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11 May 2010

Pet Friendly Social Media and Internet Marketing

Last week was National Pet Week and Be Kind to Animals Week. The goal for both is to celebrate the ways animals play a role in people’s lives and to remind everyone to treat the animals in their lives with love and care.

Miniature SchnauzerRussian Blue CatAmerican EskimoCatsKabuki RooBlack Cat

This week, let’s continue to celebrate pet week by taking a look at pet friendly social media and Internet marketing strategies.

Niche Social Media Networks for Pets

Pet owners and pets themselves have become quite popular on social media networks, so much so that pets have their own niche social media sites where pet owners can create profiles for their pets. Some sites include:

And if there was any question as to the popularity of these networks amongst pet lovers, take a look at the traffic for the top pet networks.

Unique Visitors for Niche Pet Social Networks

It’s easy to see that there is a large audience for the pet targeted demographics active on social media today.

Pets on Mainstream Social Media

Looking to connect with pet lovers on mainstream social media sites? There are a variety of ways to find them on top social networks.

  • Twellow allows you to search member bios. A quick search for Shih Tzu, for example, brings up some pets online including Sadie Shih Tzu who has her own blog, Flickr, and Youtube.
  • A search for pets (general or specific) on Facebook will reveal many pages and groups with lots of members who are pets lovers.
  • LinkedIn has lots of groups with hundreds of members who are interested in pets, personally and professionally.

There are also many examples of pet superstars on social media, such as Maru, the box sliding cat, whose Youtube videos has over 50 million views total and the dog whisperer Cesar Millan who has over 100,000 followers.

What does this mean for social media marketing services geared toward the pet industry? There are many ways to find people on mainstream networks that are interested in pet products and services, and also a plethora of ideas that can be generated from successful pet celebrities on social media.

Social Media Success Stories

I’m sure this is only one of many, but it is proof that social media can play an important role for pets. I have seen many, many emails and alerts from various shelters about pets who have been at the shelter too long and are coming close to a deadline to be adopted or to be euthanized. Many of these animals that are listed do not find homes in time. One such alert was posted on the Dog Files blog for six dogs that needed to be adopted in four days. This post was shared over 300 times via Twitter, including a few tweets by @Alyssa_Milano with the #adopt hashtag. Now I can’t say for certain if it was the number of tweets or the celebrity tweet that made the difference, but I would like to think it played a vital role in this becoming a success story when, a few days later, the Dog Files blogged that all six dogs were adopted in time.

So whether you are Alyssa Milano tweeting about life saving adotpions, the AZPRC recruiting volunteers for the Arizona Animal Welfare League, or the Compassion for Greyhounds organization raising awareness through Causes on Facebook, remember that social media can make a difference in animals lives.

Pet Friendly Link Building

Do you have a pet related website you need to build links to in order to boost their position in search results, or do you provide link building services for pet related companies? Some great places to get links that will not only help boost your rankings but also bring in traffic and build community for your sites include:

Pet Friendly Blogs
Looking for blogs on pets? There are a ton of search engines (including the Google blog search) that can help you find great pet related blogs. PostRank, for example, will show you their top rated blogs on pets and cute animals.

Pet Forums
There are many forums for pet lovers out there. From general pet forums such as pet lovers and paw talk forums that cover all kinds of pets to more specific forums for dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets, etc., forums are a great place to find a community of pet lovers interacting with each other about their pets on topics about adoption, health, legal issues, and more.

One thing to remember when building links with a pet friendly community is that pet lovers love other pet lovers – so the more personal you are in your interactions on forums and blogs, the better. Talking about your own pets, engaging in discussion about site owner pets, and really helping out other pet lovers will greatly improve your chances of building strong links to your site that will get clicks. Acting like a spammer and blurting out a link will, alternatively, just get you kicked out of the community.

Your Thoughts on Pet Friendly Internet Marketing

What are some of your ideas and approaches to social media and Internet marketing when it comes to pets?

10 Comments

  • Marc Beharry May 11, 2010

    Great points Kristi, the pet care and supplies industry is valued in the billions and 60 percent of US households have at least one. In addition, growth in that industry has been steady despite the negative economic conditions. So I guess pet supply companies are in a good position and it would be in their best interests to leverage social media before their competitors do. Check out the industry stats http://americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytr

  • verticalmeasures May 14, 2010

    Hadn't seen that one, thanks for sharing!! :)

  • Briana Ford May 14, 2010

    I considered starting some social media profiles for my Pomeranian named Muffin, but she wasn't interested. She rolled over in disagreement

  • Joel | internet marketing consulting Nov 30, 2010

    I started a fan page for my kitten “kuda”. Chronicling his adventures growing up in the tropics. Didn’t get far with the page, and Kuda still has no fans:(

  • Social Software Guru Dec 03, 2010

    I enjoyed reading your insight…social media software is vital in marketing today, we work at creating it every day.

  • April Narro Dec 08, 2010

    Wonderful web site, thank you I will def get several of the suggestions for my website. I’m dependent in South Africa and very own a recruitment web page. Just a quick question, with the earth recession is anybody selecting that its harder to position people today and that there are actually lees positions? i need to examine with our place in SA.

  • Steve Jan 07, 2011

    I did enjoyed the resources shared on this blog. Thank you.

  • Clarinda Schumpert Jan 12, 2011

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague. And she in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for her..

  • Alexis Beckman Jan 14, 2011

    Hey awesome, this has been a brilliant help to me, I have had some really hard issues in my personal life recently and it is strange how little things can really pick you back up or make you look differently on the horrible things and get working on the other things in life. Anyway thank you.

  • Sonia, large dog supplies expert Feb 02, 2011

    There are some very clever folks using social media for their pets. One of my favorites is on Twitter, @JamesBondtheDog – really funny comments from a spy Basset.

    For people that want to create a profile for their pets on Facebook there are apps called Dogbook and Catbook that allow you to create a pet profile and connect with other animals.