effects of various companies’ social media marketing – especially if it involves cute animals. For example, a video posted by buzzfeed and making the rounds of the older elementary and middle school set is a TidyCats Lightweight Kitty Litter social media play. The cat narrates a helpful video on “how to take care of your human”, since we humans are “sadly hairless” and “cats must curl up on our faces at night or humans will freeze to death”.
At two minutes, this was never intended to be a commercial on network or cable television but intended to be passed along to kitty litter buyers such as me through Facebook posting or Youtube videos shown to me by my children. Not to be left out, adorable dogs get into the action too with an ad campaign for www.shelterpetproject.org. This campaign features both dogs and cats commenting on the funny things they’ve noticed humans do since “moving in recently” with a new family. One dog notices his human is inept at hide and seek since she keeps picking up the dog’s toys and “hiding” them in the same basket by the door.
A recently adopted cat is worried about the human child in her family since he plays in the litter box (sandbox) outside. Since these are :30 second ads, they are probably part of a campaign that runs on television or cable but also gets word of mouth notice and viral activity.
Close to home, a Texas-based pet adoption agency, Dallas Pets Alive, has gotten some effective social media work with their “mutt bombing” campaign. This successful program takes Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook “selfies” and inserts the photo of an animal up for adoption into the photo, with Ellen Degeneres’ famous people Oscar “selfie” being the most reposted. To date, this campaign has seen an increase in pet adoptions for the agency with 40 animals being placed in homes in a little more than two months. For comparison, in all of 2013, the agency placed 84 animals in homes, showing the effectiveness of a clever social media campaign. Now, not all businesses can use the same degree of humor or animal cuteness to promote their services or products, but everyone can consider how a good social media campaign can play a role in their overall marketing strategy.
by Amy Valentine