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Tuesday, 22 September 2015 20:58

Social Media for #AnimalProtection

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Most of us are probably already social media users, and most of the organizations we work for and run already have a presence on social media. But are we using this presence to further our organization’s missions or campaigns as effectively as possible?

cowftaUS-based farm animal protection organization, Mercy for Animals, recently asked this question, and it has now graciously shared its results publicly so that others can implement the findings into their own advocacy on social media. The findings confirmed some conventional ideas about managing a presence on social media, while other findings show that animal protection advocacy differs significantly from other types of promotional social media use.

Of course, judging success from social media depends on what your goals and aims with social media are. If your goals are to generate discussion or promote an event, you’ll likely use metrics based off number of comments or click-through rate.

Mercy for Animals’ goal was to spread awareness for farm animal protection as far as possible, and so the metric it focused on was the number of impressions for each post. Also, the insights in the report are specific to farm animal advocacy, but many results can be transferable to other types of animal advocacy, and provide a baseline for you to test new ideas to promote animal protection on social media.

Here are Mercy for Animals’ key findings, in its own words:

  1. Post tons and tons of Facebook videos, then post some more.
  2. Make people feel something, especially sadness, anger, amusement, or nausea.
  3. Use fewer than 10 words.
  4. Ask for shares, not likes or comments.
  5. Quote often.
  6. Link to a news article, not a blog, when you want more traffic.
  7. If it’s about an animal, make it a baby.
  8. Farmed animal + companion animal = win.
  9. Post food and meme photos.

The report also notes that the quality of a social media post is a product of the number of impressions and the impact the post has on those who see it. While the report looked only at impressions, and saved an analysis of impact for another time, studies by other advocacy groups have found that messaging about animal cruelty is often more effective than calls for moral consistency.

You can read about Mercy for Animals’ findings in more detail and download the data for the report here.

If Mercy for Animals’ report has your social media gears working, here are some more resources and case studies that we think might be useful in developing your future social media campaigns:

Has your organization managed a successful social media campaign for animal protection? If so, tell us about your campaign in the comments, and we may even feature your campaign in a future blog as a case study!

Photo credit: West Virginia 2013 via photopin (license).

Jessica Bridgers

Jessica is the Executive Director at World Animal Net. Having received a B.S. in biology with minors in chemistry and anthropology from the University of New Mexico, she combines a scientific background with a passion for animal protection. She completed her M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University and internships with Humane Society International, Animal Protection of New Mexico, and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society before arriving at World Animal Net. In her free time, she volunteers with horse and wildlife rescues. 


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