You are on page 1of 14

Megan Turner

Social Media Plan General Suggestions - Introduction Based on a survey sent to volunteers, it seems a large portion are involved in social media. This shows if Paws4Ever’s pursues a successful implementation of social media, volunteers will be involved. The breakdown of social media use by volunteers was as follows: Facebook: 76.4 percent of volunteers use Pinterest: 23.6 percent of volunteers use Twitter= 16.4 percent of volunteers use None= 20 percent of volunteers do not use The most interesting aspect of the results was the number of Pinterest users as compared to Twitter users. Paws4Ever currently has a Twitter page that is updated frequently. However, a larger percentage of volunteers use Pinterest, which Paws4Ever does not have. I think Paws4Ever could better use the time devoted to social media by splitting time up between Pinterest and Twitter. Since Facebook is the most used social media platform, it is important Paws4Ever best utilizes its time. A survey conducted by C&M and TolunaQuick found that Facebook users are receiving too many posts from brands. It found that 75 percent of users think one or two messages a day is too many. Paws4Ever’s page on a sample week, April 4-10, posted 13 messages, for an average of 1.86 posts per day. I believe they could better utilize time by posting less frequently with content volunteers want. After examining the volunteers’ comments about the content they would like to see on Facebook, it appears Paws4Ever is not delivering this content consistently. Out of the 13 posts from April 4-10, only 53.8 percent of posts contained content volunteers’ desire. One of the main categories of content volunteers desire is about the dogs and cats. This includes pictures, info about when new animals arrive and when animals are adopted. One volunteer stated in his/her survey that “a cute photo or touching story about the animal may get people to use the “share”


button, which means more awareness and hopefully someone looking for a dog/cat that fits that animals profile will see it.” Volunteers also want Facebook to include upcoming events and logistical information, such as hours. The main part where Paws4Ever’s Facebook weaknesses lie is in providing general animal welfare info. Although this is vital info to the organization’s cause, the majority of volunteers want to hear about info specific to Paws4Ever. One volunteer stated, “Paws4Ever should post less info about animals in general and more about the activities of just Paws4Ever. I think they could make much more use of Facebook.” Only 12.7 percent of volunteers stated they want general info on animal welfare. To best use Facebook, Paws4Ever should focus on info that is specific to the cause. As previously stated, more volunteers use Pinterest as opposed to Twitter. Pinterest thrives on its storytelling ability. One picture allows users to decide if they want additional info. An example of how this would be pursued is by posting a photo of an animal. If someone likes the picture, they can click on it and be redirected to Paws4Ever’s website. Also, Pinterest is the perfect platform to share “cute” animal photos. As Pinterest is still a new phenomenon, it is good to draw inspiration from others. Brazos Animal Shelter in Texas is a good example. They have several boards including recipes, creative pet ideas and pet quotes, to name a few. Pinterest’s success can be garnered from “repins.” An example is if multiple people “repin” a picture of an adoptable dog, the dog could reach a large audience and, therefore, draw more attention to Paws4Ever. An example of this can be found at Montclair Animal Shelter’s Pinterest page. As Pinterest is in its early stages, it presents an opportunity for Paws4Ever. As of April 10, 2012, only three animal shelters are on Pinterest. If Paws4Ever seizes this opportunity, they can reach a greater audience. One volunteer stated, “I think they could share and collaborate with more diverse people on Pinterest.” Another volunteer shared his/her success with pinning animals. “I have used it to ‘pin’ pictures of the dogs at the shelter with updates on what I am doing with them and some have been ‘repinned,’ which means that more people are seeing this and may find an animal to adopt.” General Policies As Paws4Ever is already using Facebook and Twitter, it is important to refine the use of these before adding additional social media outlets. The policies, or course of action, outlined below will detail phases of how 2

the implementation of social media can be improved. Phase 1 Phase 1 entails revamping Paws4Ever’s use of Facebook and Twitter. In general, they should follow the rules outlined below. One of the first steps is to determine who will be in charge of social media. My recommendation is one person be in charge of all social media platforms. However, all units, like the Volunteer Program Manager, Training Program Manager, Adoption Center Manager, Executive Director and other relevant individuals, should come together weekly to plan what news needs to be received by the various publics. The person in charge of social media will draft posts/tweets according to the needs of the different units. If necessary, they can have the other units review the posts/tweets. These posts/tweets should be consolidated into a weekly schedule of when the info will be posted. If desired, posts can be automatically posted by a service such as HootSuite. This allows consistent posting. Also, links can be tracked to determine if posts are causing engagement. One of the biggest problems, specifically on the Twitter page, is there seems to be a lack of user involvement. This could be explained by the fact that only 16.4 percent of volunteers use Twitter. Twitter use, as well as Facebook, could increase through user involvement. This includes competitions. An example would be a monthly competition where Paws4Ever asks fans to share photos of pets, pets’ names or other relevant info. The fifth person to reply would receive a prize. As people will be motivated to view the page, they may see new info on the Paws4Ever page that will increase their interest in the page. Another tactic to increase involvement is by introducing Facebook and Twitter users to new animals. To get them interested in the dog or cat, Paws4Ever can ask the users to vote on the new animal’s name. Two names could be proposed with Facebook’s “Ask Question” feature. This way users feel involved and part of the Paws4Ever community. To revitalize Facebook and Twitter accounts, Paws4Ever can get volunteers involved. When volunteers socialize with dogs and cats, they should be encouraged to take pictures and videos of the animals. Then volunteers can post these photos to the pages. This will provide a fresh way to see the animals. It will expand the animals’ online personalities. A final tactic is to post statistics about what supplies Paws4Ever uses each month. An example is how much dog food and cat food they require. A follow-up post could mention how Paws4Ever needs an item and emphasize how vital the item is to the organization. This could 3

cause people to realize the importance and, therefore, donate. Phase 2 Pinterest is the fastest growing website ever. Therefore, it is important Paws4Ever interacts on this site. On this site, Paws4Ever can promote the Resale Store, as well as adoptable animals. As previously stated, Paws4Ever can gain inspiration from other animal shelters boards. As a starter, several boards can be created. Some suggestions include adoptable dogs, adoptable cats, adopted dogs, adopted cats, cute/funny animals, crafts to make for pets, wish list, volunteer generated photos, as well as pictures of available items at the store. When boards are created they can be shared with “contributors,” therefore volunteers can add pictures they take or cute things they stumble upon. Pins can be added in two ways. The first is through “add a pin.” This involves adding a photo with a URL. These could be linked from the website. Another option is to “upload a pin.” This involves choosing a file from your computer. I feel it is important Paws4Ever seize this opportunity, as 23.6 percent of volunteers use the service. Phase 3 Another way to promote the animals of Paws4Ever is through blogging. Many times when new animals are added to the website, it only says “more to come soon.” If there is little time to add an animal’s info, volunteers could be asked to be “guest bloggers.” They could do this on their free time for animals they have met. Also, the blog can have summaries about recent events and general information on animal welfare. Phase 4 If Phase 1 is implemented to include volunteer interaction, a YouTube account should be created. As videos are made, they can be uploaded to the site. This would allow people to see the animals in their daily routines. Staff Policies Paws4Ever’s Social Media Objective: To promote and spread the mission of Paws4Ever through various sources Who manages social media accounts: see Executive Director, Joanne Andruscavage Staff Responsibility- Each staff member will be held liable for his 4

actions on social media accounts. If using social media in the work place, several things should be kept in mind. 1) Use of social media should not interfere with workplace responsibilities/ productivity. 2) Do not release any confidential information over social media platforms. 3) If discussing Paws4Ever on personal accounts, recognize it will relate back to Paws4Ever and therefore, will be held reliable. Brand Ambassadors- If staff members include Paws4Ever in their bios, they must make clear their views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations. Respect- Always show respect in posts when posting on Paws4Ever’s official accounts or acting as a brand ambassador. This includes being respectful to staff members, volunteers, potential adopters and surrounding community. Implementation: All staff should read and sign a copy of the Staff Policies. How to respond to negative comments about Paws4Ever: Please direct these posts to the executive director. Style Guide Twitter: Hashtags o Create consistent hashtags  One should be created for upcoming events • Ex: June Jam and Backyard Bash= #junejam o Get conversation going by having volunteers, staff tweet about the event o Paws4Ever can also tweet with new info about the event  Ex: We are so excited for #junejam – celebrate 50 years with @paws4ever_nc o If tweeting about animal welfare issues, use relevant hashtags like:  #EndPuppyMills  #AdoptDontShop  #EndAnimalCruelty o If tweeting about general animal info, use relevant hashtags like:  #MeowMonday 5

This is used by the ASPCA and includes general info and photos of cats.  #WoofWednesday • This is also used by the ASPCA and includes general info and photos of dogs.  #CutePuppy o As users can search hashtags on Twitter, Paws4Ever can generate more traffic by including some in tweets. URL Shortener o Paws4Ever should pick one URL shortener. An example is This way each tweet that includes a link can be tracked to see how many people click the link. Currently Paw4Ever is using a mix of shorteners. Choosing one will help better track tweets. Grammar o Whenever possible use appropriate grammar. Sentence Case o Whenever possible use appropriate sentence case. Summarize Tweets o Summarize some posts and give credit by saying via @ . . . Only retweets can seem dry and dull. Length of Tweets o Posts should be around 120 characters so other users can easily retweet posts. Shortening Words o Shortened versions of words are acceptable. These include @, =, nite and &. Many others can be acceptable. Consistent o Be as consistent as possible. Introducing Links o All links should be introduced with a preceding colon. Reply o Engage audiences by replying to their comments. This can involve more than just saying thanks for the follow.






Facebook: Photo Albums o New photo albums should be posted monthly. This way there is an up-to-date listing of available pets. o The ASPCA suggests a “10 over 100” photo album. This would feature 10 animals that had been at Paws4Ever for more than 100 days. Grammar o Whenever possible use appropriate grammar. Sentence Case o Whenever possible use appropriate sentence case. Hours o Whenever hours will be altered, it should be posted on the Facebook page. Links o Provide links to the main website and where to donate.



Rules How to respond to posts o Those supporting Paws4Ever through donations  Always say thank you and show gratitude o Those interested in Paws4Ever’s services  Give info and direct to website, Thank individual for interest o Volunteers announcing Paws4Ever’s events or dogs/ cats available for adoption  Always thank them for support and spreading the word o Updates from those that adopted  Reply and express how glad the dog/cat has found forever home o People promoting animals from other shelters that are the top of the euthanasia list 7

Paws4Ever should reply even if they cannot help them. Offer support and if possible direct them to other partners.

o People that want specific info on dogs/ cats  Respond with info. If possible get info from executive director. o People posting links about general animal welfare.  Should “like” post to show support. o Negative Comments  First determine if the comments are helpful to the organization. If it is, try to engage the person and come up with a solution beneficial to all parties. Decision to reply or “like” o Alternate between replies and likes

Sample Week Schedule The below sample will propose a week’s worth of Twitter tweets and Facebook posts. This schedule will include four tweets and one post each day. Links will be shortened with The links will be expanded below. Some of the tweets are possible scenarios for the purpose of this exercise.

Mon 4/16/12 8:00 a.m. Twitte r 9:00 a.m. Faceb The #junejam is just two months away. Do you have your tickets yet? Get them here: [Additional media:] Help us pick out names for the newest girls at Paws4Ever. They are sisters.



Peeps and Jelly Belly Or Cadbury and Egg [Additional media: eep_on_table.JPG]

10:00 a.m. – Twitte r

Do you have any unwanted jewelry, china or art? The #ReSaleStore could use your help. #alamancecounty #orangecounty [Additional media:]

12:00 p.m. Twitte r

Duncan just got back from a walk with one of our volunteers. Isn't he a sweetheart? #adopttoday [Additional media: pg]

3:00 p.m. Twitte r

Show your #dog how much you love 'em with some homemade treats. These have peanut butter and pumpkin: [Additional media:]

Tues 4/17/12 9:00 a.m. Twitter Senior cats need love, too. Just ask Chris Colfer from Glee. Via @peoplepets: [Additional media:,,20586583,0 0.html] 9

11:00 a.m. – Twitter 12:00 p.m. Facebo ok

We love our volunteers. For #VolunteerAppreciationWeek we will have gifts at the adoption center, learning center and #ReSaleStore. Our June Jam and Backyard Bash is quickly approaching. This will be the 50th year of the organization’s service to the community. Get your tickets today to enjoy a fun night of barbeque, music and bidding. [Additional media:]

2:00 p.m. Twitter 4:00 p.m. Twitter

Mother’s Day is less than a month away. Help the moms at @paws4ever_nc by donating kitten/puppy food and high protein cat/dog food RT: @ASPCA #TwoThingsThatDontMix Puppies and factories. Please sign the pledge to end puppy mills at

Wed 4/18/12 10:00 a.m. Twitter Did you know @paws4ever_nc is a placement partner for #orangecounty #chathamcounty #caswellcounty? Learn more about us: 10

[Additional media:] 11:00 a.m. – Twitter Help @paws4ever_nc while grocery shopping. Register your @FoodLion MVP card with this code 252437: [Additional media:] 2:00 p.m. Twitter 4:00 p.m. Twitter 4:30 p.m. Facebook Share a picture of your dog. The first five will be entered into a drawing to win a free membership to the dog park. #WoofWednesday Tweet what you are most excited about the June Jam and Backyard Bash with the hashtag #junejam. There are a variety of ways individuals can help Paws4Ever. You can be come a Feline Friend, Canine Companion, or help with adoptathons/ special events. The animals and staff of Paws4Ever would appreciate your assistance. [Additional media: lMarch2011.pdf]

Thurs 4/19/12 8:00 a.m. As the temperature rises, be sure you keep your four 11

Twitter 9:00 a.m. – Twitter

pawed friends well hydrated. Be sure to always have cool water available. Do your dogs love hiking? Take them to the new Haw River Trail. [Additional media: ]

2:00 p.m. Twitter 3:00 p.m. Facebook

Treat your pup to @locopops. [Additional media:] Top things to consider before adopting. Do you have a vet? Do you have all necessary supplies? Are all your family members ready for the commitment?

[Additional media:] 4:00 p.m. Twitter Download the Susie’s Law App for your iPhone or Android. It helps you advocate for animals in need. [Additional media:]

Fri 4/20/12 12

9:00 a.m. Twitter

Dr. Knueven will be here tomorrow to discuss canine holistic health and nutrition. More information: [Additional media:]

10:00 a.m. – Twitter

RT: @PhydeauxPets We've gotten a lot of questions about the current pet food recall from Diamond Foods. Diamond is one the the... Additional media: [ swithdrawals/default.htm]

1:00 p.m. Twitter 2.00 p.m.Facebook

Take a minute to thank @PhydeauxPets for all they do for us as well as the surrounding animal community. A message from Sammy Single: Hey everyone! I just woke up from a nap, but I wanted to let you know how much all of us cats appreciate volunteers’ help as well as donations from the community. We couldn’t live here at Paws4Ever without your help. [Additional media: mfostercute.jpg]

3:00 p.m. Twitter

See some pics our volunteers took while walking dogs and socializing with cats: [Additional media: ]


Works cited

"50 Things to Do on Facebook." ASPCA. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2012. <>. Duerksen, Mike. "5 Types of Nonprofits That Should Be Using Pinterest." PR Daily. Ragan Communications, Inc, 28 Feb. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2012. < uld_be_using_Pintere_10952.aspx>. Farley, Amber. "Building a Social Media Policy." ABA Bank Marketing (2011): 18. Print. Idugboe, Douglas. "How to Use Pinterest for Public Relations." Smedio. Smedio, 14 Mar. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2012. <>. Main, Sherry. "Twitter Style Guide." Socialmediatoday. Social Media Today, LLC, 19 June 2009. Web. 9 Apr. 2012. <>. "NetSquared Enables Social Benefit Organizations to Leverage the Tools of the Social Web." 10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs. Web. 9 Apr. 2012. <>. Sebastian, Michael. "Survey: More than Half of Respondents ‘overwhelmed by Brand Messages’ on Social Media." PR Daily. Ragan Communications, Inc, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2012. <>. "Strunk and Twite." Grammar Girl. Macmillan Holdings, LLC., 10 Dec. 2009. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. < style-guide.aspx>.