Is your pet online? Does your cat, dog or other animal have a Facebook page? How about a Twitter account? It might surprise you to know that there are thousands of cat and dog profiles on Facebook — even a Cat/DogBook application and numerous social media communities created solely dedicated to pets including PetPop.com, BarkleyAndPaws.com, PetBrags.com and many more.
These sites offer a space for pets, and owners, to interact socially through posts, photos and videos, but to also find tips and resources for common pet questions such as exercise, crate training, housetraining and pet health.
Not only are “pet parents” partaking in the social media world, but veterinarians and other animal professionals are also creating their online presences. Doing a quick search on Facebook and Twitter, I found hundreds of results for animal hospitals/vet offices, local pet and animal organizations, animal rescues and other organizations dedicated to animals. During my search I came across the BarkWorld Expo, founded in 2009. This two-and-a-half day annual conference is dedicated to helping educate the pet loving community to connect using social media. During the 2010 conference, animal lovers and business owners participated in workshops and guest speakers shared tips on animal language — what to say, blogging and SEO for pet businesses, creating a social media strategy, and charity and fundraising. Talk about socializing your pet!
Social media connectivity, interaction and branding have become commonplace among many business, organizations and individuals, so why not our pets and those who work with them? Just as you might use an online resource to benefit yourself or your business, why not benefit from an online resource for your pet? I don’t know about it being a purrrfect match, but it will continue to be a growing online community and resource of which many animal businesses, pet lovers and pet owners will take advantage.
[Contributed by Brittany Burdoine-Lewis]