With many of our everyday activities shifting online, social media is playing a critical role in connecting horses with adoptive homes. Adopters are quickly adapting to the digital environment and are expecting to be able to interact and engage with adoption groups and horses online.
Here are five tips from several social media savvy adoption organizations to get adopters lining up outside your (virtual) barn door.
Try Facebook’s live video feature to give your followers a new look into your organization’s work. Going live is an excellent way to boost engagement, increase the number of views, show behind-the-scenes content, and answer questions in real time. Try showing some of your adoptable horses being handled, groomed, and ridden. Give your potential adopters a chance to get to know one of your horses and decide if he’s the #RightHorse for them! Nexus Equine schedules a daily live video showcasing their horses, facility, and program—and it’s worked! They’ve seen a record number of adoptions and foster homes engage with their organization since they started this practice.
Give It a Boost
Consider boosting posts that are performing well on Facebook and turning them into paid ads. Or, create a paid ad promoting a specific horse, your organization, or to attract new supporters! Boosted posts and paid ads can be budgeted according to specific goals and can help reach a larger number of potential adopters. Facebook and Instagram provide in-depth targeting capabilities. You can target donors, horse owners, or even riders interested in a specific discipline in your community. With a little pre-planning, you can turn a budget as small as $5 into new adopters and supporters of your work. Get more tips for launching a Facebook paid campaign.
Most rescues agree that photos are a powerful way to show the benefits of adoption and drive engagement on social media platforms. Horses Without Humans Rescue Organization (HWH) took in a tough case of nineteen emaciated horses. Dubbed “The Bone Yard,” the team at HWH was transparent with their audience and chronicled the journey of rehabbing, and eventually rehoming the horses. The horses gained national attention and drove incredible support and resources to the organization. Each horse recovered and will find an adoptive home. Sharing daily photos and stories of your adoptables and adopted horses is a compelling way to grow your audience.
Tell a Story
Love This Horse Equine Rescue uses video storytelling to find homes for horses. Through videos, the organization captures each horse's personality and progress in training, and as a result, they’ve seen an increase in adoption interest. They’re especially savvy at capturing video-worthy material on the fly and have a library of videos of their horses on the trails or at the beach. These clips engage potential adopters and highlight the horse’s capabilities in a variety of environments.
Understand the Audience
To better target your audience, know who your audience is and how it might change depending on the social media platform. Through analytics, New Vocation Racehorse Adoption Program identified demographics of followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Based on the different demographics, they created tailored content for each platform to achieve better performance. Check out these examples of a Tweet and Instagram post that were custom-designed for each audience.