This past Thursday, when I told my roommate that my Social Media class had the pleasure of taking a field trip to the Nebraska Humane Society, her reaction was one of jealousy and doubt that such a trip could contain any educational qualities. When I returned, I was delighted to inform her that the excursion was a success because I not only got to see an adorable dog in a Halloween costume, but I also left with an enhanced understanding of how social media can be used for a company or organization. In addition to building a large following on various social media platforms, and raising substantial amounts of money through online donations, Elizabeth Hilpipre, the woman behind the NHS’s social media, has payed special attention to analytics, created impressive social media strategies, and produced excellent content that keeps followers interested and engaged.
Hilpipre’s hard work and dedication goes to show that social media is not as easy as it seems. Much of her success has come from paying attention to analytics and adjusting her social media usage and content accordingly. I admire her dedication to watching the NHS’s metrics and her willingness to change strategies if a post was not up to her analytic standards. I also found it interesting that she gauged a post’s success based on its analytics. For example, if a post on Facebook was viewed by at least 20,000 people she considered it a success. However, if a post was viewed by less users she knew that something about the post or the content needed improvement.
For me, what was most notable about Hilpipre’s social media strategy was her attention to detail. Through trial and error, and with the help of metrics, she has been able to pin point the best time of day to share certain posts. She also created a formula to balance her content between cats and dogs, younger animals and older ones, and when to ask for money and when to simply share a cute picture. The perfect example of this is the NHS’s campaign for Omaha Gives. A week or two before the event she shared an image of a puppy with a sign announcing the event and asking viewers to donate just $10. This was the winning combo of cute and encouraging donation. Then, the day of the event she planned out down to the hour when she would post.
Lastly, Hilpipre produced a social media powerhouse by curating quality content. She does not only stick to posting simple images of adorable animals, but she often provides touching photos of pets with signs that explain the animal is looking for a home or pictures with updated captions announcing that an animal has been adopted. These heart-warming posts not only lead to more adoptions but also encourage donations and involvement. However, not all of the NHS’s social media posts aim to tug on your heart strings. Hilpipre also does an exceptional job of providing comical and creative content. Often photoshopped, Hilpipre finds unique ways to incorporate pop culture and animals into one adorable post. One recent example is the NHS’s very own Doge dogs (pictured above). These kinds of posts keep social media users entertained and draw new users towards their page. (I originally saw the Doge post on their Twitter, which I had never been to before, but I am slightly obsessed with Doge so I had to look at the picture!)
The Nebraska Humane Society’s effective use of social media proves that social media can be used as a power-tool for any company or organization. Therefore, any career can benefit from the use of social media. Personally, I look forward to witnessing the fashion industry’s move into the online world and I anticipate that social media will become a major player and necessary tool for all fashion companies. I know that with examples such as the NHS’s social media use, that I will be well versed in how to pay attention to analytics, create impressive social media strategies, and produce excellent content that keeps people interested and engaged.
PS. The featured image is of my cat, Louie, who was adopted from the Nebraska Humane Society several years ago (: