Like it or not, social media is here to stay and is somewhere with lots of eyeballs tuned in. It behooves you to take advantage of this.
As a business in the pet industry — a crowded sector in which it can be hard to stand out — social media can provide unique opportunities to find customers and build long-lasting, profitable rapport with them.
Let’s roll around in the mud of this for a bit….
What Social Media Do Pet Owners Use The Most?
Hold your horses a sec. Perhaps the first questions should be:
- Are pet owners and pet lovers hanging out online and in the socialverse?
- If so, what’re they doing there?
The answer is a resounding “YES!” — pet parents are corralling on the interwebs and grazing on a never-ending supply of animal-related digital fodder.
Multiple sources and surveys indicate that pet people are posting, viewing, and engaging with pet content across many platforms several times per week. They’re also avid followers of pet influencers (i.e., animals that are influencers — yes, we live in that world now….). A significant portion of pet owners also fess up to having active social accounts in the name of their animal companions.
And, Fido’s and Floofy’s two-legged mamma and pappa aren’t just posting pics and vids and trolling Jiffpom and Doug the Pug. They’re giving and getting pet healthcare advice, swapping recipes for dog treats, reviewing pet brands so you know the *absolute best* cat litter for kitty’s tender tushy, recommending novel pet toys, and so much more.
OK, so now this begs the question: Where are all these folks? Well, that depends on a number of factors. Different social platforms tend to appeal to different demographics (based on age, gender, socioeconomics, interest, etc.).
This means that you’ll have to do some research to see what corners of the socialsphere your target audiences are basking in. Now, don’t freak out — you don’t need to be on every social media platform or publish content non-stop. Strategy, backed with data-generated insights is the key.
But, rest assured, when you connect with your potential customers — they’re willing to dish out money to care for their beloved pets.
Pet Niche Social Media — Why You Need It in Your Marketing Mix
You may be thinking that dealing with social media is hard or time consuming or simply not worth the effort. And, definitely — it can be any or all of those things.
If you go into it with your eyes wide shut. Proceeding with intention and organization is paramount if you want to make the most of the opportunities and your investment.
8 Reasons to Adopt Social Media into your Marketing Strategy
Here are some reasons to embrace social media as a part of your pet business’s digital marketing strategy.
- You’re going to your customers and prospects. It’s on you to meet them where they’re at. In order to create pull, you have to start with some push. It’s also a chance to connect with people that might not otherwise cross paths with your website.
- You can target your reach. Powerful modern tools and analytics let you direct your content to segments of people who’re more likely to eat your kibble.
- You get to directly interact. This is worth its weight in catnip! Imagine how valuable it is to be able to ask your customers what they want right to their [avatar] faces?
- It’s another chance to build your brand. Social channels lend themselves well to helping you create buzz, awareness,and loyalty. You can let your company’s personality shine and call out how your IRL or online pet store differentiates.
- It might be more flexible. Social can make turning up and down the content flow as needed easier and faster — e.g., post more around a flash sale or quickly respond to a news item.
- It’s a great place to be creative. Social media is a space that’s perfect for doing something new or fun or different that other forms of media can’t accommodate.
- It may be cheaper. If done well, social media can be a very cost-effective way of capturing market share. It can yield a better ROI than other forms of advertising and customer engagement.
- It may be more forgiving. The lifespan of a post is usually s-h-o-r-t. If you make a gaffe, audiences will probably see it and move on in a nanosec. This could give you room to experiment with a little less risk.
Ramping Up your Pet Store’s Social Media Strategy
If you want to run with the big dogs, ya gotta be able to do more than shake paws and play fetch. And — please, whatever you do — don’t sit, stay, or roll over and play dead! You’ll never get to be leader of the pack that way!
Here are some tips to get your pet store’s social media strategy up to speed, in order to sell more products online.
Find the right channel for your business
Determine which platform(s) you need to be on. You can ask your customers via your website, as part of setting up an online account, etc. As we mentioned above, each social platform speaks to different (but sometimes overlapping) pools of people. For example, Facebook skews older, younger people are into TikTok, and Millennials love Instagram. (That said, an active Instagram presence is likely a must. But, TikTok’s a great emerging option and Facebook’s still relevant.)
Find your unique brand voice
Think back to what makes your brand unique. What’s your niche? What are you known for? What “vibes” does your brand give off? Make your posts bring your brand to life.
Post a variety of high-quality, compelling, engaging content. You should include pictures and videos, custom graphics, brand imagery, and more.
Create brand guidelines so all your posts follow a similar format
This nods at consistency and expectations again. But it also shows you’re professional and care about how you’re portraying your business to the word. Lastly, tight content is a sign of respect for your readers and viewers — you put in the time and effort to perfect your captions and visuals.
Capitalize on trends
Make posts timely and relevant to what’s going on in the world. Follow what the latest TikTok sounds are for videos and figure out how you can make a video using the same sound. The obvious caveat is don’t even think about trying to capitalize on things like disasters, wars, etc. At best you’ll come off as looking foolish and tone-deaf; at worst….
Repurpose content on social media
Post excerpts from your website or newest pet blogs. Ask any content creator and they’ll tick off 20 ways to slice and dice a single piece of content into fresh posts. It’s efficient and a great way to squeeze ROI like a boa constrictor is wrapped around it.
Consistency is important; it sets expectations. Episodic content performs the best, when followers know you’ll post content on a specific schedule.
Yes, you can and should have some posts queued up to automatically post. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also do organic posting, which can feel more authentic and responsive.
Supplement with paid social media advertising
You’ll reach more customers, gain more exposure, increase brand awareness, and sell more products with a combined paid social media strategy. This is a great mechanism for boosting conversion rates because most ads are judiciously aimed at more qualified audiences.
Use social media to drive traffic and engagement to your website
You own the data of people who traipse through your website. You do not own the followers, subscribers, or engagement on the social channels. You don’t want your biz to tank all of a sudden because a platform you have no control over disappears overnight. Social media is one of many forms of driving traffic to your website, but it doesn’t have to be the only one.
Pet Store Social Media Ideas
Now that you’re clued into some dos and don’ts of pet store social media marketing, it may be helpful to have some suggestions of what to actually…you know…post on social media.
These are perennial winning topics. They are well worth the slobbery dog kisses and the twining-around-your-leg cat snuggles you’d get if your pets could fathom your social media genius.
- Pics of animals. This is a no-brainer, of course. The cuter and funnier the better.
- Pet grooming before and afters. If this is part of your pet niche.
- Pet products. Feature what’s in store, new products, products being used by pets, etc.
- Repost pics and videos you’re tagged in. Talk about easy-to-generate content! Plus, sharing a follower’s content is a terrific way to foster loyalty.
- Tips and advice for pet owners. They’re always looking for ways to be better caregivers to their munchkins.
- Seasonal posts. Like, can you get enough of pets in Halloween costumes?! We think it’s not possible….
- Contests! Run a contest or giveaway for a new product or service.
- Q&As or an Ask Me Anythings (AMAs). Let followers ask questions and then provide responses.
- Though-provoking questions. Ask your followers what they think about something. Get their opinions to increase engagement. (Actually, closing out any kind of post with a question for readers can prompt more engagement.)
While blogging is certainly a different beast, you will probably get some more ideas for social content from our recent post Pet Store Blogging 101.
Intuitive Won’t Leave You Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Sure, you can go off-leash and have a rip-roaring good time on your own. (Anyone who’s been a pug or border collie parent or sib knows what that can look like!) But it can be a wild, unpredictable escapade.
Some pet business social media managers really dig this. They love rising to the challenge. Kudos to you, friend!
If that’s not you — and lots of people are here with you in this group — you have options. Like partnering with Intuitive Digital. Together, we can sniff out and pounce on winning pet store social media ideas. With our years of experience in digital marketing and paid social media, your creative pet business posts will be best of breed and your pet store will be best in show.
Be a Good Boi — give us a holler today and learn how we can help improve your pet business’s online presence. Or take a look at our other pet blogs or pet business case studies: