In my experience, non-profit organizations don’t tend to have the best social media presence. It’s not that they don’t try, it just always seems like they don’t reach the audience they are trying to with what they post. The Nebraska Humane Society, however, seems to have found its niche. Over the variety of platforms it finds itself on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat) it seems to reach exactly who it is targeting and does it in just the right way.
Take their Twitter account for instance. They post things that come across with much more humor and ‘sass’ than anything they post on their Facebook because the audience they draw is different between the two sites. The demographic of people who use Twitter is much younger than those who use Facebook (see here) so the ability for that humor to come across better on Twitter is definitely there. Elizabeth Hilpipre, a Development and Communication Specialist at the Nebraska Humane Society, knows this and plans her Social Media Strategy around this information.
She also uses the analytics given to her across the various social media sites in order to tailor what she posts and what she promotes. Facebook rewards you if something you promote does better, and what I mean by rewarding you is that say you promote a post about older cats and it does well. If that happens then other posts that you posted about older cats will show up more on people’s timelines. This has helped them in the past because prior to promoting these posts, things shared about older cats and dogs did not do well. Since they learned about the rewards and have begun promoting them, they have done much better.
Another social media account that the Humane Society uses to their advantage in Snapchat. They aim their content at younger individuals (think preteen), and, apparently, they do it very well. Of the last several animals they have posted on their social media accounts, all of them have been adopted! Also, when she posted about needing camp counselors for their summer camp, she ended up needing to take down the applications because she got too many people wanting to apply. If that isn’t showing that they are using the account to their advantage, and using it well, I don’t know what is.
Now, there was one topic that Elizabeth talked about that I really enjoyed, and that was those stories that go viral. She did say that these stories don’t happen very often, but when they do they are very special. My personal favorite that she talked about was the sheep wearing the Christmas sweater.
As you can see in the image above, there was a sheep that was wondering around Omaha in this Christmas sweater and they posted a picture of the sheep on their Twitter and Facebook. This post got picked up by EVERYONE! I’m talking New York Daily News, Gawker, Buzzfeed, Times, just to name a few. There was a point where Elizabeth was on the phone with Time while her boss was on the phone with CNN, which I thought was very cool. The sheep was eventually reunited with its owner, but the very fact that it turned into such a media spectacle was so cool to me.
Overall, I really liked the presentation from the Humane Society. I learned more about how organizations use metrics in a real world scenario as well as finding a nonprofit with a social media presence that I actually enjoy. I’m not saying all nonprofits have bad social media presences, I’m just saying the Nebraska Humane Society does social media really well. They have the perfect blend of humor, information, and cute pictures. And I don’t think there is a person on this planet who hates puppies and kittens.