We get it. Social media marketing can be extremely overwhelming. There’s a lot of social media platforms and there are thousands of posts going up on them every day. How do you even begin to be heard in a sea of voices all shouting at once? The answer is surprisingly simple- having a marketing plan that works for your unique pet sitting business. You don’t set sail without a map to your destination. You shouldn’t attempt social media marketing without a plan either.
Social Media Platform Selection for Your Pet Business Is More Than Numbers
“Go to where your audience is.” You’ve heard that before, right? You can find all kinds of numbers about the age ranges and daily users on every platform. Facebook is better if your target market is over 30, Instagram for under 30? Or maybe that Youtube is the best way to go because everyone likes videos. Sure, those demographic numbers can be a little useful when making a choice. But just because Twitter has 320 Million users doesn’t mean you have to use Twitter! With people on their phones all the time, does it matter if you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube? Not as much as you think!
If you want to use social media marketing to bring new clients to your pet sitting or dog walking business, it’s going to take a serious commitment. With people on every corner of the internet, you need to narrow your focus so YOU don’t get overwhelmed!
Where Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing Meet
We’re here to help you step up your marketing game by doing a lot more than just posting cute animal pictures and hoping that people talk to you. If you want people to listen to what you have to say, you need to have something valuable to say. We call this content marketing. Instead of just sharing a friendly comment or two online, content marketing provides valuable information to your audience. For example, something like this blog, or the videos on our YouTube channel are types of content people enjoy.
If you provide valuable content to your clients and educate them, your clients will come to you because you have given them something more than just dog walking and pet sitting services. You help them grow as pet owners.
THEN you use social media marketing to promote said content and get it out there so the world can see it. We know, it sounds a little overwhelming, but the results speak for themselves. So now that we’ve established why you should make content and promote it, we can get back on topic- picking the right social media platforms for your pet business.
Social Media Platforms Come in Two Flavors
There are two main categories of social media. We may think they are all the same, but there is a significant difference in HOW they are used. The classic traditional social media platforms, like Facebook, involves people just talking to other people, mostly for fun. The focus is on daily personal updates. People are just browsing. They don’t have to go looking for anything specific, it comes to them based on the algorithm. That means that the active part is on you, the business owner!
Search Engine based social media platforms do still use an algorithm to present home page feeds and suggested content, but they focus a lot more on their content being sought out specifically. How many followers you have is less important. Usually, people come to a search engine based social media platform with a purpose of some kind. They expect more targeted content, and less casual back and forth. Even a great picture won’t do well on Pinterest if there isn’t any substance behind it.
So does that mean you should use one kind over the other? Not at all. In fact, you need to use both! That’s right. Both. You’ll need to select a traditional and search engine social media platform to use together. Once you post the content you have created, on the search engine social media platform, you will repurpose that content by sharing it on the traditional social media platform so more people will see it.
Traditional Social Media Platforms
Examples of traditional social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These platforms are very focused on reaching out to the individual. Content is sorted by the people delivering it, not the message itself. To be successful in these, you need to be actively trying to start conversations with potential clients. Clever, well-planned posts are a good way to boost engagement, but the main objective of your time here is to build personal connections with existing and potential clients, and nurture them through regular, ideally daily, interaction. Deciding which one you want to use from this category comes down to personal preference. We’ve found that image-rich Facebook and Instagram work the best for Pet Businesses because we can take advantage of all the ADORABLE pet pictures we can shamelessly use in our industry. (Aren’t we so lucky?)
Search Engine Social Media Platforms
The search engine social media platforms, Youtube and Pinterest, catalog the content itself, not the people delivering it. The advantage of using these methods is that unlike Instagram Stories or Facebook posts, these don’t get lost, or go away, as time goes on. People aren’t scrolling down Pinterest looking for someone to talk to. They’re looking to discover new things to do, read, or learn. Luckily, the choice here is pretty simple. If you are doing Video or Podcasts, YouTube is your go-to. Pinterest works better for blog posts.
How to Find your Perfect Social Media Platforms
Since most of your potential clients are on social media in some way, how do you decide which platforms to focus on? As with all marketing strategies, consistency is key. But first, you need to decide what your social media marketing goals are. After all, if it doesn’t work well for your brain, trying to be consistent will be like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Why stress yourself out when you can just START with a good plan?
Tip #1: Focus on your strengths
Before deciding on what social media platforms to focus your pet business marketing efforts on, you need to take a step back and evaluate yourself. What talents do you have that you can apply to the social media content you create? Are you charismatic and would be great on video? Are you better at writing and would feel more comfortable writing a blog? Your content creation should play to your strengths. Another factor to consider is how much time you have to dedicate to social media. You’ll need to be consistent to build trust with your audience, so be sure you pick a schedule you can commit to!
Tip #2: Select One Medium
When it comes to actually making social media content, you have three strong choices. Each one of them comes with it’s own strengths and weaknesses, so before deciding which one you want to go with, make sure that you have a good understanding of your skills and more importantly your limitations. It will be jarring to your audience if you change midstream, so try to make the right choice out the gate. If none of these seem in your wheelhouse, which one seems like it would be the easiest for you to learn? Or, if this is all too overwhelming, remember, you can always hire people to write blog posts!
You don’t need a fancy computer program, and you don’t have to worry about any kind of acting or personal presentation. Everything you type can be easily changed, and you can take all the time that you need to get just the right words. There’s a lot less pressure to get everything exactly right, all at once. The downside is that people may not want to read too long of an article when someone else has a video about it. It just depends on their taste on how the like to consume content. (By the way, thanks for sticking with us this far!)
By far, videos are the most interesting for your audience. Everybody likes a quick video, right? While these may be the easiest to consume, these are the most time consuming to plan and make. Take it from us, we started a YouTube channel ourselves! But just because you choose to use video, it doesn’t mean you have to start a YouTube Channel. You can just house your videos on Youtube and send it out to your clients once a week in an email, and use the traditional social media platform to repurpose the videos. This can be as simple as making videos with your phone if you’d like.
Do you like talking, but you don’t like being on camera? (We get it.) Consider a podcast instead. It doesn’t require nearly as much equipment as a video, and it doesn’t matter what you look like. You can record a podcast in your pajamas if you’d like- No one will ever know! There’s a lot of freedom that comes with that, and it can be a nice happy balance between the other two mediums. Plus, it can be really fun talking to yourself.
Tip #3: Choose a Traditional Platform you ENJOY
This may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people try to commit to a social media platform without taking their personal feelings into account. While we applaud those people for their determination to set their emotional needs aside, in favor of what seems to be right for their business…. They also need to think long term. If you HATE Twitter, choosing Twitter as your social media outlet would be a terrible choice, even if it talks right to your demographic and doesn’t require a lot of equipment and production. Why? Remember we talked about consistency- and it’s a whole lot harder to be consistent on a platform you don’t enjoy. There will always be days you’re burned out and don’t have your usual passion for things. You need to enjoy the platform and medium you choose, or burnout can lead to inconsistency, and that’s the real enemy here. Choose the right battleground, and you’ll have a much easier fight.
“I’ve picked the Platforms, now what?”
I’m so glad you asked! Now, you get to set up your accounts and start posting. (Yay, the fun part!) Remember what we said about consistency though? Your audience will feel more connected to you if you’re predictable. If you promise them an article once a week on Thursday, you need to make sure they get an article every Thursday. With good planning, it’s more doable than you think. Maybe that’s too intense for you, and you need two weeks to make your videos. That’s okay too. Just tell your audience the plan, and stick with it! They’ll be grateful for it.
Speaking of gratitude? Thanks for sticking with us through this whole article. It was a long one! As a thank you for your time, we’d like to give you a gift…
Click Here to get a FREE PDF of 100 Social Media Post Ideas for Your Pet Business. Now that you’ve picked a place to stand, you need something to display. These ideas should keep you inspired for a long time! Do you want to know more about how to use the list to its fullest potential? Read this article next!
If you enjoyed this article, please share it! (You can pin the image at the top directly to Pinterest) Go ahead and like us on Social Media too so you never miss out on our great content. Next week, we’re doing an article debunking common marketing myths that could be holding your business back! You can’t afford to miss it!