Marie and I have been providing canine foster care to dogs since June of 2012. We find it to be a very rewarding experience. Some posts to this blog promote animal fostering, offer training tips and cover canine health issues. I will post the stories about our foster dogs, articles about what we’ve learned as foster care providers, and some links to the organizations we work with.
But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve been busy setting up Facebook pages for each of the foster dogs where I can post short bits of information, pictures and videos about each dog. Why not just do all this on the web site? In a word: traffic.
I have found that many social media users loath being removed from their current environment and sent elsewhere to read an article or watch a video. They are skimmers. They will read the headline and blurb and look at a picture, then they will comment and/or promote that post within their system … but rarely will they click the link to get the full deal. Since my purpose here is not promoting my web site or a service, but the animals themselves, making it easy for FBers to find them just makes sense. So I post bite size tenders on FB in hopes that they will be shared, meatier articles on the blog. The tenders are an appetizer. If someone is seriously interested in that dog, they will seek more info — that is here for them.
I’ve been doing this for just about a week. The Adoption Coordinator at The Shelter e-mailed me last night to say that this new technique has already gotten two of our foster dogs committed adoptive families. One saw Hercules on the Dogs in Danger site, but it was seeing his antics on Facebook that sealed the deal. He now has a loving home waiting for him – and he’s still undergoing treatment. That is a first in our experience! The other person has adopted from The Shelter before. She wasn’t really looking but fell in love with Cheyanne and had to have her. Cheyanne just completed her recovery and will be heading to her new home on Friday.
After building Facebook pages for a half-dozen or so dogs, I’ve come to the realization that building a page for each dog becomes unwieldy after a time unless the receiving rescue wants to take over administration of that page (and hardly any do). It also can take time to build interest in a new page. So I’ve gone to posting a Notes On a Rescue Dog page here for each new dog and promoting it on the Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue Facebook page as our primary avenue of information about our foster dogs. That seems to be working fine. And people who do not have Facebook have access to the dog’s info.
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