Welcome to the final piece in my 17-part series on utilizing social media in your efforts to make the world a kinder place for animals. If you haven’t read the previous 16 pieces in this series, check them out here.
No matter who you are or what your situation is, you can make tweaks to your social media presence to make it more effective. The animals are depending on you to take this tool and use it to the best of your ability.
Since I started writing this series nine months ago, I’ve had 150 million impressions of my posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You don’t have to hit those kinds of numbers to make a difference, though. If you can go from 1,000 to 10,000, that is a HUGE victory for animals.
I don’t have a Ph.D. in social media science. I don’t pay to run ads. I’m just a person who has, for several years, looked at what works and what doesn’t work on social and fine-tuned my approach accordingly. You can do that too.
Social media is the new town square. It’s where everyone comes together to both observe and express. While in this public atmosphere - where you’re connected with nearly everyone that has ever been a part of your life - it’s wise to be conscious of your behavior. The wrong move can turn into you playing damage control, which is not a great use of your time when there are billions of animals who need your help.
The first and most obvious rule of social media is to not be a jerk, bully, or unnecessarily rude. When speaking up for animals, we are only going to win people over if we use communication that is open, honest, and non-judgmental. Shaming people or making them feel small is not a good place to start a conversation.
Beyond just the tone of your interactions, there are specific actions you can take that will make you a socially-adept all-star for animals. I’ll get into that now.
If someone follows you on Twitter or Instagram, you aren’t obligated...
Stories have stormed across the social media landscape, totally altering how we engage and interact on social media. We can thank Snapchat for creating the explosion of ephemeral content, and Instagram for taking it to the next level.
Tapping through panels of photos, videos, and boomerangs is the new normal and the the face of the future of social media. Wall posts will always have a place, but stories play a bigger and bigger role with each passing month. Whether you’re on Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, get the best out of your efforts using ephemeral -- rather than permanent -- content. Here’s how to do that.
Make stories three-five panels in length. Long enough to have some substance, but not so long that your audience becomes bored. Upload them around the same time, and give some context to the story in the first panel so people have an idea what they’re about to watch.
Authenticity is not just a buzzword - it’s what will make or break your...
Getting people to like, comment, and share your content is crucial to increasing the strength of your voice for animals. More engagement = more reach = more followers = more people becoming aware of the awesome reality of plant-based eating and living in 2019.
There are little actions you can implement into the way you post on social that will increase the likelihood of people double-tapping or hitting that like button. The nitty gritty, some might say. Today, we’re covering just that.
When applicable, tag the relevant location in your post. You can even get creative and create your own location. Individuals, organizations, and groups should also be tagged when appropriate. These actions will give more context and background to your posts and encourage more robust partnerships and teamwork with others.
When posting video content, choose a good cover photo. People scroll very quickly in their newsfeeds, so you need to give your post every chance it can at succeeding,...
In recent years, live streaming has become an integral part of the social media experience. Whether as a consumer or producer of live content, it’s clear that this feature is now a force to be reckoned with. Fortunately, you can use this force in your efforts for animals.
Whether you’re at a vigil for farm animals arriving at a slaughterhouse, spending the day at your favorite animal sanctuary, or simply just speaking to the camera from the comfort of your couch, live streaming is one more solid option to communicate with your followers.
Live streaming is available on all the major platforms -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Because it’s a new-ish feature, and because social media platforms like it when you use new features, you’ll be prioritized in the newsfeeds of your followers. Live streaming on Facebook gets three times the amount of views that regular videos do. This kind of a leg up against your competition certainly makes...
If you want to take your social media game seriously, you need to get organized. You wouldn’t walk onto a football pitch without a gameplan, right? The social media landscape is the pitch and you need to win big for animals.
Chart out a plan to keep your message on point and consistent. Think about the niches that you fall into -- vegan eating, health, animal advocacy, etc. How are you going to best get those thoughts and philosophies out to the world using social media? I’ve talked at length about this earlier, so once you’ve chosen what will be common themes between your posts, put together a plan of attack.
Beyond just the common themes of your posts, you’ll also want to consider post frequency, timing, and execution.
If you’re running a Page, post frequently. This will give you more opportunities for posts to go viral and an overall bigger reach. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it. I recommend once daily to Facebook (until...
Just a short while ago, the symbol # was known to represent numbers. Today, it’s the international symbol for hashtags.
If you’re confused about what a hashtag is, it’s essentially a searchable keyword that plays a profound role on social media, particularly on Twitter and Instagram. Use it in conjunction with your posts/tweets so others will discover you. By searching for or clicking on that particular hashtag, one can see all of the posts associated with it.
The hashtag was invented on Twitter, and is still very relevant there. Its use on Instagram, however, is even more significant, especially as that platform has emerged as one of the leading social media platforms focused on community.
By clicking on a particular hashtag, you can view the content of others, allowing you to seek relevant content that can inspire, educate, or at the very least, be of interest to you.
Using hashtags properly allows for others to find your content and land more...
On social media, in order to command the most attention you can, you need to convey your message in a way that works on these unique platforms.
We’ve covered the why, what, where, and when of posting. Now, it’s time to cover the how. My final piece in this mini series centered on gaining followers and increasing engagement will focus on this underappreciated aspect of posting: How to write a good caption.
Defining what a caption is, it’s the bit of text accompanying the media you’re posting, whether that be a photo, video, link, etc.
To understand the importance here, the media you’re posting is the bread and the caption accompanying it is the (vegan) butter. People may at first notice the photo or video that you’ve posted, but when they look closer, they’re checking out the words you’ve paired it with. What you say here conveys how you feel about this media, and how you feel about this...
In this continuing series on effectively harnessing social media to positively impact animals, it’s time to discuss content. What do you post and how do you go about posting it?
Recall the importance I’ve placed on growing your audience. This will increase the reach of your posts, as well as the engagement you get on each post.
The primary method of growing your Facebook and Instagram profiles is by getting others to share your posts. On Facebook, these are simply called “shares;” on Twitter, they’re “retweets.” When people share your post, it goes directly into the newsfeeds of those who follow them, potentially leading to an exponential increase in your reach. The beautiful part is that these shares lead to your content being seen by many people who don’t currently follow you, which means your voice is amplified and that you are reaching people who may not already subscribe to your beliefs. For that reason, be share-focused when...
Gaining followers and getting engagement on your posts is crucial if you plan to make progress for animals. Understanding who your audience is, who you want them to be, and how to appeal to and grow that audience is essential.
Much of this multi-part mini series focusing on increasing followers and engagement is tailored to those who want to influence the outside world. If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “I don’t really care how many followers I have,” however, that’s cool too. You may want to only influence your family and friends IRL. While some of what I say here may not apply to you, implementing elements of these tactics in your own personal social media game will still undoubtedly help you connect with and influence your audience, no matter who they are.
First, discover where your skills can best overlap with your interests. Since this series is focused on animal advocacy through social media, consider some of the different...