Social media is an excellent way to reach potential adopters, according to ASPCA Help a Horse contestants who adopted out more than 1,000 horses in a two-month period in 2018! Eighty-eight percent of the contestants who answered a post-contest survey credited social media with helping them find homes for horses. They also ranked social media higher than any other tactic for driving horse adoption during the contest.
Here are five tips from Help a Horse contestants to get adopters lining up outside your (barn) door.
Try Facebook’s live video feature to give your followers a new look into your organization’s work. Going live is a good way to boost engagement, increase the number of views, show behind-the-scenes content and answer questions in real-time. Hidden Pond Farm Equine Rescue in Brentwood, NH, reported an increase in viewership with live content and has been able to promote horses available for adoption, show training sessions and even show a live pregnancy ultrasound! Check out one of their live videos here.
Give It a Boost
Consider boosting posts that are performing well on Facebook and turning them into paid ads. Boosted posts can be budgeted according to specific goals and can help reach a larger number of potential adopters. Pony Tales in Colfax, WI, boosted a few posts during a campaign to get higher reach. This post reached nearly 10,000 people on Facebook based on a budget of only $20.
What better way to celebrate an adoption than by showing a photo of the horse with their new owner? Most rescues agree that photos are a powerful way to show the benefits of adoption and drive engagement on social media platforms. Missouri Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue and Sanctuary in Linn Creek, MO uses a series of compelling photos and horses in a social media campaign called “Show Me Your Adopted Horse.” They've received positive feedback on the photos and garnered quite a few adoption inquiries from people who saw the posts.
Tell a Story
Gerda’s Equine Rescue in West Townshend, VT, uses video storytelling to find homes for horses. Through videos, the organization captures each horse's individual backstory and personality and as a result, they’ve seen an increase in adoption interest. One of their videos follows the story of two horses rescued from a livestock auction and then adopted into new homes. This captivating video aimed to inspire others to adopt by sharing the touching rescue of these adorable ponies.
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 in Lexington, KY, 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.