I am currently enrolled in a Social Media class at school, and the day my professor announced that we would be meeting at the Nebraska Humane Society thrilled me for reasons I couldn’t explain beyond the fact that I love animals. When I actually attended the field trip, however, I learned more than I thought possible from Elizabeth Hilpipre, a Creighton alum who runs the social media aspect of this private, nonprofit corporation.
Elizabeth talked primarily about her Facebook and Twitter usage to get animals adopted. I had no idea that social media had so much of an impact on these animals. Of course, I knew someone had to be posting on the Twitter and Facebook pages to try to get the organization more publicity, but many of these animals were finding homes because of the posts! I was overwhelmed.
Elizabeth used a dog named Boomer as an example. Boomer had been in the shelter for a few months and hadn’t been adopted, so she posted his picture with a sign around his neck asking to share this picture and please find him a home. She posted the picture on Facebook at a strategic part of the day (around the time of people’s lunch break when they would most likely be online), and the picture went viral with over 80,000 shares. Boomer was adopted 2 days later. This is a prime example of how learning the ways of the social media world could be used for a fantastic benefit.
Using analytics to measure how people are reacting to your content is an important way to stay relevant. Elizabeth checks the statistics of the sites often in order to know when to post, what posts people like/dislike, and who her prime audience is. Finding patterns in these statistics seems to be the key to successful social media. As a result, the Facebook page has over 50,000 likes and the Twitter page has over 7,000 followers. Of course, in this day and age, social media is a never ending concept and everyone could strive to have more success, but the Nebraska Humane Society has figured out how to get there. This is something we could all learn from them!