Animal Shelters Are Winning on Facebook: Here’s How!

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Organic Facebook reach has been dropping like a stone for many nonprofits and businesses, but one group of charities is consistently engaging their fans. Animal shelters all over the country are thriving on Facebook, and a close look at their posting habits reveals why.

We chose two Qgiv clients who run successful Facebook pages and pulled some of their best posts to share with you. If you want to succeed on Facebook, here are some habits to pick up from these amazing organizations.

They post amazing pictures

The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words rings true on Facebook. The Blue Mountain Humane Society regularly posts high-quality pictures that appeal to their audience’s emotions. Take this post, for example:

Emotional pictures

They combined a high-quality photograph with a caption that tugs on their audience’s heartstrings. It worked — the post got lots of likes, comments, and shares. People even came back to the post later to ask for an update on King’s status.

Successful posts don’t all have to be poignant or emotional — audiences love silly posts, too! This cartoon posted by Capital Humane Society is an excellent example:

2 Shareable

It’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s on-topic, and it’s infinitely share-able. Posting images like this is a win/win — the audience gets a laugh, and increased engagement on this photo means that the Humane Society’s posts are more  likely to show up in their audience’s feeds (check out this page if you don’t know why).

They make straightforward appeals

These animal shelters don’t mess around; if they need something, they ask. Humane shelters often need more than financial support — they also need lots and lots of supplies. When they need help, they don’t dance around their appeals:

4 Straightforward Appeals

They covered a range of topics: they let their audience know that they can adopt, volunteer, or donate, and asked for help in a way that appealed to their fans’ love of animals. It doesn’t get much better than that! Asking for help doesn’t need to be complicated: ask your fans to get involved and appeal to their reasons for supporting your organization.

If you want to raise awareness about your organization and let people know about the services you offer, you can ask followers to share your posts to boost your reach. Make sure you give them something appealing to share, though; nobody wants to share boring posts with their friends! Animal shelters have endless opportunities for cute, share-able photos like this one:

 6 Ask people to share

See what they did there? They posted a cute, interesting picture and asked their followers to share it with their friends. The ask was all it took for 24 people to share their post. If you want to boost your organic reach and get your post in front of new people, all you have to do is ask!

They share success stories and thank-yous

It’s tiresome to log into Facebook and be barraged with donation requests. Mix it up by sharing success stories! Donors want to know that they’re making a difference by supporting your nonprofit. Show them! Seeing tangible results from a nonprofit builds loyalty and keeps donors engaged. Just look at the engagement on this post:

1 Success Stories and Thank Yous

This post obviously resonates with their fans — look at that engagement! This is Facebook gold — cute animal, heartwarming picture, success story, and an affirmation that the organization is making a difference. What success stories can you share?

Another key to keeping fans engaged (and to retaining donors!) is thanking them for their involvement. A public pat on the back is one of the simplest ways to let people know you appreciate them and make them happy about their involvement with your organization. Long, flowery posts aren’t necessary — short and sweet works, too! Thank-you posts are most effective when tied to your organization’s mission, as is the case with this post:

5 Volunteer and Donor thank-yous

If you’ve got donors and volunteers, you’ve got a wealth of engaging, rewarding Facebook posts at your fingertips. Publicly thanking your supporters makes them happy, keeps them involved, and lets others know that you’re a good organization with which to volunteer.

There’s no secret formula to successful Facebook strategies — genuine, entertaining, and thoughtful posts are the closest thing there is to a “silver bullet” solution to Facebook engagement. If you want to keep an eye on these two organizations for ideas, check them out! You can follow the Blue Mountain Humane Society here and the Capital Humane Society here.

Learn more about asking for donations on Facebook!

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